Worrying is a futile attempt to control the uncontrollable, says Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren in a message explaining four reasons why people shouldn't waste their lives dwelling on things that might or might not happen.
In a recent Daily Hope devotional posted to his website, Warren, whose church is based in Lake Forest, California, details areas in life where people typically worry because of a lack of control.
"We can't control the economy, so we worry about the economy," writes Warren. "We can't control our children, so we worry about our children. We can't control the future, so we worry about the future. But worry never solves anything! It's stewing without doing."
The Saddleback pastor points to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount to provide four reasons why Christians should avoid worry:
1. Worry is unreasonable
Warren expounds upon Matthew 6:25, which says: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?"
He explains, "Jesus is saying, if it's not going to last, don't worry about it. To worry about something you can change is stupid. To worry about something you can't change is useless. Either way, it's unreasonable to worry."
2. Worry is unnatural
Warren advises believers to take note of the birds, which don't sow, reap, or store food away, and yet God still provides for them. "There's only one thing in all of God's creation that worries: human beings," he says. "We're the only things God has created that don't trust Him, and God says this is unnatural," (Matthew 6:26).
3. Worry is unhelpful
Worry doesn't change a thing, Warren adds, citing Matthew 6:27 which says: "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
"When you worry about a problem it doesn't bring you one inch closer to the solution," Warren emphasizes. "It's like sitting in a rocking chair — a lot of activity, energy, and motion, but no progress. Worry doesn't change anything except you. It makes you miserable!"
4. Worry is unnecessary
In every area of life, God makes provisions to ensue that people have everything they need.
"Does that include bills? Yes," he writes. "Does that include relational conflicts? Yes. Does that include your dreams and goals and ambitions? Yes. Does that include the health issues you don't know what to do with? Yes. God will meet all your needs in Christ. Don't worry about it!"
To further his point, Warren cites Philippians 4:19, which says: "God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus."