“Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do; but it won’t take you anywhere.” – Unknown.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7, CSB)
We are called to be responsible. That’s what adults do. We do responsibility. However, we move into anxiety when we are worried and fearful about things we have no control, such as: A meteor hitting the earth, or if someone is to die, or if we get sick, have a car accident, whether someone likes us or not.
There are some things we should be concerned about but have no reason to worry. Being concerned can be a positive thing when it moves us to action, such as going to a medical doctor when you find something physically wrong with you or to a mechanic when your car is acting up.
Worry happens when I’m on the throne of my life, when I’m in the kingdom of me. It’s the belief that I have to run my life and if I don’t make it happen, it won’t.
We may believe God loves us, but we also may believe He’s not concerned with the everyday details of our lives. The false belief says that we must meet all our needs, or they won’t get met. Faith says, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory” (Phil. 4:19).
You ask, “Jimmy, how can I break this grip worry has on me?” I’m glad you asked. Typical to my usual style, I’m giving you five things you can do now in order to deal with worry.
Five Things You Can Do Now in Order to Deal with Worry.
These are things that you shouldn’t put off, not for one day or one hour. These will not solve every person’s issue of worry, for there could also be medical issues going on in some people, but even with this, it will help everyone some and most a lot.
1. Admit to yourself that you really do have control over whether you worry or not.
Okay, let’s make this personal shall we? “I really do have control over whether I worry or not.” Say that with me. You have someone to give that worry to, so you don’t have to. Here’s how.
2. Begin each day with God.
Read the Scriptures, discover who God is and what He says about you. It is food for the weak and worrisome soul. If your worry is out of control, look up the Scriptures that speak on worry, such as Phil. 4:6-7 and Matt. 6:25-34.
3. Write your worry down and pray it up to God.
I keep a prayer journal. I write most of my prayers to God in my journal. Some of the items are things, I’ll admit, things that I worry about. I need to seek God’s direction for them and in many cases, just give them over to God because there is very little or nothing, I can do about them myself. I feel better after I do this. There is something that is very therapeutic in getting the worry out of you, writing it down, and recognizing you are not the only one in this equation. Then you pray it up to God and leave it with Him.
4. Create boundaries and respect them.
Set a time and place for when you will pray out your worries. I mean this to include a plan of action if there is something you will need to do as well. Are you worried about a History test or a job competency test? Well certainly pray, but if you develop a play of study that will help your worries as well. Limit your worry list and how much time you can worry. When a worrisome thought hit you, say to yourself, “I will take care of that with God in my prayer time.” Jot it down in your journal if you need to but leave it for the next day. Jesus even commanded us not to worry about tomorrow, for today has enough already. There are boundaries to worry, and you need to respect them. Last.
5. Change your thinking by memorizing and meditating on the Scriptures.
Most of our problems have to do with our thinking. Our emotions are first based on thought patterns. Even at the basic level, our thinking and our perception of the world affects our emotions first. Now emotions will also affect thoughts, but only after a certain way of thinking is in place and an event of some kind then triggers the emotion.
The key to solving worry is to change the way you perceive the world and God. Change your worldview. You can do that. Fight for it to become a Christian Worldview and to do that you must saturate your mind with scripture. The best scripture to use are the ones that demonstrate the opposite of your problem. With worry, Philippians 4:6-8 or Philippians 4:19 are great to use. Write them on cards and carry them with you. Looking at them and going over it phrase by phrase.
Memorizing is one thing, the next is to meditate on it. Think about each word. Study the individual words in the verse using Bible word study books. Study the verse by using a good commentary or two or three or four. Study the passage and then overview the chapter and even the book.
Apply it to life situations. You are about to make a presentation at work. You are going to seek a new job. Make a part of you. It is you. When it is you, you will find your mind going back to it over and over again. That is when you are gaining the victory over worry.
If God is for us, who is against us? …We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31b,37b-39, CSB