The Number One Cure for Worry
- Debbie McDaniel
- 2014 5 Dec
Do you feel it around you? Worry, fret, fear, anxiety. It’s contagious. Like a virus. Leaping our way from a conversation with a friend, engrossing our mind after listening to the news, capturing our attention from the latest headline blast.
So what are we all so worried about? The short answer is – a lot.
Daily headlines and social media newsfeeds give us much to struggle over, fueling the fear frenzy. Day to day life and demands – responsibilities, money problems, illness, relationship difficulties, job loss, conflicts – all add to the stress and pressures we feel. And the list goes on…long.
We find worry settling over like a thick cloud of doom and foreboding darkness. We no longer feel safe or protected in our world. Pressures cling tight. Anxieties build. Creeping into every tiny crevice of our lives, overwhelming thoughts and hearts with the “what if’s.”
Our culture tells us, “just get away from it all.” “Just turn it off, don’t listen.” “Just be happy.” But often, deep rooted worries are not so easily chased away by a weekend trip or a positive thought for the day. They go deep. They grow. And the crisis our world faces today is not anything we can ignore. Because it won't just go away. Evil will seek to fester, control, and destroy any who disagree with their violent mindset and hold beliefs in our Mighty God. Disease without preventive care, treatment, and healing, will only grow greater, taking more lives along with it.
Others may think the only way to find true peace is when all conflicts around us have ceased. But real life tells us, that we live in a real world, where real evil does exist. We live in a world with conflict.
But there’s hope. We don’t have to live as victims to fear-filled, worry-burdened lives, tossed about with every new headline. We can live free. Even in the midst of conflict and struggles. We can live with a heart of peace.
Number One Cure for Worry from this Verse:
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
1. Don't worry about anything – It’s a choice not to worry. It often goes against our own natural inclination. It requires action on our part to choose to live differently. It doesn’t mean passivity or numbness. It doesn’t mean to ignore big problems. It means not to allow them to control you. His Word reminds us that every day has enough trouble of its own. And tomorrow's not even here yet, so we just need to cling to his hope for this day.
That includes everything. Do not worry about Ebola. Do not worry about war. Do not worry about your future. Do not worry about your physical body, over potential illness or what you will eat, drink or wear, because God is the One who determines your days and takes care of you. Do not worry about the things over which you have no control.
"Do not worry about tomorrow..." (Matthew 6:34).
2. Pray about everything – Just as we must make the choice not to worry, we must also make the choice to pray. It again requires us to stay active, connected to him, pressing in, staying close.
Pray for his protection, for his grace, for the many who are suffering so greatly because of disease, war, crime, oppression, persecution.
Pray for his help us to turn our thoughts away from the fear frenzy, and to instead focus on praying for healing over a people who are so desperate for his touch.
May we be a people of prayer, asking for God's help and mercy to know how to stand strong together- against the enemy who is attempting to invade our freedoms, remembering that we do not wrestle against what we can see, but against unseen forces at work in dark places. May we be a people who pray for our leaders, that they would not rest by doing anything less than what God asks of them to do, that they would not be held back in fear, but that they would be bold, righteous leaders for our nation. We need them to stand strong as never before. And they need our prayers, a lot more than just our critical words. Though it's often tempting to offer those more than our prayers.
"Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people" (Ephesians 6:18).
3. Tell God what you need – He already knows, yet he desires relationship with us. He wants us to trust him. He wants us to depend on him for all that we need. He wants to remind us how much he cares for and loves us.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
4. Thank him for what he's doing – Many times we can’t see what he’s doing. He’s working behind the scenes, and though we may not understand his answers, his timing, or his ways, we can trust that he knows what he’s doing and is at work. Because we know he loves us, and has the best in mind for us. Thank him in advance for all that he doing. Thank him for who he is. Thank him for his care over us. It is impossible to have a complaining spirit within a true heart of thankfulness. One will rule over the other. Strife, negativity, complaining will stifle peace. Ask for his help, to live with a grateful heart.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
5. Peace comes – A gift. Straight from his hands. To us. Not based on outward circumstances or our own self-efforts. Given for each day and in the most troubling of times. Peace.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).
The truth is, though conflicts are stirring and things seem dark - we can still have peace. Not defined by how much money we have, or how secure our future may seem. Not based on our current state of health, relationship status, how our kids are doing, job security, or the world events that encircle us. Never defined by the absence of conflict, but by the evidence of calm security right in the midst of the struggle. It's the kind the world often doesn't understand.
Woke up this morning stressed? Troubled? Give it to him. Leave it there. Don't take it back to try to work out on your own somehow, or waste hours worrying and fretting.
He knows what concerns you. Every single big issue and every one of the little things too.
Worry less, pray more, tell him what you need, thank him for what he’s doing, and he will give you peace.
Dear God, have mercy on our land. Cover your people with grace and healing, fill us with your mighty power. We need you now more than ever before, for these days seem darker. Bring your peace and protection, reminding us that you are in control and no one can snatch us away from you. Thank you that you are alive and active in this world. Thank you that nothing takes you by surprise. Thank you that, no matter what, we know you hold tomorrow. And you keep us securely in your hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Debbie McDaniel is a pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids and a few too many pets, dramatist and writer. She has a heart to communicate God's hope though the everyday moments of life - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the ones that take your breath away. A lover of every sunrise, forever needy of His grace, this Texas girl finds joy in the simple gift of each new day. Debbie invites you to join her at www.freshdayahead.com, and Facebook and Twitter.
Publication date: December 5, 2014
Read our guide for How to Stop Worrying: 13 Practical Steps and start taking small steps today toward living fully free from anxieties.