I began my cycle of fear and worry as a very young child and I worked hard to perfect my skills for way too many years.
Rather than bore you with the ugly details, I hope to bless you with a truth I wish I’d learned and applied years ago.
You see, I had a terrible problem with chronic worry. I understand it now, worry is the natural byproduct of fear and if you’ve visited here often you know I’ve been honest about my ongoing struggle with fear.
So yes, I was a practically perfect chronic worrier.
I worried about…
- Our Children
I worried about the things that happened yesterday . . . things I should have handled differently. I worried about things that could potentially happen tomorrow. And I worried about everything in between. I worried about things I couldn’t change or control because seriously, what’s the point of worrying about the things you can do something about?
I was a worry addict and like many addicts, I had to hit bottom before I could accept that living worried—ain’t no way to live!
The Apostle Paul gave us all great advice when it comes to worrying. Well, not advice about worrying but about not worrying.
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
It sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Don’t worry … go to God, thank Him, and…
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.Philippians 4:7
I’d known those verses forever. So, why did I continue to worry even though I prayed? Why didn’t I experience the peace I wanted?
Because my prayers were short on faith.
Even though I prayed, “Father, please help me.” I continued to worry because deep down, I believed the enemy’s lies. I allowed myself to believe that…
- My problem was too trivial for God to get involved.
- My fear was too real, my “what ifs” were too great to let go of them.
- If the things I worried about could happen to someone else, they could certainly happen to me.
- And if God allowed one of those things in my life, I’d be unable to go on.
- God couldn’t give me what I needed if my greatest fears came to pass.
Some of the things I’d worried about most often did happen.
All my worrying had not prevented my fears from becoming my reality.
So, I finally realized I had to answer a very important question…
Was I going to trust God completely, not just with my eternal future but with my temporary today and my unknown tomorrow?
I am so thankful the Spirit prompted me to run to the Lord in prayer. I cried out, “Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief,” (Mark 9:24) and I searched the Bible to find promises that would give me hope and strengthen my faith.
I’d love to share a some of them with you…
Have you never heard?Isaiah 40:28
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of His understanding.
His understanding is immeasurable!
The New Century version says – No one can understand how great His wisdom is.
The Message says – He knows everything, inside and out.
The Holman Christian Study Bible says – There is no limit to His understanding.
The Lord is our Creator. He knows us inside and out. He understands us. He cares about even the tiniest details of our lives. Nothing is too trivial for Him to care and nothing is too big for Him to handle.
The enemy loves to tell us lies. But they are LIES!
The truth is … God is love. He loves you and He loves me. He cares. And if He allows something; well, He has a promise for that, too.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.Isaiah 41:10
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with
my victorious right hand.
He promises that He will never leave His children alone. He promises to give us the strength we need.
I lived through something I had worried about for a very long time. Something I truly believed would break me forever and it didn’t. Oh, I was devastated. Yes, even broken at first . . . but God was with me. I felt His love and care as I began to feel His strength and help. He gave me victory and helped me stop worrying.
God Can Help When You Want to Stop Worrying
God helped me learn two important truths about worry and fear…
1. I CAN AND SHOULD TAKE My FEAR AND WORRY TO GOD IMMEDIATELY.
As soon as I start to worry, I go to God. When “what ifs” start spinning around in my head, I remember all the times God has helped me in the past.
The enemy loves it when you and I worry because when we’re worried and afraid we’re not focused on God and we forget all that He is able to do to give us everything we need.
The enemy loves to murmur, “God can’t. God won’t. God’s holding out on you. You’re on your own. You’re not worthy”
But we’re not alone in this spiritual battle. The battle is real but you and I don’t have to fight it alone … ever!
The Holy Spirit is with us and within us willing and able to provide us with all we need to fight and win every spiritual battle, even our battle with worry and fear.
The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.1 John 4:4
God is greater. Through Jesus, He has won the ultimate victory for us and will equip us to fight every battle.
And Paul wrote:
Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?Romans 8:32
And one of the things He gives us is the ability to resist the enemy when he taunts us with fear and worry.
So humble yourselves before God.James 4:7
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
With God’s help, you and I can resist the devil. We don’t have to listen to his murmuring. And with His help, I will continue to get better at using the Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) to defeat the enemy’s lies and make him flee.
And that means I need to…
2. KEEP GROWING CLOSER TO GOD THROUGH HIS WORD.
May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.2 Peter 1:2
And Paul wrote:
Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.Colossians 2:6–7
You and I need to be in the Word every day. It’s one of the things God uses to help our roots grow. It’s where lies are replaced with truth and we get what we need to resist the devil when he tempts us with doubts.
I’ve realized I can’t just will myself to not worry. I have to replace my worrying with something else.
AND THAT SOMETHING ELSE IS…
Hope in Jesus!
Through Jesus, God met our greatest need. He conquered sin, death, and the power of the devil.
Sin can no longer defeat us. Death is not the end. And by His grace, the devil has no power over us.
We have God’s promise…
So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.Hebrews 6:18–19a
Read that again … slowly!
God has given us His promise. His oath. When we run to Him for refuge He will shelter us. We are secure in Him because He is trustworthy and true. He will give us everything we need to get through today and that means you and I have nothing to worry about. Absolutely nothing!
I would love to tell you it’s like flipping a switch … one holy moment where you can embrace God’s truth and never worry again.
So, please be patient with yourself. It takes time to break free of habitual worry.
But stop for a minute and imagine your life worry-free. Imagine doing what you can and trusting God to help you with everything else.
Imagine running to God in prayer, holding onto His promises, trusting His love, and knowing without a doubt that God is always working in your life for your good and for His glory.
Friend, you can do this.
Believe me, if God can deliver me and help me stop worrying, He can and will deliver and help you!
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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