Why Should I Worry?

As a child, I used to sing a chorus by Eugene Peterson that says, “Why worry, when you can pray. Trust Jesus . . .” Here’s an arrangement I found on Youtube:


Philippians 4:6-7 says:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

In A Confident Heart, Rene Swope says we can conquor worry with the following three steps:

STEP ONE – Stop worrying: “press the pause button on . . . consuming concerns.” We all know this is easier said than done. Often we fall into some routine worrying in our lives. This is my list:

  • What if I don’t meet that person’s expectations?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if I don’t meet this writing deadline?
  • What if my marriage falls apart?

If I can choose to press the “pause button” and examine what I’m worried about, I realize I’m wasting my energy fretting about many things I don’t have control over. I will always fail to meet someone’s expectations. I will not always succeed at what I do. Some writing deadlines won’t be met. Without God’s grace, my marriage will fall apart. Even if these things do happen, will it be the “end of my world” so to speak? No. The problem comes when I base my worth and significance on anything other than God.

People will fail me and I will fail others. After all, we’re human. But, God doesn’t love me because of anything I do. He loves me because He chooses to love me. There isn’t anything I can do to make God love me more . . . AND There isn’t anything I can do to make God love me less. My whole world may fall apart, but I can be secure in God’s love. I don’t need to worry!

STEP TWO – Start praying: “tell God what I need.” We all know what it’s like trying to stop a bad habit. If we don’t fill the void of a bad habit with a good habit, we’ll fail every time. We can’t just stop worrying. If we focus on not worrying, we’ll end up worrying more. Instead, we need to pray. God is our Heavenly Father.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

Book: One Thousand GiftsSTEP THREE – Keep thanking God: “remind (your) heart of God’s goodness by thanking Him for what He’s done.” Many of us are familiar with Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts. Every day we have a choice. We can let worry overtake and paralyze us, or we can choose gratitude. Worry and gratitude are mutually exclusive – they cannot co-exist in our minds.

  • Instead of worrying about people’s expectations, I can thank God that He created me as a unique individual and He loves me.
  • Instead of worrying about failures, I can thank God that He knows my weaknesses. I can also thank Him that “. . . we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
  • Instead of worrying about missed deadlines, I can do my best to meet the deadlines and thank God for the results. My schedule is not always God’s schedule!
  • Instead of worrying that my marriage may fall apart, I can do my best to be a loving wife and mother. I can thank God for my husband. I can choose to respect him and honor him. Even if a spouse dies or chooses to leave, God never abandons us

What about you? What worries nag at you? What will you choose to be thankful for today?


  1. Kris Czerniawski Danko on December 5, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Thank you for sharing!! I love how you expanded upon the three steps that Renee gave for getting over worry. I will admit, I am a worrier, although I’m trying to start trusting more and worrying less–especially when I realize how much time I spend worrying that doesn’t effect anything with the end results of the situation!! I think it’s a life-long process to let go!

    Kris Danko (OBS Small Group Leader)

    • Ruth L. Snyder on December 5, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Kris, thanks for stopping by. We all have things we struggle with and yes, it is a lifelong process. I’m thankful for God’s patience 🙂

  2. shirleypdx on December 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Ruth: Don’t worry anymore about your writing deadlines, the skill, talent and heart will always be there as demonstrated in this masterpiece. Thank you for bringing to the forefront always, your heart IN HIS,

  3. Ruth L. Snyder on December 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Shirley, Thanks for your encouragement 🙂

  4. Marilyn Vaters on December 6, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Thanks for sharing Ruth. I must admit I am a worrier, my husband say he doesn’t need to worry I do enough for the both of us. I have really had to rely on scripture and prayer big time this week and have found I stop when I start to worry and pray more now. I use to sing that chorus as a little girl and it pops into my mind when I worry too much . Thanks for the three steps to overcome worry.
    Marilyn (OBS Group Leader)

    • Ruth L. Snyder on December 6, 2013 at 7:00 am

      Marilyn, thanks for taking time to read my post. You’ve had a very busy week. If we can learn to turn our worry into opportunities to “trust and obey” we will be doing what God wants us to. May God continue to meet you in the midst of your circumstances!

  5. homeskoolmom on December 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    What great thoughts Ruth. I really appreciate how you expounded on each of those 3 points. Have a wonderfully blessed day.

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