Worry can either bring us to the Father in heaven, or it can drive us away from Him. The challenge is how we choose to deal with it. Author David Egner offers a biblical and practical perspective on how we can put our worries to work for us, rather than allow them to consume us. He spells out how we can actively trust God with the unknown and experience the beauty of His peace.
1. Let Worry Turn Your Attention to God
When we worry, we are actually acknowledging the truth that we are not adequate to meet the demands of life in our own strength. This is our moment to remind ourselves of some important truths about God. He is everywhere. There is no place, no matter how alone we may feel, that God cannot be. He is everywhere! (Psalm 139:7–12; Jeremiah 23:23–24). He knows everything. He knows how afraid we are, how bad we feel, and what scares us. The more worried we become, the more we act as if God were ignorant of our situation. We don’t know the future, but God does; and He knows our needs (Job 7:20; Psalm 33:13–14). He is all-powerful. Worriers feel that no one has the power to stop bad things from happening—not even God. But God has limitless power and His own wise reasons for what He permits (Genesis 17:1; 18:14; Matthew 19:26).
2. Let Worry Turn You to the Words of Jesus
In Matthew 6:25–34, Jesus challenged His followers to see that the opportunities of heaven are more important than the potential losses of life. He urged them to believe that if God takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the fields, He will take care of His children. Jesus understands our inclinations, so He reminds us that just like the natural world around us, we were not made to worry. Birds have to eat, but they don’t get migraines obsessing about it. Flowers “wear clothes,” but they don’t have to be treated for ulcers. Their heavenly Father takes care of them.
3. Turn Worry Into Prayer
Few of us have endured the kind of problems encountered by the apostle Paul. Yet in spite of all the threats on his life, the beatings, and the imprisonments, he wrote to the Philippians: Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6–7). When we are worried, we need to take that worry to God. Ask for His help. Earnestly petition Him. The God who told us to ask, seek, and knock will give, help us find, and answer (Matthew 7:7–8).
4. Turn Worry Into Practical Choices
The apostle Peter wrote to people undergoing intense persecution and offered this alternative to worry: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”(1 Peter 5:6–7). Two steps are involved in this process: Accept What We Cannot Change. Instead of emotionally unraveling, or avoiding reality by denying our worry, we can humbly accept that these circumstances are part of our life. Give to God What We Cannot Change. Peter’s words also encourage us to put our helpless feelings of worry into those same all-powerful hands. He urges us to cast our cares on God, entrusting ourselves to the One who cared enough for us to send His Son to die for us. A decision to let the ultimate worry bring us to the One who died for us is the first step. From then on, every concern of life, regardless of how troubling, can help us to care for others or trust the Lord for what He alone can do.
This is an excerpt from Overcoming Worry: Turning Fear Into Faith, by David Egner.
Read the entire feature or request the free booklet from Discovery Series.