“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? ‘For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33 ESV
“Worry is a tool of the devil, so it is not something that you, as a Christian, need to tolerate. Worry is nothing but a satanic attack on your mind. Therefore, it does not accomplish any good thing.” Joyce Meyer
I could have written a book on worry and anxiety many years ago. My thinking was continuously negative, and I did not seem to know how to change my thought patterns. While I understood that circumstances had thrown me into a pit of despair, I did not fully seek God’s help to rid me of this destructive stronghold on my mind.
At the time, I didn’t recognize how negative my thinking was. Deep in my heart, there was always a dread of some impending disaster to my life, my child’s life, or someone close to me. I worried about every aspect of my life, from finances to illness. It was not a good place to be. I was addicted to worry and had allowed fear and anxiety to distract me from living an abundant life in Christ. That distraction alone worked to hinder me from giving God my best.
More often than not, we can do nothing about the things that concern us. God is in control of all the things we worry about. A better plan for us would be to spend our time and energy not worrying but reminding ourselves of God’s promises—specifically this one: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 ESV
We cannot worry and live in peace at the same time. Many people try to do that, but something else is always needed, because we are meant to live in peace. Our souls will not rest until our rest is found in Jesus Christ. I John 4:18, (ESV) tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
I am thankful that, with God’s help and to His glory, I did walk out of my pit of worry and anxiousness. It was not sudden, but over time I learned to rest more comfortably in the arms of my Shepherd, Jesus Christ. With His help, I learned to trust Him fully as I leaned on His Word and focused on His promises for believers. I began to believe wholeheartedly in His ”plans to give me hope and a future”…Jeremiah 29:11. He brought unexplainable peace to my heart. Somewhere along the journey, I realized that I was thinking more positively about my life, and my fear, worry, and anxiety became less and less each day. I am thankful that joy and peace came back into my heart. Even though there are occasional times when worry does sneak back into my mind, the difference now is that I give all of my concerns over to Jesus Christ. I do not have to shoulder worry anymore. None of us were ever meant to do that.
I have learned that God is faithful to care for His children—even when we are not deserving. The Bible is full of His promises and will come alive for each of us if we spend time with Him. We do not have to let worrisome thoughts interfere with our days. We belong to God! He is the only one who can bring us the real and lasting peace we desperately long for in this life. We serve a mighty God, and He can certainly handle all that concerns us today and always.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being ever present to take our worry and anxiety upon Your shoulders. In doing so, You free us to be a better representative of what Jesus did for us on the Cross. Give us Your words as we connect with those in need of a Savior. Give us peace, comfort, and the assurance that You are working out our story for Your good purposes. May we always shine for You. I pray this in the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.