Dr. Ligon Duncan, the chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary, addressed the question of whether Christians should worry. We face a bleak time. It is easy to become discouraged looking at the cultural and political landscape. Personally speaking some of us are undergoing great trials whether they are financial, relational, or medical.
Should Christians worry? Listen to what Dr. Duncan has to say.
Below is the transcript of Dr. Ligon’s encouraging words of wisdom.
Our circumstances are not in fact new. Before the Protestant Reformation there was widespread despair in Europe. Black Death struck Europe in the mid-14th century and up to a third perhaps up to a half of the population of Europe died. The Hundred Years War began in the 14th century, and there was a major ecclesiastical divide in the Church which saw Popes battling anti-popes and a division in Western Catholic Christendom. And people were despairing. They thought the world was coming to an end.
Out of that tremendous trial and fire came the Protestant Reformation. The Lord is always up to something, even when the culture looks dark and dangerous and opposing, and as believers we need to have confidence in the sovereign God that even when we look at our culture and we’re depressed and it not what it ought to be and not even what we remembered it to be when we were younger – don’t think that God is not up to something. He is always preparing the way to lift up the name of Jesus and to do a great work. And so we have confidence that even in dark times, the Lord is up to something.
I love that quote, “be anxious for nothing” or to translate it into modern English, “do not worry about anything.” And I love it because one of my particular struggles is with worry, and when I worry I do not show that I fully and adequately trust in the sovereignty of God. I have to constantly go back to that passage and hear Paul say to me, “be anxious for nothing,” don’t worry about anything and of course Jesus says the same thing in the gospels. Jesus and Paul have the same message, but here is another thing I love about that statement – Paul also elsewhere says that the daily anxiety or cares of the churches are upon Him. And I love it that it is Paul who says that! The Paul who tells me not to worry about anything tells me that his burden to care for the churches causes him to be tempted to worry all of the time.
And it just reminds us all that care and concern are good, but care and concern that are not adequately rooted in a trust in God’s sovereign providence over us and His watch care of us and His superintendence over us that those things can lead us in despair. So the key to not worrying is believing in the good, sovereign providence of God. His eye is on the sparrow and I know that He cares for me.