Corrie ten Boom used to recite a little couplet: “Worry is an old man with bended head, carrying a load of feathers which he thinks are lead.” She understood that anxiety is foolish because it concerns that which isn’t. It lives in an imaginary future. It deals in speculation and possibility. As long as we dwell on the worst-case scenario, we guarantee our own misery because an extensive catalog of calamity is always within reach of the imagination.
Worry weighs us down with its burdens. But what does lightheartedness look like? The first step is to view our burdens from God’s perspective. When we understand who He is and the promises He has made, our problems begin to seem more manageable.
Seeing Anxiety From God's Perspective
In Matthew 6:28-30, Jesus says:
Have you ever walked through a beautiful garden in the springtime? It’s difficult to be weighed down by the cares of the world when you’re surrounded by the majesty of God’s creation. Solomon was a glorious king, Jesus tells us, with the wealth of several kingdoms at his disposal. But all his riches paled in comparison to the simplest lily in the field.
And how many office hours have those lilies put in? How many dues have they paid? Have you ever seen a lily suffering through an anxiety attack? They don’t second guess their purpose or put off their tasks. They simply sway in the breeze, reaching heavenward toward the source of their water and sunshine and sustenance. They do what they were designed to do, and what they were designed to do is to glorify God. May you and I glorify God with the same simplicity.
More importantly, may we understand that God values us so much more than a lily. The lily is merely something He created for our pleasure because we’re the ones who bear His image. If He cares for each petal or stem that blooms and fades within a season, how much more does He care for you and me? How much does He take to heart the things that cause us anxiety?
He took the answer to that question and displayed it on a cross two thousand years ago. He would never suffer and die for the same children He planned to neglect.
And God reminds us of this truth throughout Scripture. When the enemies of worry and anxiety attack, we can hold fast to these promises from God’s Word (and many more!) to win the battle.
The Assurance of God's Abundance
Matthew 6:30 (NLT)
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The Assurance of God's Deliverance
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
The Assurance of God's Goodness
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
The Assurance of God's Guidance
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
The Assurance of God's Love
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Assurance of God's Peace
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
The Assurance of God's Presence
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The Assurance of God's Strength
As your days, so shall your strength be.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
1 Peter 5:7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
God’s plan for us does not include anxiety. That is why He filled the pages of the Bible with encouraging words about who He is and who we are in His eyes. When trouble comes crashing in all around and we find ourselves weighed down by worry, we can experience inner peace by turning to the Lord.