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When your thoughts hurt… Dealing with worry

Worry. This is something we all know we shouldn’t do but it often eludes us. Sometimes worrying can become a habit. That’s when it becomes dangerous.

What does the Bible say about worry?

Jesus’s famous Sermon on the Mount is the best example:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Matthew 6:25 NIV

But what if the thing you’re worrying about isn’t as mundane? What if you’re worried about bigger things like a job? A difficult marriage? Broken relationships? Debilitating illness? It’s not simple to turn off worrying as one turns off a switch. Stuffing your feelings and living in denial is not the answer. It’s a conscious decision to refocus your mind.

Why do we worry?

BECAUSE WE CARE. Sometimes we care too much and try to control things in vain, leading to worry. It is good to be concerned. We should definitely care about important things in life but we can only do so much. The things we cannot do we should surrender to God.

We all know worrying is bad but how bad is it?

Worrying can cause you to magnify your problem and lead you into a vortex of paranoia. When you’re in this vulnerable state, the devil can tempt you to make wrong decisions and believe lies. Even if it isn’t serious, worrying is futile.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?
Matthew 6:27 NIV

What should you do when you worry?

1. Trust in God: You can trust in God when you know God. We can know God’s character by reading His word. God is our Father, He knows and cares for our needs.

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Matthew 6:32 NIV

2. Meditate on God’s word: Worry can create a loop of negative thinking. Instead of letting it get a hold of you, keep reminding yourself of God’s word and what He has spoken over your life. Memorizing passages of scripture can help you do that. Keep several physical reminders like the Israelites did and actively make God’s word a part of your life.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:6‭-‬9 NIV

3. Sing praises: Singing may sound like the last thing you may want to do but singing praises shifts your focus from your problem to God’s power.

4. Help another person: Worrying can make us very self-absorbed. Intentionally catering to other people’s needs can lift our spirits and make us better people. When Joseph was in prison he was able to help his fellow prisoners instead of wallowing in self-pity.

5. Share your feelings: Sharing your worries with trusted people can help lighten your burden.

6. Set your priorities right: Is it possible that you are trying to do too much without spending time with God first?

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 NIV

7. Pray about everything: The most powerful and effective way to beat worry is to pray. Even if we cannot verbalize our needs, the Holy Spirit helps us.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6 NIV

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Romans 8:26 NIV

7 things to do to beat worry

The bottom line is, God already knows what we’re dealing with and He knows when we’re struggling. Even if we are unable to stop worrying, God has given us His GRACE and we can rest in Him. He will see us through.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NIV

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