Worry kills. Scientists and researchers across the world unanimously agree that anxiety, worry, and distress can be deadly. A team of Australian researchers at Sydney’s Garvan Institute even confirmed this notion many years ago. They discovered that in times of high stress and worry, the human body releases a reactionary hormone called neuropeptide (NPY), which seeks to kill the good cells in your immune system. They remarked, “During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of neuropeptide, and it gets into the bloodstream where it inhibits the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens in the body. That stress makes you sick is no longer a myth; it is a reality, and we need to take it seriously.”
However, long before this was confirmed by modern science, the Lord Jesus said the same thing: “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matt. 6:27). According to Jesus, you cannot prolong your lifespan by worrying. Instead, worry will subtract from your lifespan! That’s why the old adage says, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its strength.” Therefore, given the dangerous consequences of worry, it is not surprising that Jesus commands us three times, “Do not worry” (Matt. 6:25, 31, 34).
But how does one win over worry? First, trust God’s gracious provision for your life. That is why Jesus emphasized over and over that God provides for His children: “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt. 6:26). Don’t worry about tomorrow—God is there. Don’t worry about your next meal—God will provide.
Second, pray to the Lord about the worries in your life, and cast your cares upon Him. Pray to God about anything that is causing you anxiety. In Philippians, Paul commanded: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:5b-7). Similarly, Peter encourages you to be, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
“Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath his wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.
God will take care of you,
through ev’ry day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.” — Civilla D. Martin (1866—1948), “God Will Take Care of You.”
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).
For more devotional entries like this, check out Brandon’s latest book, Bible Gleanings Volume II, which features 100 daily devotionals gleaned from God’s word: