What causes you to panic and experience that strange feeling in the pit of your stomach that won’t go away? For a few Americans, it was a radio drama broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” on October 30, 1938. In that dramatization of H. G. Wells’ 1898 novel by the same name, it was declared that Martians had invaded the United States. Whether or not the masses were thrown into hysteria remains debatable; nonetheless, at least a few citizens were convinced, albeit briefly, that their lives were threatened.
The fact that anyone would believe such a story may seem ludicrous to us today; however, as human beings we are often subject to panic. Why is that? Panic usually is the result of fear and worry. The Bible has a few things to say about that:
- “… don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
- “… don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear … Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying? If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:22,25-26)
- “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
While we make many excuses for our fear-induced panic, the cause is actually sin. Here are three reasons why we allow sin to produce worry and fear in our lives:
- Pride—Pride says, “I’ve got this.” Pride is self-reliant, and when we depend our ourselves we worry.
- Doubt— God made us and knows us intimately. When we fail to believe God’s promises and give our anxiety to Him, we panic.
- Destruction—God protects and Satan destroys. When we allow ourselves to become paralyzed by worry, we give Satan an opening to attack using one of his favorite destructive weapons: fear.
So, what do we do? While leading a kids worship experience a few years ago, I found myself teaching a biblical truth presented in the curriculum as a question and answer: “Who’s in control? God is all powerful, sovereign and good.” Oh, what a wonderfully powerful biblical truth!
When we face behavioral issues with kids, remember, God is all powerful. When we’re tempted to be anxious about attendance at Bible study, worship, or family events, remember, God is sovereign. When we have conflicts with parents and other leaders, remember, God is good. So, the next time Satan tempts you with fear, worry, and anxiety, listen to God. He is saying, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.”
Landry Holmes is the Manager of Lifeway Kids Ministry Publishing, Nashville, TN. A graduate of Howard Payne University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Landry served on church staffs before coming to Lifeway. He is a church leader, writer, workshop facilitator, and publisher. Landry also teaches children at his church in Middle Tennessee. He and his wife Janetta are the parents of two adult sons and two daughters-in-law.