4 Ways to Combat Worry
Who of us hasn’t spent a restless night worrying about something or someone? My pillow and I have had many conversations deep into the night. Yet, we all know, to a certain extent, that worry is a thief, stealing away our peace and strength (and our sleep!). I’ve been told we are to be warriors, not worriers.
But there is just so much that can go wrong! The doctor’s report; the pink slip; the wayward child. Yet, Jesus wisely asks, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27) None of our problems will ever be solved by worrying about them.
One thing that may be helpful is to make a distinction between “worry” and “concern.” Worry is more focused on “what if?” We wring our hands and obsess over problems that may not ever materialize. The roots of the word “worry” comes from words that mean “to strangle.” Isn’t that an appropriate description of what worry does—choke the life out of us.
Concern, on the other hand, is more focused on “what is.” It is solution-oriented and seeks to solve the problem, not just ruminate over it. And even though many of our concerns are out of our control, we can always bring them to God in prayer, which is an amazingly effective solution. Often we think of prayer as a last resort, when really it should be our first plan of attack.
What can we do about worry? Here’s some things to keep in mind:
Pray and be thankful. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6)
Remember God keeps his promises. God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
Give it to God. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that he may exalt you [to a place of honor in his service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on him, for he cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. (1 Peter 5:6-7, AMP)
Think about what’s right, not what’s wrong. Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. (Philippians 4:8 AMP)
Being Human connection: How true is this quote from Corrie ten Boom: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”