Worry often comes from trying to control things we don’t really have control over. Trusting God and letting go of control becomes much easier when we believe he cares about us, rewards us, and has good plans for our lives.
Do you believe God wants to reward you?
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.Hebrews 11:6 NIV
Real faith means believing God will reward you when you sincerely seek him. It’s very important to God that we have this kind of faith; the Bible says we actually can’t please him without it.
If you trust that God rewards you when you seek him, you won’t feel as much of a need to try to seek control. Instead, you can put your energy into something you can control – getting to know God better and seeking to build a close relationship with him.
Evaluate: where do you put your trust?
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. 6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”Jeremiah 17:5-8 NIV
This passage shows us two places we can put our trust: in man, or in God. “Drawing strength from mere flesh” means we are trying to control our lives with human strength, energy, and effort, instead of trusting God.
- Who or what do you put your trust in? And what is the result?
- Do you relate more to the “bush in the wastelands” or the “tree planted by the water”? Why?
Give up the illusion of control
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:30-34 NIV
Worry often comes from trying to control things you really don’t have much control over. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us how to let go of these kinds of worries: change your priorities. If you make God’s kingdom and your relationship with him your first priority, God promises to cover everything you need.
What are the things you want to control that fill you with worry? How can you choose to seek God’s righteousness and God’s kingdom instead of worry about those things?
You can’t love God if you don’t trust him
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
The Bible says that love always trusts. Making a decision to trust God is part of loving him.
Have you ever tried to be close to someone who doesn’t trust you? It’s not easy. Mistrust makes us do hurtful things, like malign others’ motives, criticize their actions, and withhold affection.
You may be acutely aware of how it feels to be mistrusted, but have you ever considered how God feels when you don’t trust him?
In what ways do you need to repent in loving God by choosing to trust him?
Trusting God and letting go of selfishness
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?Luke 9:23-25 NIV
From this scripture, we learn that following God means you say “No” to what you want and “Yes” to what God wants for your life. Sometimes, our desires for control boil down to one thing: self-interest. We want what’s best, easiest, and most comfortable for ourselves.
The problem is, if your life is focused on getting what you want, Jesus says you will end up losing yourself and your God-given purpose.
What are some areas of your life in which you have been unwilling to “deny yourself”? How do you think trusting God and letting go of control in these areas would lead you to find the life God wants you to have?
Decide to give God control of your life and allow him to lead you to become who you are destined to be.
This Bible Study was inspired by the Believe: A Fascinating Journey from the “Believe” series.