My husband, Benjamin, and I have probably the strangest character trait in common…
In most ways, the two of us are actually as different as night and day, especially in our thought processes. Then there are actually the few, not-at-all-surprising, everyone-and-their-dog-does-that traits that we share. But on top of those, there’s the one that would be weird enough if just one of us had it, let alone both of us…
It’s the sense of impending doom.
Have any of you ever felt this? It’s the feeling that everything is going too well, so there’s no way it will last. Sure there are little problems here and there, but nothing really bad has happened in a long time. What is there lurking around the corner?? There has to be something! Bad car accident? Apartment burning down? Job loss? What??
As you can plainly see, this is not exactly a trustful attitude to have. We should be able to get on a bus in the morning without expecting a murder to take place, or at least without dreading one. God is bigger, stronger, and far more loving than that.
And we have proof.
- Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”
- Psalm 147:3 – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
- Psalm 103:8 – “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.”
That’s not a God who sends trouble just because He thinks we haven’t had enough trials in our lives. While God allows trials and uses them to teach us (James 1:2-7), God clearly doesn’t want us to suffer just for the sake of suffering.
So what should Benjamin and I be doing about our attitudes?
Well, we should do what you should do when you feel afraid of the future, whether your fears seem as irrational as ours or if yours seem totally legitimate.
First, when the future seems too uncertain to be trustful, we should pull out our Bibles. The Bible clearly lays out the love, grace, and mercy of God, as we saw above, as well as the power of God to protect us and the wisdom of God to give us direction. It also lays flat out that sometimes we will have trials, but we can read that Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Second, we should pray. The Bible tells us that God isn’t scoffing at our fears, although I’m sure our total distrust is saddening. God instead wants to hear our fears and worries and to comfort us. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to be “casting all our care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Third, we should make a conscious effort to dispel thoughts of doubt. Worry is a sin (Matthew 6:25-34). Sometimes that feels a little unfair because doubts creep into our minds seemingly uninvited, but we are the ones who invite them to stay. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says that we need to be “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” That includes worries of any sort. (A helpful tip for doing this is found in Philippians 4:8-9.)
I know our particular vein of worry may not be a problem for you. That’s fantastic. But what about worries about money, school, children, friends, time, etc.? In God’s eyes, the eyes of the loving One who sees and holds the future, even ‘rational’ fears seem as silly as the worry that if I’m silent in the next room, I must have died. (And yes, that is sometimes a fear of Benjamin’s)