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Monday
Aug072017

Kick the worrying habit: 6 no-fail Bible strategies to help you eliminate worry

Photo Credit: Getty/+ PeopleImages Editor's Note: The current article you are reading is part of EEW Magazine's August 2017 10-year Anniversary Issue, we're tackling worry and helping you trust in God's love, grace and good plan for your life. To read the cover story, which features EEW's Founder, Dianna Hobbs, click the cover below.

Article By Vanda Albright

Share I had a big job interview coming up. I had been unemployed for a few months and bills were mounting. I was running on fumes and surviving off the kindness of others.

The night before I had to make my case for why I was the best choice for the position, I worried myself sick. I thought about all the ways things could go wrong and the reasons why they might not want me.

I was thinking so negatively, I got up the next day feeling frustrated, irritable, sleep-deprived and ill. I had worried myself up on the worst headache and stomach ache of my life!

“Don’t worry. You’ve got this,” one of my good friends, who knows I have a tendency to freak out in high-pressure situations, texted me. I laughed under my breath.

The last line of her message said, “And, oh yeah! Don’t worry yourself sick. God’s got this. He’s in control!”

I didn’t know a text message could give me so much peace and clarity before that moment. On the surface, it might seem like a pretty generic pick-me-up, but the reminder that God is in control was just what I needed to hear, er, read.

I aced the interview and got the job. Afterward, I went home and got some much-needed sleep.

I was worried for nothing. I gave over to feelings of anxiety and unease like most of us do when we feel like something is beyond our control and out of our hands. But allowing your mind to dwell on negative contingencies, difficulty or troubles, is a waste of time.

The hectic grind of day to day life—career, school, ministry, family responsibilities, or some combination of all these things, can have your mind going a million miles per minute. Add in some financial struggles, health challenges, family drama, or any number negative things and you’ve got the perfect storm of worry.

That is, if you give into it.

If, lately, you have found yourself worrying about what tomorrow holds while trying to hold it all together today, there are 6 solutions to help you stop worrying, clear your head and find that “peace that surpasses all understanding” that  Philippians 4:7 talks about.

 

1. Read Matthew 6:25-34.

These are among the most focused scriptures to help you combat worry. No matter how many times you read these verses, they never get old and always speak to the reality of your situation. Matthew 6:34 sums it all up perfectly, saying, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

2. See what you might need to eliminate.

Aside from reading God’s word and meditating on what He says about allowing life’s burdens to weigh too heavily on your mind, make sure there aren’t things you’re doing to contribute to the problem. Are there toxic relationships draining your energy? Are you trying to spread yourself too thin with commitments at home, work, or church? Be honest and evaluate your life, so you can get clear-headed enough to understand and face what’s really bugging you underneath it all. 

3. Change what you can.
Sometimes, we have a tendency to worry about things we can work on. If you can’t do anything about it, that’s one thing. But when you have the power to change circumstances for the better, act on what is within your realm of capability. Are you worried about basic and easily resolvable health challenges? Then, eat better, exercise, get plenty of rest and so on. Worried about the budget? Curb your spending and cut out the non-essentials to give yourself a bit of breathing room. Do what you can and leave the rest to God.

4. Pray without ceasing.

My grandmother used to have a saying: “Pray about everything. Worry about nothing.” The Bible says we ought always pray and not lose heart in Luke 18:1.  When we give our worries to God, we release that heavy weight and transfer the situation into capable hands. Prayer helps you fix your mind on God, who is greater than any worry or concern you may be dealing with on any given day. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there.

5. Stop thinking negative thoughts.

Drumming up worst case scenarios is like hitting a mental panic button. If we believe the worst, we will worry and fear that it will come to pass. Instead of being morbid and fatalistic in your view of life, choose to believe the best. Whenever bad thoughts try to overtake your mind, speak the word of God. Jeremiah 29:11 is a definite favorite: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”

6. Focus on the successes of biblical heroes.

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that, on our faith journey, we have numerous examples of people who trusted God and received the promise. Based on the fact that we have what this verse terms as “so great a cloud of witnesses,” we don’t have be weighted down with worry. We have inspirational figures to motivate us to eliminate worrying. They have been set up by God as models to demonstrate His sovereignty, His no-fail track record and to show you the benefits of trusting in Him!

So the next time you feel tempted to worry, do what 1 Peter 5:7 says: “Throw all your worry on him, because he cares for you.” (ISV)

Prayer: God, I worry a lot and I know Your word tells me not to be anxious. Please help me submit whatever is troubling me to You in prayer and trust You to make the way. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

RELATED: Trust God's way

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