Why Can’t I Stop Worrying? by Jill Briscoe

Why Can’t I Stop Worrying?
Jill Briscoe

I am a worrier. Yes, I know. I’m a Christian and Christians aren’t supposed to worry. To give you an idea of how long this has been going on, our eldest son’s first words were, “Oh dear!” That was well over 40 years ago. I’d been a Christian worker for many years when he said that, and I was a missionary to boot!

I can understand perfectly why people who don’t know Jesus worry. They have no anchor for their soul or anyone to hush their fears to sleep. They have no one to pray for them, support them in their darkest hour, or assure them that there is a heaven to go to, a Christ to take them there, and a Holy Spirit to permeate their souls with a peace that passes understanding like believers in Jesus do. Even though I became a Christian, I found to my great disappointment that I simply had a whole set of new things to worry about!

At first, I worried I would lose my friends if I told them about the Lord. Would I have the courage to stand for Christ at my university? How would my newfound faith affect my relationship with my boyfriend? Later, when married and in full-time Christian work, I worried my kids would grow up to reject God. I was hoping that knowing Him, reading the Bible, and praying would stop the things I worried about.

I searched the Bible to see if it would promise me a trouble-free life. Sadly, I found no guarantees. In fact, Jesus said to His disciples “You will have trouble” (John 16:33). And Paul reminded believers having a hard time, “To you it is given on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for His Name” (Phil. 1:29). So I have fought a lifelong battle with worry. What do I worry about now that I have been a Christian all these years? All the things I worried about at the beginning - family, relationships, church, and the world!

I still worry about the past I can do nothing about and, likewise, the future. I worry about the present that I can do something about, that I won’t be able to do anything about it! I worry about my family and their families, too; and because we have 13 grandchildren, you can see I have plenty of worry practice!

I worry about the talks I have to get ready for. I worry that I won’t have enough time to prepare, or material to teach, or that the talks won’t be interesting and keep people’s attention. I worry about the world in turmoil, the travel we do, and whether terrorism will win the day. I worry about our friends around the world who live in dangerous situations for Jesus’ sake.

If I worry enough, a little voice tells me, maybe God will see all that worry and be pleased with me for being so concerned that He won’t let anything I’m worrying about happen! Wrong! I have come to realize bad things happen to good people, even God’s people - or especially God& ...


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