How to Stop Worrying and Start Living!
- Warren R. Olson Senior Living Ministries
- 2007 17 Feb
I heard a story recently about a little boy who was afraid of gorillas.
In his fear, the little boy convinced himself that a gorilla lived underneath his bed… and that the gorilla would eat him when he slept! So night after night, the little boy slept with his blankets over his head, believing that if the gorilla couldn’t see him, he wouldn’t eat him.
And even though that little boy would get very hot and sweaty while under his covers, he continued to sleep that way night after night. He just knew that keeping those covers over his head would keep the gorilla from eating him while he was sleeping!
Of course this little boy grew up and got over his fear of gorillas. But when you think about it, don’t you and I act exactly like this little boy when we decide to worry? Because the fact is, we usually worry about things that really aren’t there!
In our own fear and lack of faith, we irrationally anticipate the worst. And as a result, we start to sweat and panic — all because of something that never really ends up coming to pass!
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon likens worry and anxiety to a weight… a weight that “weighs a man down” (12:25). And I would like you to take some time to think about what “gorillas” in your life are weighing you down.
You know, as a father, grandfather, and now great-grandfather, I can tell you — there’s plenty in life to worry about. But you know what? As believers, Scripture doesn’t give us the option to worry. Nowhere in the Bible does it give us permission to fret.
In fact, Jesus asks us in Luke 12:25-26, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
If you struggle with the issue of worry in your life today (and who doesn’t from time to time?), I want to give you some encouragement. I want to help show you how to stop worrying and really start living!
As you know, worrying involves your thought life. So I want you to think about your thought life as a corral. Everything within that corral is what you know to be true. But as we go through life, it’s easy to let our thoughts wander out of the corral and into the territory of worry and anxiety.
That’s why you and I have to build strong fences around the corral of our thought life! And how do we do build these fences? With the truth of the Word of God. The only way to stop worry dead in its tracks is to attack it with Scripture.
At the end of this article, I’ve listed some very helpful Bible verses that speak directly to the subject of worry. And as you read these verses, I encourage you to commit each one to memory — to start “building fences” around your mind.
A great passage to begin with is one that is probably very familiar to you: Philippians 4:6-8. It says the following:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Whenever your mind is tempted to jump the fence and start to worry, say this verse aloud or to yourself. You may even have to repeat it over and over again. Eventually, the truth of God’s Word will redirect your thinking… and you’ll learn to live without the weight of worry tying you down!
Friend, you can stop worrying and really start living. And it’s my prayer that God will encourage your heart with this promise today!
Verses to Help You “Fence Out” Worry:
- Philippians 4:6-8
- John 14:27
- Deuteronomy 31:8
- Psalms 27:1
- Psalms 34
- Proverbs 18:10
- Isaiah 41:10
- Romans 8:28
- 2 Timothy 1:7
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