Jan 11

Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Quote,Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “No Fear / Know God,” Ryan preached from Psalm 27, addressing at length the subject of fear and worry.

The Psalmist preaches to himself about the goodness of God and the greatness of His salvation, even in, as Ryan put it, life’s “worst-case scenarios.” Though unlikely, God’s salvation is great if even an army were raised up against us. What could be worse than that?

In the course of his sermon, Ryan cited a helpful book on the subject of fear and worry by Ed Welch, Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and The God of Rest. About Psalm 27, Welch writes,

Worry scans the universe looking for more worries to accumulate; it needs to be directed to what is most important.…Beauty is just what worry needs. Worry’s magnetic attraction can only be broken by a stronger attraction, and David is saying we can only find that attraction in God himself. (pp. 152, 154)

Welch warns against the danger of worry and shows how we are transformed from worriers to trusters:

Worry is dangerous. It is not to be trifled with. When you find worries, anxieties, and fears, pay attention. . .

At this point, we know that worry and fear are more about us than about the things outside us. They reveal what is valuable to us, and what is valuable to us in turn reveals our kingdom allegiances. We also know that God is patient and compassionate with us, and he gives grace upon grace. Though alert to our divided allegiances, he persists in calling us away from fear and worry, persuades us of the beauty of the kingdom, and gives more than we can imagine.

With this in mind, his words should sound attractive, and we should be more and more inclined to listen. We should still like to abolish anxieties quickly, but we are learning that God values strong foundations and gradual growth, and such foundations are established as we feed on him and his words. As we meditate on Scripture and make it our own, we should anticipate slow but steady change. Worriers should be experts in a handful of passages. (pp. 95, 147)

To be sure, God is more valuable than anything we could lose in this life, and He works through our troubles to strengthen us in that conviction.