A Book Review from Books At a Glance
by Hannah Miller
Bilkes’ booklet on worry is a motivating piece on how the believer is really to care for their worries. His work opens with Philippians 4:6-7, the well-known verses about the peace of God passing all understanding. Believers are to lay their concerns at the foot of the cross; they are to pray and insist that Christ is the answer. Towards the beginning of the booklet, Bilkes states, “The Bible is so realistic and also practical and strengthening” (2). He follows through with this mantra throughout the booklet as he demonstrates that the Bible is not just platitudes but is full of real help for real people from a real God.
Bilkes not only calls for the believer to live free of the worry of the world, but he also calls for deep compassion for those who worry. His care is seen as he turns the believer to focus on their salvation. He states, “We can come to the throne of grace and lay all our cares and needs before God, knowing that He has promised to provide for those who love Him” (9). There is a deep care for the people of God, and there is help for all of the worries the believer must fight off.
After giving much grace, Bilkes graciously says that the “believer must live in a constant state of watchfulness and vigilance” (9). He argues that being watchful and vigilant gives peace to the believer as care is exercised in the way a believer walks. From there, he discusses the responsibility of the glory of God. Bilkes states, “We must not just stop worrying. We must do so by replacing our anxiety with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving to God that is grounded in faith in His character and promises” (14). Bilkes discusses prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving as the cornerstones for which the believer combats worry.
Bilkes desires for believers not to be caught in the worries of the world. When giving examples of how to combat worry, one of the ways that Bilkes lists are to aim at the glory of God; he says that one accomplishes this through fulfilling the various responsibilities God has given to each person and that “God deserves our care, love, and utmost devotion as we fulfill the responsibilities he has given us” (pp 10). Throughout this work, Bilkes insists that being anxious about nothing is not a passive act but something the believer is very much involved in. His main themes are that believers should be warriors, that believers should care about being worried, and care for those who worry. Believers are to be stewards of what God has given them, and knowing that God provides should help the believer to cease worrying. The second half of the booklet is all about how to pray, how to be at the feet of Jesus, and how to live out the peace of God. Bilkes held care and conviction hand-in-hand in an excellent charge to the believer.
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Buy the books
HOW CAN I STOP WORRYING?, by Gerald M. Bilkes