Tonight I heard something that’s making me worry, big time. It’s a situation that’s been developing for a long time and after what I heard, I’m not sure what the Lord is doing. My natural instinct is to worry, fret, think of all sorts of bad scenarios in which I will be incredibly disappointed by the outcome of the situation. It’s something very personal and so I don’t want to talk about the details right now but as I’m nearing the end of day, I’m feeling very discouraged.

A couple of months back I read a devotional that said, in so many words, that worry has no place in the Christian life. The author claimed that if we’re anxious about something for any length of time, it shows that we are not trusting God. The point of the devotion was to say that we should basically “get our ducks in a row” and muster up better faith.

Is that really how it works in the life of a believer? Am I not allowed to worry at all? I remember putting down the devotional that evening feeling disappointed in myself, wondering what I could do to “fix” my worrying problem.

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I come back to these thoughts tonight as I worry and dwell on something I have no control over. The post I was going to write is put on hold for the time being as I look to the Scriptures for insight on this topic of worrying.

The verses from Matthew 6 tell us not to worry. That we cannot add a single hour to our lives. That the Lord will give us what we need. All these things are true but somehow I can’t internalize them.

Psalm 37 begins with the words “Do not fret.” This passage of Scripture was written in the midst of a time when David had men after him who were bent on taking his life.

Then verse 7 says: “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret…” 

The footnotes of my NASB Bible say that this verse can be read another way:

“Be still in the Lord and wait longingly for Him.”

Longingly? That’s me. Waiting? I’m there. Being still? Well, no…

In between verses one and seven are these words that give me hope:

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.”

These verses don’t instantly solve my problem. In fact, they bring me right back around to where I was before I heard this discouraging news, to the truth that God really does know what I need and how and when to give it to me. Knowing that He wants me to continue to commit my way to Him, regardless of what the outward circumstances look like.

I’m hoping to fall asleep tonight with my focus on the Lord and not on my worries or cares. But sometimes that doesn’t just happen and I’m coming to the conclusion that this is okay.

Worry isn’t profitable for anyone. It isn’t something that should consume our days. But our faith and our trust in the Lord is worked in us by the Holy Spirit. And I wonder if sometimes times of worrying and fretting are allowed so that we can go to Him, crushed and discouraged, just as we are.

We don’t have to stay discouraged because God gives us the grace to wrestle through it, to commit our way to Him, to allow Him to act in such a way that we know it is He and not us that accomplishes the work. Even it it takes much longer than we’d like it to. Even if I have to open myself up to the fact that this may end differently than I thought it would but will still be God’s best for me.

If you’re going through something like this, I hope these words of Scripture are encouraging to you as well. And I’m wondering, do you think that worrying is sinful and that it shows you are lacking trust or faith in God?

Shared at The Better Mom, Time Warp Wife, Deep Roots at Home, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Thriving Thursdays and Raising Mighty Arrows.
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9 Comments on Are Christians Allowed to Worry?

  1. Thanks for sharing w/ Thriving Thursday! Great thoughts. I’m not of the camp that thinks worry is a “sin.” I do, however, agree with you that it accomplishes nothing. Regardless of the outcome of the situation, worry is useless, and the only thing it does is rob the moments in between of their joy. So, while I don’t think it’s a sin, I do think it’s a tool that Satan uses to rob us of our joy and peace. I think it’s something we need to fight against, not because it’s a sin but because it stands between us and the abundant life, peace, and joy that Jesus desires for us.

  2. It’s difficult to come right out and say that something like this, something that is so deeply ingrained in us, is sinful, but at the heart of the matter it is. But God does work through these situations, always using them for our betterment. The fact that you have been led through those scriptures and compelled to share them attests to the fact that he is even using this situation for good. I struggled with some fierce anxiety attacks for a few years (thankfully haven’t had one in almost two years), and it took a whole lot of trust and dwelling in scripture to get through that period of time. I don’t look back fondly on that time, but I did grow a lot. I hope that everything turns out well for you and that God’s plan is made clear and evident to you despite what happens.

  3. I think worrying is sinful, but as humans, and as mothers too, so are too many of the things we do. I don’t know that I would say worrying and fretting are allowed, but I do believe that God uses those moments that He knows will come to show us that He can in fact be trusted. He is always there. When we turn to Him and His Word, He gets the opportunity to show us His steadfastness once again.

    • As a friend of mine and I were looking through Psalm 37 last night, we came across verse 8: “Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.” There’s also a verse in Ephesians 4:26 that says something similar: “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (NASB)

      Makes me wonder if the worrying (fretting) is not the sin, but instead it is what comes of it that is the sin. When we worry or are angry, do we submit ourselves to God’s gracious call to trust Him or do we propel ourselves into constant worry or anger and act in sinful ways because of that? Deep, huh?

      All of it, every human emotion and sin serves to point us to the cross! Thanks so much for commenting!

  4. I think you can share these feelings with Him, like a child would pour out his feelings to his Daddy. We run to him when our emotions get too much for us. Most of us have experienced worries that wash over us like waves and toss us around and around don’t we? It seems that sometimes we must cling to him in the turmoil and maybe there is a small time delay before we can even begin to sense his calming reassurance and peace in the situation, and gradually the anxiousness subsides. Crying out to our Heavenly Father, focusing on his comforting scriptures, and listening out for the still, small voice. I have been there and I am praying that very soon you will feel his peaceful reassurance over this situation x

    I think you have made some very good points in your post.
    ” And I wonder if sometimes times of worrying and fretting are allowed so that we can go to Him, crushed and discouraged, just as we are.” I am sure He wants us to share all our humanity with Him. (He knows it all anyway doesn’t He)

    Blessings and peace to you

    • Yup, He certainly does know it all and knows each of our days. Sometimes it’s hard just to live one day at a time but God gives us much grace! Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  5. Thank you for Sharing! Whenever I start to get worried, the lord brings me to those verses. I am very thankful for His promises, I hold on to His promise instead of what I am facing at that moment. Blessings and thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you for commenting, Sara! It’s so good to know that we can go to Scripture for so much encouragement and strength!

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