Excerpt from Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
“I used to believe that in this world there are two kinds of people: natural worriers and naturally joyfully people. I couldn’t really help it that I was the worrying kind. I’m a problem solver, so I have to focus on things that need fixing. God can see that my intensity and anxiety are ministry related. I worry because I take His work seriously.
But then there’s that perplexing command: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). You’ll notice that it doesn’t end with “…unless you’re doing something extremely important.” No, it’s a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, “Do not be anxious about anything” (v. 6).
That came as a pretty staggering realization. But what I realized next was even more staggering.
When I am consumed by my problems–stressed out about my life, my family, my job–I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a “right” to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.
Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.
Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.”