I used to be a world-class worrier.
Of course, I was…fear and worry go hand in hand. I craved a smooth water life and anything that could potentially stir the water was worth worrying about. So I worried about just about everything and anything that could happen to me or to someone on the very long list of people I loved.
The reason I tell you about my struggle with fear, worry, and monstrous anxiety is that I want to walk alongside you and help you discover the path to freedom from worry.
You see, I’ve learned a few truths the hard way:
- Fear and worry cannot prevent bad things from happening. We live in a sinful world and life is hard sometimes.
- Fear and worry only prevent you from enjoying the moment. It’s impossible to be happy today when you’re worried about tomorrow.
- God is able to deliver you from the paralysis of fear and help you stop worrying—and that is Good News!
Seriously, if God can help me, he can help anyone!
What do I mean when I say, “I learned the hard way”?
Well, one of the things I worried about most actually happened. All the hours I’d spent worrying didn’t prevent it. But even in the pain, something wonderful began to happen as God held me close and healed me. He revealed truths about his character. Character traits affirmed by the names he calls himself throughout the Bible.
And the more I learned about who God says he is and the more I focused on him, the less I worried. So I’d like to tell you about some of God’s names and character traits and tell you how they have helped me become a recovering worrier.
Hebrew: אֱלֹהִים – This is the first name of God found in the Bible. It means strength and power. It’s also plural. God revealed his triune nature in the very first verse of Scripture. Elohim—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God created and sustains everything. When I focus on who he is and all he does, my worry is replaced with the knowledge that he is able and strong. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and his grace is sufficient—whatever is happening today, or might happen tomorrow.
“In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.” –Genesis 1:1
The God who sees me.
The Lord never looks away. He is not distant. He not only sees you and me, he is with us. When I’m worried—I’m forgetting that he sees me, hears me, and cares for me with perfect unfailing love always and no matter what.
“Hagar said, ‘You are the God who sees me.'” She also said, “’Have I truly seen the One who sees me?’” –Genesis 16:13
God Most High—The One who reigns over everything. The One who is worthy of all our worship and praise.
God is sovereign. He is always and forever on the throne. He is over nations and rulers, politics, and people. He is greater than any evil and more personal than any problem you and I face. God is in control today—tomorrow and always!
“Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer.” –Psalm 78:35
God Everlasting—The One who lives outside of time. The One who never changes.
The Lord is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. He created time and yet he is not bound by it. He is unchanging. I can rest in the knowledge that the One who spoke the world into being is more than able to take care of me.
“Lord, through all the generations You have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, You are God.” –Psalm 90:1–2
God Almighty—all sufficient and all powerful. My provider—the One who is able to meet my needs always.
Worry is not only believing that something bad might happen, it is believing that if it happens I won’t have what I need to cope. But God, my provider promises to meet every need whatever happens…good or bad. He will give me strength, courage, peace, hope, comfort, and so much more.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.” –Psalm 91:1–2
God Who Gives Life—The One who created you with a purpose and faithfully cares for you each day.
God knows everything about me. He put together a unique one of a kind mixture of person and personality to create my story and he wants me to use it for his glory. Nothing about me is a surprise to God. You are not a surprise either. Your story is not a surprise. He loves you and cares for you.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” –Psalm 139:13
“I AM Who I AM.”
It is pronounced Jehovah or Yahweh and is used more than 7,000 times in the Old Testament. YHWH declares God’s absolute being—the source of everything, without beginning and without end.
God is present, powerful, and completely sufficient. He is the source of everything forever and always. I can trust that! I can trust him!
“God replied to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you’.” –Exodus 3:14
God Who Provides—The One who meets my needs.
Each time I worry, I’m doubting God’s ability to meet my needs if x, y, or z happens. But he did. He does. God provided for me through my worst moments and he continues to meet my needs every day beyond anything I could ever hope or image.
“Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”).” -Genesis 22:14
The Lord My Banner—The One who goes before me.
When I’m worried, I’m forgetting that God is eternal. He is already there in the moment I fear. He’s not worried. He knows what is going to happen. He knows what I will need and He will take care of me.
Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). 1
The Lord Who Heals – The One who heals me … body and soul.
Oh, this is an easy one. God healed my broken heart. My greatest fear was that a broken heart would break me. But it didn’t! And although God has not changed the circumstances, He has healed and restored me.
I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them.
The Lord My Peace – The One who calms, protects, and makes me whole.
Because God healed and restored me … I live with His peace.
The Lord gave me the peace I needed as our family lived through several years of difficult circumstances and He continues to give me that same peace today. And it really is a peace that goes beyond my ability to understand or fully explain.
“It is all right,’ the Lord replied. ‘Do not be afraid. You will not die.” And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). –Judges 6:23–24
Jesus is YHWH
Jesus, the Word made flesh, who existed with the Father before creation, the One who is life and light. The Messiah! The Great, I AM!
When I’m overwhelmed, I remember that Jesus “gets it.” He’s lived through all the things I tend to worry about. He is fully God, the One who loves so very much he willingly gave up the glories of heaven to become fully man … to suffer and die to save us. When we cry out to him—he understands and he cares.
‘Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!'” –John 8:58
The Lord Our Righteousness—The One who makes me right with God.
Jesus suffered for our sins on the cross so you and I could be made right before God forever. What do I have to worry about when I remember that I am forgiven by God’s grace through Jesus—and he will reign forever.
“In that day Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this will be its name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’ For this is what the Lord says: David will have a descendant sitting on the throne of Israel forever.” –Jeremiah 33:16–17
God of Unfailing Love
I don’t have a Hebrew or Greek word for this name of God. There doesn’t seem to be an official title that states it, but it is a truth written throughout Scripture. From Genesis through Revelation, the message is the same—God is a God of unfailing love and he loves you and me.
Anything God allows is filtered through his love. Whatever happens in my life, he will give me what I need to live and accomplish his will today—I know I have absolutely nothing to worry about.
“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.” –Philippians 4:6–7
God is who he says he is and he is able to demonstrate those things in your life and mine.
The names of God tell us…
He is Strength and Power.
He goes before.
He reigns forever.
He is the Everlasting and Almighty Giver of Life.
He is Provider, Healer, and the One who Gives Peace.
He is Jesus and he loves you!
You don’t need to worry.