“‘I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain
Ain’t that the truth. How many times have you worried about something that never actually happened? If you’re anything like me, the answer is a lot. I worry about my family, my job, my spouse, my home, etc. There’s SO much to worry about. I even worry when I know that what I’m worrying about is out of my control.
In Matthew 6:25, Jesus commands us “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” If that isn’t reason enough, He then goes on to say in verse 27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Buying Into the Lie That Worrying Will Help
Most of us know we shouldn’t worry and that no matter how much we worry, we still can’t change some situations. So why then do we as humans so often struggle with this issue? For me, most of the time a worry starts small and then my thoughts take over and make it seem much bigger. I know the situation is in God’s hands, but I buy into the lie that my worrying will somehow help God achieve the outcome I desire. Silly, right? But so many of us fall into this trap.
We often think that worrying will help us control things that are out of our control, but in fact, worry does the exact opposite—it ends up controlling us. Worry steals our time, energy and attention that could be used on other things—positive things that will further our character, focus, and relationship with God.
So how do we combat this problem we all are susceptible to? Below are a few tips that help me and will hopefully encourage you the next time you start to worry. It is a battle you and I will face time and time again, but these 5 tips can help us conquer the spirit of worry once and for all.
1. Replace worry with prayer.
Make prayer a habit, not worry. What would happen if every time you started to worry, you shifted to praying about what you’re worried about instead? Your perspective will change when you focus on God and not the situation that is concerning you. Prayer is more powerful than worry.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4: 4-6
2. Acknowledge God is with you.
God is bigger than your challenge. He knows the solution. He knows what it is going to take to get there, and He has your best interest at heart. If we know this to be true, then we can start to put our trust in Him rather than ourselves and our circumstances.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
3. Find joy.
Seek happiness in God, not in events or things or people. If you’re worrying about a certain situation, outcome, or person, rather than focusing on the negative thoughts, force yourself to focus on the positive. If you can’t find anything joyful around you, look up. God will always be our one true joy.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
4. Take comfort in God.
God knows the plan and outcome, even when you don’t. He gives us new mercies each morning, enough to cover whatever you may face today. The God who created the Heavens and the earth also created you for a plan and a purpose. Take heart in knowing that He has the all answers you seek.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
5. Surround yourself with good friends.
God created us to be relational beings. You don’t have to go through trouble or worry alone. Reach out to a godly, wise friend, someone you trust who may have gone through a similar situation as to what you’re worried about. They can shed light on your worry and pray with you.
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20
If you’re worrying about something in your life, it’s my prayer that these tips and verses might help you turn your focus from the situation to the God who holds everything in His hands. It’s okay to be concerned about things, but don’t let worry consume your life. Make a daily choice to remember the truth God has given you through His Word.
This article was originally posted by Jordyn at Mercy Multiplied.
Read how Micah learned how to cling to God in the midst of her anxiety and worrying that started in elementary school.