3 Tips for Overcoming Worry

Don’t you just love when everything in life goes the way you plan? You land your dream job. You get accepted to the college of your choice. You finally start making enough money to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle. You close on the perfect house for you and your family. Your children and loved ones are healthy. Everything is great. When your hopes, dreams, and goals come to fruition it feels good. But things rarely turn out the way we plan do they?

Take this year for instance. Everyone was looking forward to 2020 being a great year, a new start, with fresh vision and goals, and then… COVID-19 strikes. Everything is put on hold. We think, “Wait, this is NOT how I thought 2020 was going to go!” We don’t know what is going to happen; we don’t know what the future is going to hold. People are losing their jobs. Some are sick. Some can’t see or visit their loved ones in the hospital. Some don't have enough money to make ends meet! It’s during these times worry can begin to take over.

Take a look back at your life. Think about the goals you reached; the hopes that have been fulfilled. You made it. But did the process go the way you planned? Probably not.

I remember one year at Southeastern University I knew God wanted me to go on a mission’s trip. I went to the interest meetings of all the trips that I wanted to know more about, and I decided on a trip to Egypt. I was so excited. I always wanted to go somewhere not many people have been. I wanted to go to the Middle East. Something about it excited me. Everything was great. Until, one thing led to another, and the trip ended up getting canceled. I was devastated and lost, not knowing what to do next. I remember praying to God in my dorm room asking me what he wanted me to do! A few weeks later, I saw one of my former teammates on the Egypt team in our school’s coffee house. He told me that he was actually leading another trip to India and really needed one more person for the trip to be given the green light. All of a sudden, it clicked, and I knew this was the opportunity God had for me all along. My trip to India changed my life. It grew my love for missions and stretched me in many, many ways! Plus, I ended up going AGAIN the next summer.

All this happened because of a process that didn’t go the way I had planned. But the destination was abundantly more beautiful because of it.

All of this to say, sometimes the destination is not what we had planned.

Or, if it is, the process and journey is way more difficult or confusing than we initially anticipated.

Whichever situation you find yourself in today, know that God is FOR you. He is in control. He is trustworthy. Plus, he knows what he is doing! How can we fix our eyes on that truth? How can we give our worry to God and allow him to transform our hearts?

1. Worship
There is something so special that happens when we worship God in the midst of tough situations. Not only does God love to hear his people worship him, but worship has the amazing power to turn our focus from ourselves to God in a matter of seconds! Instead of looking at our situation, we look to Jesus. Instead of looking at the here and now, we focus on the bigger picture! When we worship, we are surrendering to the will of our savior, creator, father, and friend who holds us in his hands and we are shifting our focus to what matters most!

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

2. Surrender
Worry has far deeper roots than one might think. Worry stems from control. Worry stems from our desire to rule our own lives instead of letting the king (Jesus) to rule our lives. Worry can cease when we surrender our desires and plans to the will of God and let him work all things out. Instead of telling God how we want things done, we should be asking God to let his will be done!

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

The day we decided to follow Christ, was the day we started taking up our cross and laying down our lives – every part! Maybe you need to take some time today to take up that cross once again and lay down your life at the feet of your savior so that he can have control! And when you do... peace will come.

Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1st Peter 5:7

3. Ask
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Once you spent some time in worship and have surrendered your ways to the Lord, present your requests to God. (When you do this, you may find that the requests you had at the start may not be the same requests you have now! These things really do change our perspective! Seriously, I challenge you to try it out!)

We are God’s children. He cares for us. He wants to bless us. He has plans to prosper us not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). He is for us. So, ask him for what you need. Do you need income? Do you need to feel love? Do you need healing? Do you need a loved one to know Jesus? Do you need a new job? Ask.

9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:9-11

If Jesus is your Savior, you are his child and He longs to give you good gifts. Don't doubt that truth. Grab hold of it and trust in Him!

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