How do you combat worry when it seems like there’s always an issue to stress over? We worry about our finances, our jobs, and how we’re going to find time to get to the grocery store since it’s already 5:00 p.m., and the fridge is empty. We worry about our kids, our parents, and what we’re going to wear to the party this weekend.
I happen to be a highly skilled Ninja worrier. I can move from peace to panic in two seconds flat, and I work myself up as if I could solve my problems by fretting.
But God’s Word tells us worry is useless. It accomplishes nothing. Jesus asked his disciples, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt. 6:27)
Thinking about Jesus’ question helps me realize we ‘re spinning our wheels and going nowhere fast when we worry. We’re wasting time and energy on something that accomplishes nothing.
What if we could learn to channel that energy into trusting God?
King David had plenty of problems to feel anxious about. Saul went on a manhunt for him, so he had to flee for his life. David also endured the death of his best friend, and he must have suffered greatly when one of his own sons raped his daughter. Finally, near the end of David’s reign, he experienced the ultimate treachery: His own son rebelled against him.
Yet in Psalm 131, he reflects on the uselessness of worrying over matters too big to solve on our own:
David learned the discipline of calming and quieting his mind in the face of trouble.
When I consider all that David endured, my own challenges don’t look as troublesome as I thought. Yet I still fall hostage to worry.
I want to learn to calm and quiet my mind and rest in God’s lap like a trusting child. I’d rather put my hope in my Heavenly Father instead of letting my thoughts spin out of control down dark bunny trails of fear.
I imagine you’d like to learn this as well. Wouldn’t it be great to hand anxiety over to God in exchange for His peace? What if we learned to trust God like a child trusts a faithful father or mother?
Honestly, we probably can’t learn this today. (At least I can’t.) But we can make progress.
We can combat worry by practicing trust.
I like the idea of practice. We might not trust God 100% today, but we can practice trusting Him. We can practice the small, daily choices that people of faith make: drawing near to our Heavenly Father and turning our worries over to Him.
The next time you feel anxious, practice these steps along with me:
1) Remember God’s Promises.
Read them in scripture and repeat them to yourself.
2) Praise Him for His greatness.
Crank up your worship music and ask God to enlarge your picture of His power and love.
Ask God to provide what you need or intervene in your situation. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance for your next steps.
4) Choose to trust in His perfect love.
He’s a good Father, always at work for our good. When doubts pop up in your thoughts, call to mind His steadfast love and faithfulness.
We don’t have to waste precious time and energy replaying worries in our minds. We can rehearse God’s promises instead. Let’s channel our energy into practicing faith. God has the solution to every problem and the power to meet every need. We’ll find renewed strength as we practice putting our hope and trust in Him. He will calm and quiet our fears.
Now it’s your turn: Are you a worrier, like me? What helps you to combat worry and lay your fears to rest?
A closer relationship with God can help us combat fear like nothing else can. I wrote More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times to help overwhelmed and distracted women recover a fresh sense of God’s presence, learn to hear His voice, and grow their prayer lives. Click on the image below for more info:
Are you facing the challenges of life on an empty tank? Need help renewing your relationship with God?
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Lisa H. says
I am a worrier! My mother was a worrier, too – I used to say that if it had been an Olympic sport, she’d have been a multiple gold medalist in worrying. It seems to get worse as I get older. I worry about things that might not be a big deal if I were just tending to myself, but they seem to be so much weightier now that I have a family to take care of. I’m working on taking those worrisome thoughts captive when I feel my brain starting to get into the worry groove. It might mean listening to worship music, or talking with a friend who can talk me off the ledge, or repeating a favorite scripture. It’s a work in progress, but I know God doesn’t intend for me to spend all my time worrying.
I saw the comment once that worry is temporary atheism. Like, when I worry, I stop believing in God. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but when I worry, I am telling him I don’t trust him to do his best for me. And I know that isn’t true!
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience, Lisa! I think it’s true that worrying might be even more of a temptation as we grow older –ahem– mature! I love those ideas you share about taking your thoughts captive. Blessings on your journey to more peace with God!
Nancy Ness says
I have been a worrier most of my life until my life changed and I no longer had the energy to even worry. It’s like I gave up and when I gave up God took over. I spent so much time in the Word of God I started to believe God’s promises are true. The faithful men and women of the Bible were not without trials and I saw how God grew their faith and He started growing mine. Oh, I still worry, but I now know the value in turning that worry into prayer for strength and direction and praise for all God has done in my life.
Thanks for adding in your thoughts here, Nancy! I love that you mention the men and women of the Bible went through trials. That is certainly true, and it encourages me as well. Blessings to you!