We just hosted a big women’s event…The Beth Moore Living Proof Simulcast… at my church this past weekend! It was absolutely amazing…many women were encouraged…and I was so blessed to have the opportunity to coordinate such an event!
As awesome as this event was…the week prior was extremely busy with preparing and organizing with staff and volunteers… literally day and night. Due to my focus and time on this event, many of my other work responsibilities were placed temporarily on the back burner. And so now I find myself behind and trying to catch up!
I am actually living this blog post as I my fingers hit the keyboard…Worry has creeped in making me unsure that I will have a blog done to be posted on Wednesday… which is today for you.
It finally hit me on the day of the women’s event this past Saturday morning…I awoke before 5am…Uuuhhh…not my usual wake up time…and while my children were still asleep and my husband already off to work, I sat in our home office and began to brainstorm ideas for this week’s blog.
I can’t believe that on the day of such a huge event, I was up so early and actually worrying about the subject of my next blog! About 200 women were about to wake up, get ready, and come to this event and I found myself praying and asking the Lord to place something in my heart that He would like for me to write about. The subject that tugged at me…probably because I am living it right now …is worry.
No matter where we are spiritually, worry sure has a way of creeping in.
We may worry about our jobs, our finances, our marriages, our children…
We may worry about our health, our families, our future…
We may worry about how we look, what we should say, being accepted by others…
We may worry about meeting our deadlines…my exact situation right now! …how we are raising our kids, if and when we will get married if we are single…
Oh and the list of things that we can worry about can go on and on!
What do you worry about the most? Are you a constant worrier or just with some things in your life?
When it comes to the things we worry about, did you know…
40% are things that will never happen?
30% are about the past, which can’t be changed?
12% are about criticism by others, which are mostly untrue?
10% are about health, which gets worse with stress?
8% are about real problems that can be solved?
In the Bible, God tells us not to worry. Worry and/or anxiety are specifically mentioned 25 times in the New Testament alone! And God doesn’t merely suggest for us to not worry, He commands for us to not worry or be anxious! (I know, I know…easier said than done!)
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 HCSB
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 NASB
So why does God not want us to worry so much? Because…
Worry weighs a person down. Proverbs 12:25 NLT
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his [her] life? Matthew 6:27
Oh I know God created time with only 24 hours in one day…but it sure would be nice to add a few more hours so I could get what I need done!!! Ever think this way?
The words most often used for worry or anxiety in the New Testament come from the same Greek word, meridzoe, which means “to be divided, to be pulled in opposite directions, to choke.”
“…to choke?” Pretty interesting, huh?
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:14 NIV
I recently heard this great acronym for WORRY which is so true!
In my experience, I have found that worry is usually rooted in fear. Think about what you worry about and see if the underlying reason lies in some kind of fear.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7 KJV
If God doesn’t want us to worry or have fear, then where did it come from anyway? Where did it originate?
Fear had its origins way back in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. When they ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked. So, they then covered themselves with fig leaves.
They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself. Genesis 3:8-10 NASB
Sin and fear entered the picture at this time. Before this act of eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were not afraid and they lived a very peaceful and fulfilling life in the beautiful garden where they had a very special and sweet relationship with the Lord.
So why else does God not want us to worry?
God knows that worry, resulting from fear, short circuits our relationship with Him.
Worry fixes our eyes on our situation rather than our Savior. Worry damages our health, causes the object of worry to consume our thoughts, disrupts our productivity, and reduces our ability to trust God.
Now don’t get me wrong…in our world of struggles and challenges, we can and do face legitimate concerns. Worry looks to self or other people for answers…Concern looks to God for answers.
Living a life of worry and fear doesn’t leave room for faith…faith in Him to make the impossible, possible…faith in Him to do above and beyond what we could ever think or imagine…faith in Him to heal your illness, restore your marriage, pay your bills, protect and guide you and take care of every need you have!
How can we conquer worry in our lives? I believe the answer lies in Philippians 4:6 and Matthew 6:33-34.
1) Be anxious for nothing.
Realize what you can control and what you cannot. 92% of the things we worry about are things we can’t control!
2) Be prayerful about everything.
No prayer request is too big or too small for God to answer.
I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NLT
3) Be thankful for all things.
When we thank God, our focus moves from our situation to our Savior.
4) Be willing to let go.
We must be willing to let go and let God take control. Giving Him complete control involves you putting Him first in your life.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33 NIV
Note that Jesus tells us to seek Him first and in the next verse tells us not to worry about tomorrow!
As I thankfully complete the very object of my worry these past few days…writing this devotion…My hope is that you would be encouraged and equipped in your own life to conquer worry.
Worry cannot change the past. It cannot control the future. It can only make us miserable today.
Whether you worry about the daily tasks and deadlines of each day…or the greater struggles and challenges that life may bring your way, I pray that you will have trust in the very God who tells us not to worry…and have faith that He will see you through!
“Worry is fear’s extravagance. It extracts interest on trouble before it comes due. It constantly drains the energy God gives us to face daily problems and to fulfill our many responsibilities.” Unknown
“Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat…worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” Unknown
1) What do you worry about the most? Are you a constant worrier or just with some things in your life?
2) Is your worry rooted in some kind of fear?
3) Are you worrying about something you can or cannot control?
Review the steps outlines above to help you conquer worry in your life.