Win Over Worry
- 2009 18 Dec
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of John Edmund Haggai's new book, How to Win Over Worry: Positive Steps to Anxiety-Free Living (Harvest House, 2009).
Life in this fallen world gives you plenty to worry about: You could lose your job. Your health could deteriorate. One of your children could die in an accident. Your spouse could betray you. The list goes on and on.
But no matter what uncertainties, problems, or tragedies life throws at you, you never have to worry about them. That's because worry is a choice - a choice you can choose to avoid. So take action to win over worry so it won't win over you.
You can win over worry by …
Recognizing that worry is destructive: Worry brings only negative results; it has no power to accomplish anything positive. Worry is a sin that can harm your relationship with God while it also harms your relationships with other people. It can make you miserable mentally and emotionally. Physically, it can lead to serious illness. See worry as the enemy it is and decide to reject it so you can pursue the life God wants you live.
Understanding that God is near: When you understand that God is always close to you - in every situation you go through - you'll realize that you don't have to worry because you can count on Him to help you. Remind yourself regularly that God is present, available, and compassionate. When you give Him praise for who He is, develop poise, and pray, you'll discover the peace you need.
Rejoicing: No condition or circumstance ever justifies worry, because God has promised to help in every situation. So choose to rejoice in God's faithfulness rather than worry.
Controlling your feelings: You can control the way you feel by controlling the way you think and act. If you choose to think and act in positive ways, you'll soon start feeling positive emotions. This will work against worry and glorify God.
Counting your many blessings: Notice the lavish blessings that God has already bestowed on you. Don't take them for granted. Develop healthy attitudes of respect and gratitude for what God has done for you. When you become worried, find a pen and a piece of paper and force yourself to write down every blessing that comes to mind. This will stop worrying by reminding you of God's faithfulness.
Mastering the art of altruism: When you spend time helping people in need, you'll discover real joy that will push worry out of your life. So take your focus off your own concerns and onto other people's needs and how you can help meet them.
Never expecting thanks: Don't worry when you encounter ingratitude from the people you've helped. In this fallen world, many generous acts go unappreciated. But rest assured that God will reward you with joy for what you do to help others.
Thought control: You can stop your feelings of worry by controlling your thoughts. Choose to think about what's true, honest, praiseworthy, good, and pure. Those thoughts will lead to an inner peace that will guard you against worry.
Self-control: Self-control will help you respond to criticism with poise rather than worry. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you self-control every day.
Enthusiasm: When you're enthused about something, you focus your attention on positive thoughts that crowd out worries in your mind.
Relaxation: Ask God to teach you how to relax so you can protect yourself from unnecessary tension that leads to worry.
Scheduling: When you follow the Holy Spirit's guidance to schedule your daily activities wisely, you'll avoid the worry that comes from the time pressures of trying to do unnecessary tasks. You'll be free to do just what God wants you to do - no more, no less - each day.
Variety: Pursuing a diversity of tasks will give you a healthy perspective on and balance in your life, so you'll be less prone to worry.
Seizing the day: Focusing on the present day will free you from worrying about the past or the future. Live one day at a time.
Skill: Don't scatter your efforts, attempting to excel at everything you do and worrying when you can't keep up with it all. Instead, focus just on mastering the field of work to which God has called you.
Industry: Keep busy working hard. You'll find so much joy in your work that you won't have time for worry.
Stewardship: Avoid the financial messes that can cause worry by following biblical principles for managing money.
Surrender: When you surrender yourself to God's will for you - wanting for yourself what He wants for you - He will give you the peace that empowers you to overcome worry.
Prayer: Pray about your problems instead of worrying about them. Trust God to help you with any problem, big or small.
Weakness: When you admit your weakness and rely on God's power working through you, you can conquer all sin, including worry.
Starting the day right: Begin each day with prayer. When you do, the Holy Spirit will renew your mind, casting out worry and empowering you to approach the day from the right perspective.
Knowing how to ask: Pray specific prayers, persistently and thankfully, expecting God to answer in ways that reflect what's best for you. Those kinds of prayers kill worry and invite God to act powerfully in your life.
Living close to God: Constantly maintain a spirit of prayer that will protect you from worry. Pray often, and everything that concerns you. In addition to praying about thoughts that enter your mind throughout each day, schedule an appointment with God every day to enjoy a focused prayer time with Him. Get your mind off yourself and onto God, reflecting on who He is and praising Him for His many wonderful qualities. Then you'll experience peace that will overcome worry in any situation.
December 18, 2009
Adapted from How to Win Over Worry: Positive Steps to Anxiety-Free Living, copyright 2009 by John Edmund Haggai. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or., www.harvesthousepublishers.com.
John Edmund Haggai, founder and president of Haggai Institute for Advanced Leadership Training, is an internationally acclaimed author, lecturer, and leader. He has helped people around the world with his practical formulas for winning over worry, pain, loneliness, and "impossible" situations.