In her book To Fly Again, Gracia Burnham quotes a devotional written by E. Stanley Jones, Methodist missionary to India. The devotional is entitled “Worry is Atheism.” Jones writes,
A person who worries says, “I cannot trust God; I’ll take things into my own hands.” Result? Worry, frustration, incapacity to meet the dreaded thing when it does come. With God, you can meet it, overcome it, assimilate it into the purpose of your life. Alone, you fuss and fume and are frustrated.
Worry says, “God doesn’t care, and so He won’t do anything--I’ll have to worry it through.” Faith says, “God does care, and He and I will work it out together. I’ll supply the willingness, and He will supply the power--with that combination we can do anything.
Then Jones tells a story about Martin Luther:
One morning, when he was blue and discouraged, his wife appeared [clothed] in black. At Luther’s inquiry as to what the mourning meant, she replied, “Haven’t you heard? God is dead.”
Jones said, “Luther saw the absurdity--and so should you. God lives--so will you!”
I’m afraid I’d have to agree that worry is a form of atheism. Atheism says there is no God. Worry acts as if there were no God.
So what is the antidote? The Bible says that prayer is the cure for worry. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (NLT). I know that sounds so simplistic when your heart is aching with some deep concern. But just try it today. Every time your worry comes to mind, immediately turn to prayer. There is a God who cares!
Gracia Burnham with Dean Merrill, To Fly Again: Surviving the Tailspins of Life(Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006), 61-62.
E. Stanley Jones, Abundant Living (Nashville: Abingdon, 1942), 74.