Just like most women, worry comes naturally to me. And when I became a mom, worrying about my daughter became like second nature. Do you find yourself worrying constantly about actual or potential problems? The reality is there is always things to worry about, if we allow it.
There are 3 kinds of worries I wrestle with:
- Past worries- This is linked to regrets from the past such as: did God forgive me, why did I say that/act in what way, did I make the right decision?
- Present day/Day to day worries- is my daughter safe, is she healthy, am I being a good mom, the state of my marriage, finances, health, unanswered prayers
- Future worries- what will happen to my family if I die, finances, will my children turn out ok, natural disasters, will I go to heaven when l die?
The truth is the list of what to worry about is endless.
But we are told by Jesus that we should not worry. If you believe in God, you cannot worry about the very things people who don’t believe in God worry about. You have to be different.
In Matthew 6: 31-34 Jesus says31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’
Here are 5 Practical ways to stop worrying:
- There is nothing wrong with having genuine concern for your child or husband, or a situation at work. But the key thing is not to let that concern consume your thoughts and affect your mood. Rather pray about it. When you give that situation to God, you actually give it to someone who CAN do something about it. Prayer is not passive, it’s ACTIVE.
- Worrying about my kid’s safety will not keep them safe but praying to God will. Worrying about my marriage will not change anything but praying about it will change my attitude and heart and bring peace and happiness into my marriage. So, prayer changes things and most importantly prayer gives you peace. Prayer also sets us apart as believers in Jesus Christ-we have a Heavenly Father who is always there for us who listens to and answers our prayers.
Newsflash: Prayer is your greatest weapon to stop worrying because you give your concerns to someone who is capable of handling it- and that’s God.
2. Be thankful
- This year I’ve started to keep a Prayer journal. Though I haven’t consistently and diligently written in it, it’s helped me. The purpose of the journal is two-fold though: record my prayers so I don’t forget them (like when I tell someone I will pray for them and forget) as well as record the things I’m grateful for(usually answered prayers).
- Being full of thanksgiving helps when worry consumes you. So be thankful, make room to write down your blessings daily if you can and you worry will start to run out of space and leave you.
Newsflash: When you start to see all the blessings God gave you, your heart becomes so full, worry doesn’t have space.
3. Remember what God has brought you through
- More often than not when you sit down and think deeply about how God has brought you through some difficult situations, you become amazed how you made it. I’ve been in near death car accidents, have had a life threatening disease as a child, I’ve had challenges at work that l thought would lead to me losing my job, family members have been so sick I was concerned for their life… the list goes on and on
- But I look back and l’m amazed that God brought me through each and every one of them. We all have a story, we all have situations that have happened to us where we can see the hand of God. We might have worried about them when we went through them but God brought us through them all. And He is faithful, He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. If He could do it then, He can do it today.
Newsflash: When you actually remember what God brought you through, you can trust that He will bring you through the next challenge that you may be worried about
4. Sing praise and worship songs
Have a list of uplifting praise and worship songs to help you through times of worry. Songs that remind you of the goodness of God. Below are some of my top favourites to get you started:
1.Good, good Father by Chris Tomlin. I love this guy and this song just speaks to my heart. Knowing that God is a good Father and will take care of me through it all, helps stop worry in my life.
2. My Life is in your hands by Kirk Franklin. What a great reminder that our lives are in the palm of God’s hands. Worries and troubles will not always last and Jesus is there to help us through it all. God is with us after all.
3. Oceans (where feet may fail) by Hillsong. Let your soul rest in God’s embrace. God has never failed us and He won’t start now in your situation. Call upon His name, you are His child. Trust Him.
5. Memorise one Bible verse to help you stop worry in it’s tracks
- One of the verses that is a go to verse for me that I’ve actually memorized to stop me from worry is Philippians 4:6-7 ‘6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’
- This verse covers all the things we need to do: Stop worrying. Pray. Be thankful. And when you do that God’s promise is amazing- the supernatural, extra-ordinary peace of God which no human being can ever explain will take care of your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. This is the kind of peace I long for daily. An internal peace that is not moved or scared easily by events happening around it. A heart that trusts in God, that He knows best. What an amazing promise!!
My Encouragement to you:
Friend I know worrying is easy. But can I just remind you today that if you have time to worry, you have time to pray. You have time to remember your blessings. You have the choice of memorizing a verse, playing a song that reminds you of the power of God. We are so loved by God that He gives us choices. And we can choose peace in a chaotic world by trusting in an all-powerful God who is in control.
Jesus is clear-worry changes NO THING. All it does is make us sad, make us miss the present moments and make us miss God’s presence. He’s got our backs. He knows what we need.
Lord I thank you that you are my Helper, my Father, My Friend and an Ever present help in times of trouble. Forgive me Lord for allowing worry to make room in my heart and mind. Today I release all my worries to you. I am worrying about …….,………,……… By worrying I can’t change this situation so I ask you to intervene and change it. Thank you for all the blessings and gifts you’ve given me such as ……., ……….,……….Thank you that you’ve answered my prayers before and brought me through a lot of challenges in my life. Specifically, I’m thankful that you brought me through……., …….., ……..You are a faithful God. Help me to take the steps I need today as l choose not to let worry consume my life. I love you Lord.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen