Let’s be honest, even as Christians we struggle with worry. It has been said that as much as 90% of illness and disease is stress-related. Such a sobering statistic ought to compel us to examine how our anxiety and worry translates to not trusting God and, in turn, our languishing the opportunity to best steward the body He’s entrusted to us. Stress that is based in sinful fear and distrust of God’s good and perfect sovereignty should be absent in the Christian life.
Truly trusting God leads to a blessed peace and a divinely-given lower stress life. The more we trust God in every little thing, the more eagerly we’ll pursue going to Him in the midst of trials and circumstances that foster worry. The result of truly knowing God leads us to trust Him more, and therefore uproots those entrenched weeds of stress from our mind, all leading to greater health for His service.
God’s gift of peace is constantly available to us, but we interrupt that flow by giving in to our flesh in myriad ways. When we take our eyes off Christ and who we are in Him, we start focusing on things of the world, trying to live in our own strength and sinfully worrying. To remedy this despairing obstacle on our pursuit of peace, we must pursue righteousness. As Psalm 119:165 states, “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.” We ought to be pursing righteousness through knowing God’s Word, examining our heart, turning from sin, continually renewing our mind, and obeying God – all through the help of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 32:17 confirms the benefits of this pursuit stating, “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.”
As we pursue righteousness, we grow in faith as we dive the depths of God’s truths in His Word. Having faith is a reasoned response to revealed Truth. Faith is thinking. Spiritually-stable followers of Christ are involved daily in thinking about God, His attributes, His promises, His sovereignty and perfect control, His work in their life, His goodness, His grace and mercy, His magnificence, and His unparalleled power. Far too often we fill our minds and spend our time fixated and dwelling upon things of this earth. We can mistakenly put our ultimate hope in people or desired circumstances and not God.
As we put some trust in fallen man in many areas of our lives, such as with doctors, taxi drivers, pilots, and so forth, how preposterous does it seem that far too often we act untrustingly toward God in our heart with all our sinful worry, anxiety, and fear? God’s Word gives us no reason to ever question Him. His faithfulness in our lives gives us no reason to ever doubt Him. His sovereignty in this world gives us no reason to ever despair. His control in this world gives us no reason to compromise. His goodness gives us no reason to ever fear. His character gives us no reason to be anxious. So, whose fault is it when we worry and stress?
When we truly know who God is and all that His character embodies, when we behold His power and magnificence and sovereignty, and when we ponder His promises and tremendous truths revealed to us in scripture, we’re left without any doubt that He is worthy to be trusted. Store up in your heart truths about who God is, so you may be reminded of them when your mind is under attack with an anxious thought. Strive to know the Word and perhaps also post visual reminders that you’ll encounter throughout your day. A painting with the following scripture hangs in my kitchen as a constant reminder, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3.
Stress-inducing situations are inevitable, but our responses can be managed, and therefore our health impacted for the better. Our experiences and trials are the fires that forge the strengthening of our faith. Let us trust Our Father in everything, humbly embrace every circumstance, run to Him for strength, and give thanks to Almighty God, praying that He will cultivate character and spiritual growth in us as we patiently endure trials and tribulations. Our spiritual and physical health will be better for it, and we will be stronger and better equipped to serve Him with all that we are.