What happens when you start worrying about a situation? Your mind acts like a trap!
Like a fly caught in a sticky spider web, worries and fears keep us trapped, fixated on our problems and flooding us with anxiety and stress.
Jesus referred to worry five times in just nine verses: Matthew 6: 25-34. He repeated what seems an impossible command: “do not worry, don’t be anxious, and don’t act like people who are alone in the universe without a God who is real to them.”
What does that mean in daily life? Is Jesus telling us not to think ahead, plan for the future, or make prudent decisions for our health, home, retirement, or family issues? Do His words contradict so many verses that commend thinking carefully about the journey we’re on? (Proverbs 14: 8, 15, 22b) Of course not.
Prudent thinking is not the same as Persistent worry. Jesus is talking here about habitual worry. Being stuck in the kind of mental trap where you get more and more fearful about a situation, whether it’s actually happened or not. It is reacting with growing anxiety to a situation and allowing yourself to be consumed by it. Do you recognize yourself?
Jesus gives 2 solid reasons why we shouldn’t worry.
- You have a heavenly Father who loves, values, and will provide what you need.
- Worry does not have the power to change circumstances, but it does have the power to negatively change you! It can not only rob you of peace and totally skew your perspective of God and others, habitual worry can also become a source of illness, depression, panic attacks, and other physical and emotional problems.
To overcome the worry habit, begin to ask yourself some questions. Record your answers so you can keep adding more insights as the Holy Spirit brings them.
- What am I worried about? Name it clearly
- Is worrying helping or making me more tense and upset?
- How do I know if my worries will come true?
- Where is my focus—on God’s promised help or my helplessness?
After you’ve done this, look for Scriptures that will strengthen your trust in the Lord. Here are a few to reflect on:
Isaiah 26:4 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.”
Isaiah 64:5 “You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways.”
Isaiah 40:31 “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”
Do you believe these promises?
Instead of looking at your worries through the lens of your emotions and wild imagination, let your mind be shaped by God’s Truth. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in trusting God to be who He says He is. And live a life of freedom from worry and fear.
How is God working in this area of your life? I’d love to hear via FB or email.
Watch for Keys 3 and 4 to get more tools for experiencing the freedom God wants you to walk in.
POPPY SMITH is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She is funny, deep, transparent, and passionate about inspiring women to make their lives count for God. A former Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader with a Masters in Spiritual Formation, Poppy is a multi-published author whose speaking ministry has taken her across the nation and to over twenty countries.