Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God. When you fret, you place concern for yourself at the center of your life. It’s one thing to tell yourself not to worry, and a very different thing to be unable to worry because your disposition won’t allow it. A disposition founded on Jesus Christ doesn’t worry because it rests in perfect confidence in the Father.

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7 kjv). We think of resting in the Lord as easy. It is easy—that is, until the nest is upset, until we find ourselves living, as so many are today, in tumult and anguish. Can we hear God telling us “Don’t fret” then? If this “don’t” doesn’t work then, it will never work. This “don’t” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace. It must work in your particular case, or it will work in no one’s case. Resting in the Lord doesn’t depend on external circumstances at all but on your relationship to him.

Fretting always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how wise we are; they are really an indication of how wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and he was never anxious, because he wasn’t out to realize his own ideas. He was out to realize his Father’s ideas: “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38).

All our worry is caused by calculating without God. Have you been propping up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put your anxiousness away, and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not worry. Pray to him, “Lord, I take you into my calculations as the biggest factor now.”

Wisdom from Oswald

There is nothing, naturally speaking, that makes us lose heart quicker than decay—the decay of bodily beauty, of natural life, of friendship, of associations, all these things make a man lose heart; but Paul says when we are trusting in Jesus Christ these things do not find us discouraged, light comes through them.  The Place of Help, 1032 L