The condition of the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for some to become stressed out. In a recent poll taken by Gallup in September, 49% of those surveyed were worried about contracting the coronavirus. In another survey, 85% of those surveyed were worried about the economy. Although the economy appears to be recovering, there is still concern about what is in the future, given a possible change in leadership in the Presidency and Congress.
Worry is not just a concern for adults; young people spend much time worrying. They worry about what people think, about parents arguing, parents getting a divorce, not fitting in, low grades, and college plans, to name a few. Look at any newspaper, magazine, or listen to any news broadcast and you will find stress-causers all fueled by worry; and, it affects all ages.
Worry is a universal response to the pressure or circumstances of an uncertain future. Worry always questions, “What if?” It has been said that “worry burns up energy, stretches emotions, disturbs the peace and robs a person of contentment. If unchecked, worry may have a very detrimental effect on the physical body as well. Worry is defined as fretting, anxiety, care, or excessive concern. It expects the worst and awaits catastrophes. Worry sees obstacles in every opportunity; problems in every possibility; risks in every reach; chance in every challenge; danger in every dare and peril in every potential.” The progression of worry is fear.
Jesus Discusses the Issue of Worry
In Matthew 6:25–34, Jesus attaches worry to man’s desire for security outside of a dependence on God. He concludes:
So, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and these things will be given to you, as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:31-34, NIV)
All that Jesus is addressing is based on a decision to serve God or money (v 24). Jesus takes time to make a connection between worry and the use of money. In other words, when the importance of material things, a product of money, becomes an overriding desire, then it can result in worry. Financial concerns hinge on having more than enough. Solomon provides this account of worry:
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income…as goods increase, so do those who consume them…. The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun; wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner. (Eccl. 5:10-13, NIV)
Furthermore, God offers protection for COVID-19. This protection is found in Psalm 91:10:
"No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;" (NKJV)
Release your Faith for this promise for your home, classroom and school.
Actions to Deal with Worry and Fear
Rather than being preoccupied with material things, our ambition should be based on verse 33 that tells us to seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
We know that as we follow this command, God has pledged himself with a covenant faithfulness to respond – “all these things shall be added to you.” Consider these two actions.
1. Spiritual tone. We must not allow the pandemic or material goods to set our emotional and spiritual tone. We need to keep our eyes on God as our protector and provider rather than on sickness or the abundance of wealth and ability; and set our heart on eternal promises, which help allow the invisible force of our faith to be released for protection and provision.
2. Importance of faith. It is the release of faith in God’s Word and His healing and provision (rather than worry) and our trust in His care for each of us that brings us through present worrisome situations. These actions allow us to face our problem situation squarely and not worry – even when we see no immediate change.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:28,37)
This year, believe that all things will be working together for good.