Worry Wastes Life

Sharon JaynesListening to God, Living Fully, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, Trusting God 67 Comments

Are you a worry wart? Do you know any worry warts? Are you afraid of the future? Good news! God knows about our tendency to worry so He made sure there was lots in the Bible about it! Let’s talk about two words we read a lot in Scripture.

“Fear not!”

That’s a common shout out in the Bible. It usually comes when an angel suddenly appears. I don’t know about you, but if an angel appeared at my door, I might be a little afraid. OK, I’d probably be really afraid. No wonder the first thing they usually said was, “Fear not!”

But, not all fear is bad. It is good to be afraid of sticking your hand in a fire, crossing a busy street with your eyes closed, or jumping off a cliff. That is good healthy fear.

Bad fear is fear of present circumstances and future events that may or may never happen. Being too afraid to step out and do what God has called you to do. Being so worried about the consequences that you throw trusting God out the window. That’s an unhealthy fear.

The Holy Spirit will warn you with a healthy sense of fear to protect you, but He will never stir up worry to stymie your faith. I’ve often heard it said that worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have. And it’s true! Rehearsing your troubles before they even happen causes you to experience them many times, whereas you were not meant to experience them but once—when or if they actually occur.

Most of the biggest challenges you will ever face will be the result of things you never even thought to worry about or even crossed your mind. They will blindside you on a Thursday afternoon at 2:00, when you never saw it coming. You will not even have known that you should have worried about the possibility! (Now, don’t let that get you worried.)

We waste valuable time and forfeit a thriving faith when we allow “what ifs” to hold us captive.

What if I’m embarrassed?

What if I’m rejected?

What if I fall flat on my face?

What if I fail?

What if one or all of these things do happen when I step forward in obedience? I’ll live. God will be right there with me.

Here’s the bigger question: What if I don’t step forward in obedience? What if I ignore God’s prompting? I might miss out on one of His greatest blessings of my life.

Do you believe God loves you? I’m thinking you just answered yes. Then why do you worry that He doesn’t have your best interest in mind? He will not allow or initiate any circumstance in your life that is not filtered through His sovereign love for you. You will make it! Life might not unfold as you imagined, but when you place your hand in His and trust in His love, you will survive and most likely thrive.

Paul had an incredible attitude about the “what ifs” in his life. He had the mind-set of bring it on. The Pharisees couldn’t stand him, but they found his attitude made it impossible to stop him. They threw him in prison and he said, “That’s OK. Give me some parchment and ink. I’ll write some letters to the churches. I’ll write to them about how to have joy in all circumstances.”

They chained him to a prison guard and he said, “That’s OK. I’ll tell him about Jesus. As a matter-of-fact, I’ll bring his whole family to Christ!”

They threatened to kill him and he said, “That’s OK. I’ll get to go to heaven and be with Jesus. What could be better?”

Paul faced his fears and booted them out the door with the love of God. What do you do to a guy like that?

Paul wrote: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!” (Philippians 1:21–22).

He wasn’t worried or concerned about his future. Paul was at peace with whatever happened on his faith journey because He trusted in the character and love of God. And with a faith like that, the natural consequence is to live bold. And that’s what we can do today!

Heavenly Father, I will not walk in fear today. I will kick fear out of the door…give it the boot. I know that You will guide me as I walk in obedience today. If my act of obedience appears to result in a failure, I know that it is not, because obeying you is the ultimate success regardless of the apparent outcome. Oh Lord, I breathe in peace and exhale worry. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is one fear that you need to kick out the door today? Click on the comment button and fill in this blank. Today, I am kicking the fear of ____________ out of the door of my heart!

Today’s devotion was taken from my book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold.  A mediocre, mundane faith is not what you were made for! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith, living less than what we had hoped. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to TAKE HOLD of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you! Click on the book cover to download a sample chapter and view a quick video. And if you’re looking for a new study for your women’s group or individual study, Take Hold includes a Bible Study guide in the back.

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Comments 67

  1. I try to trust, but when circumstances get in the way, that’s when I loose trust!
    It’s funny, God always comes through 🙂

  2. Today I am kicking out the fear of not being part of the rapture and working with a new boss. Also, not being reunited with my boyfriend.

    1. “If my act of obedience appears to result in a failure, I know that it is not, because obeying you is the ultimate success regardless of the apparent outcome. ”
      This may be one of the most powerful statements I have ever read! Today, I am kicking my fear of failure, and not obeying God “correctly”, out the door!

  3. Today I am kicking the fear of rejection as we walk forward in obedience, trusting the Lord for another adoption.

  4. Today, I am kicking the fear of not saying the right thing out of the door of my heart!
    I have to hardest time talking with upper management when they come for visits at my job. I always manage to say the wrong things which usually leave us in uncomfortable silence. Because of that anytime we are due for a visit, I do my best to try to get off that day, or just drive myself crazy with anxiety. Sadly the same thing worries me about the opportunity to become a leader at my church. I am afraid I will say the wrong thing, and embarrass myself, and then have people think that I am not a good leader. I just need to ask the Lord to give me the right words and surrender to him and trust him to guide my words.

    1. Amen! I struggle in the same area and have recently been appointed to a major leadership role in my church. I’ve learned to practice practice practice and prepare prepare prepare before I have to speak. I even write down what I’m going to say and almost memorize it.. and like the devotion said we must have faith that God is right there with us every step of the way and even if we do mess up and stumble he will be right there to pull us back up to where we belong.

  5. That my oldest son has alienated himself from his daughters and the rest of our family. He doesn’t seem to care about anybody but his new wife and her children.

  6. The fear of moving from where I am content and in a situation of convenience. We live in a nice house, close to everything I,am conveniently use to, my husband wants to move. I don’t really want to. I need God to guide me where He wants us/me to be.

  7. Sharon, I am truly thankful that God prompted me to read your devotional this morning. I am about to take my nursing boards this coming Saturday and am fighting to rest in the faith that since God has called me to do this, He will equip me. I am in my fifties and have significant health challenges. Going to nursing school during this season of my life (not to mention during a pandemic) was not part of my plans, however God made it clear it was part of His. I have experienced an overwhelming number of “But God” moments and have felt the presence of my Savior every moment. Yet here I am….struggling to allow His peace to comfort me. Why do I give the enemy a foothold? I KNOW God is for me, not against me, especially for this last test. He will take it with me and do what He always has been….be my strength when I am weak.
    Please pray for me to remain in Him with full faith and that the enemy will stay out of my mindset. My heart’s desire is to give God ALL the praise and glory for what He has accomplished in and through me. I love Him too much to give anything less.

    1. First of all, huge kudos for letting Christ guide your life and your future career in the nursing field. That is so wonderful! And, regarding your last upcoming test–here’s what Louie Giglio says in his powerful book, Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table; “My task was to concentrate on the Good Shepherd, the One who owned the table”. From Psalm 23 we know that the Good Shepherd has prepared a table for us; “It’s a table for two, and the Devil is not invited to sit.” You are united as one with Christ and He has won the victory, therefore you have won the victory also.

    2. Chrissi,
      I was just rereading this devotion and read the comments and saw yours. My daughter is taking her NCLEX certification wednesday and it have been worried about it. I give you such credit for going back to school nursing school during a pandemic no less congrats. Hoping your test went well and best wishes to you in this new chapter!

  8. Today I am kicking the fear of religious persecution out of the door of my heart in Jesus name I will move boldly forward with faith in the finished work of the Cross❤️🎚🌈🦅

  9. Today, I am kicking the fear of how my family or others may respond and how the enemy may attempt to discourage or discredit me as I write the content and continue building my new website to help other heal from pain (of all kinds) out of the door of my heart!

    Last week’s post, “You go, girl” was crucial timing for me, as I was struggling to continue writing (especially the About section for new website), having lost the joy for fear, and for how it’s honestly hard to keep doing good work. I want to be rid of the fear and shame as I tell real life stories of what it can look like to face your pain with God, and show others how a heart can become whole again because of Jesus. I want to focus on the holy, good possibilities, instead of the bad (that may not even happen).

    I’m still working on the “About” section, so this is another crucially timed help and encouragement. Thank you!

  10. I am kicking the fear of not completing my MSW program by the end of the year. By faith I will graduate!

  11. My fear is I will not get to see my one and only infant grandson again. My daughter has threatened me with this because I will not loan her money & co-sign to purchase a house.

    1. Jannan, as a Jesus loving grandparents, we decided not to continue helping our son’s family from their home being foreclosed on. When they bought it, we expressed a couple of major concerns which they chose to ignore. (They were never put on the street.) Yes, our wonderful LORD had to help us through some hard times with them, but He also had to help them grow in His way, not ours. I had so much worry in my life about them, that God taught me to put that are on Him. Through some hard times, our kids looked to God for His guidance! Take another step of faith and leave the sorry behind!

  12. I kick the fear out of moving to a new location knowing no on and no income coming in But God has called my husband and I and we are stepping out in faith

  13. Today I am kicking out the fear of not surviving my knee replacement and recovery on Friday out the door of my heart.

  14. I’m kicking the fear of failing at a new job I’m currently trying in. It’s one that’s completely unlike any position I’ve done and all in Zoom online !! It’s been so challenging and I have to take a test to ensure I’m able to go live on the phones. It’s a position working from my home for the St of Illinois as a Covid Tracer/Investigator. I’ve been fearful of failure. Today I’m kicking out that liar Fear !! Thank you Lord for your strength!

  15. I am kicking out the fear that my adult children will never get along. Also, they do not attend church even though they were raised in church. My grandchildren are not taken to church.

  16. I am kicking the fear of failing in my finances and budgeting today. I have struggled with this fear for years and I’m tired. I’m giving it to You Lord!!!!!

  17. Today I’m kicking fear of failure and being laughed at, in my new job. I haven’t worked for many years and it’s a new career for me at the age of 54.
    I go into this in the strength and support of God my Father. I step into it knowing that God has gone before me. In Jesus name Amen!!

  18. Today I am kicking the huge fear of being alone in life and surviving this divorce out the door of my heart. I need to look up and forward in this life!

  19. This is so timely for me, today I am kicking the fear of health & restoration out of the doorof my heart.

  20. Today i am kicking out fear of worrying about who else i am going to lose next in my life. In the past 2 years i lost my dear sister and mother.

  21. Sharon,

    Thank you for your inspirational message. Believe it or not I had a friend share a situation that led them to speak with me and her words to me was I need you to FAST. The conversation brought to mind the scripture of wicked people who will dig a pit for the righteous. The past 2 days for me has been filled with worry and fear. Lack of sleep and eating. I am on a FAST! Today I kick away worrying and fear of the unknown. Lord you promise never to leave or foresake me. My obedience and faith in you will remain always. Thank you Lord!

  22. “If my act of obedience appears to result in a failure, I know that it is not, because obeying you is the ultimate success regardless of the apparent outcome. ”
    This may be one of the most powerful statements I have ever read! Today, I am kicking my fear of failure, and not obeying God “correctly”, out the door!

  23. Today I’m not going to fear the unknown of what my spouses fate will be with the cancer he is fighting.

  24. I love to travel, but in today’s world there is so much fear out there especially as related to Covid. Before Covid, travel was not AS stressful. I have a flight to miami for a trip to Poland, and it’s a mess out there in the skies. American Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights, horrifically, a hotel just collapsed yesterday with 100 + people still missing—in Miami. I worry about their families and the impact on air travel. I’ve been hesitant to book ridiculously priced hotel rooms with 2 star ratings. It seems as travel restarts, the sharks are there to profit. And sheesh! I’ll be WAY up in the air trusting in the Lord to carry us in an AA flight to Miami safely. If He chooses not to, what is the worst that can happen? I’ll be at the drawing board again in due time for our trip to Switzerland. Honestly, we’ve already experienced travel challenges, but my sensitivity is greater when in fact, my faith should be stronger, as God has been faithful all along the way in getting us to where he wants to go. Please pray for the families of the many loved ones families are grieving over in the disaster in Miami. Heartbreaking… 🙁

  25. Today, I am kicking the fear of spending the rest of my life alone out the door of my heart. I have 2 children who are grown and wonderful parents. I am praying for God to bring someone into my life. I know that He is preparing me for this person. I thank God everyday for knowing that I am never truly alone. He is always with me!

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