Tuesday, 21 January 2014

HOW TO OVERCOME WORRY

As long as we have breath, we are bound to have problems. We worry when our children fail to return home in the wee hours of the morning. We may be anxious about the prospect of being axed due to corporate restructuring. Or we may be overwhelmed as to how we are going to pay our hefty medical bills or fund our children’s tertiary education.

When we worry, we expend a lot of nervous energy which is better channeled to serving God and advancing His kingdom. Satan is most delighted when the army of God is weakweighed down and distracted by the cares of the world (Luke 8:14).


                                                                       

However, the Bible is replete with wisdom and pointers how we can overcome anxiety and worry.


                                                                       
Firstly, we need to trust God’s promise that, no matter what happens, He will never leave  or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We may not feel it. Circumstances may tell us otherwise. But we need to confess and affirm this truth that God will not leave us without hope or help.

Secondly, we need to trust that God will deliver us. And even if He does not deliver us the way we would expect, we need to trust Him that He has allowed us to go through difficult times for our spiritual discipline and growth (Hebrews 12:11). Let us learn from Joseph who trusted God even when he was thrown into the pit and prison. For his unwavering faith, he was finally vindicated when he became the governor of Egypt, second in rank to Pharaoh.

Thirdly, we need to study, meditate and declare aloud God’s Word so that the truth permeates our soul. The more we dwell on negative things, the more a sense of foreboding controls us. If left unchecked, it may choke us and make us feel miserable.

Some may say, Come on, isn’t that mere positive thinking? No. What is the difference between faith and positive thinking? Positive thinking is “free floating”; it is not necessarily hitched to something solid whereas faith is focused on an objecta fact. Faith rests in God’s wordto be exact, God’s character and the promises in His word.

Fourthly, if we’re overwhelmed, try praying in the Spirit. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).


                                                                           
“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).


                                                                    
Fifthly, do not sabotage our faith. Sometimes we get encouraged by a message on ‘overcoming worry’ but quickly slip into worrying mode again. If we continue to groan and moan, we nullify our trust in God. We need to be single-minded. We must not suppose that we will receive anything from God if we are double-minded (James 1:7).

Sixthly, we need to be realistic. We need to look at the problem squarely and pray that God will give us wisdom to solve it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). For example, if we are beset by financial worries, we need to be thrifty, live on a budget, learn to be financially savvy, plan and work hard if we want to be free from debt.

Next, we need to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness to us in the past. We should set up our own memorial stones* to help us sail through the storms of life. When we get worried over the trials we are facing, we can cling on to God’s faithfulness. As He has dealt with us in the past, He will continue to be faithful to usnow and in the future.

Finally, we need to realise that, more often than not, the bad things we fear may befall us seldom come to pass. As we reflect on our past, we need to ask ourselves how many times are there when something really bad happened? 

We need to remind ourselves not to live in the future but be primarily concerned about today’s troubles. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).


                                                                       
“You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).



                                                                    

*  Footnotes:
After the Israelites crossed the river Jordan, Joshua instructed them to take twelve stones from the river and set them up on land as a memorial (Joshua 4:1-7). This was not only to commemorate the crossing but to remind the people of the miraculous power of God. If they face any trials in future, these memorial stones will remind them of God’s deliverance.

RELATED POSTS

FAITH, FEELING, CIRCUMSTANCES
The greater our faith, the more we are freed from the tyranny of our feelings and external circumstances.

FEAR NOT, STAND FIRM
When we realise that the battle belongs to God, we just need to stand firm in faith. And act only at the appropriate moment.

MEDITATE FOR SUCCESS
Who doesn’t want success? But are we willing to take the first step which is to meditate?

MORE THAN ENOUGH
Facing hard times? An all-sufficient God is able to meet all our needs. We need to affirm and declare this truth.
http://bit.ly/1mA9ptm

EXTERNAL LINKS

DON'T WORRY  
The 10 “commandments” in life
Someone has taken the trouble to pen these beautiful words (author unknown, edited).

1. Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when you are in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs you along the right path.
2. Why is a car's windscreen so large but the rear view mirror so small? Because our past is not as important as our future. So look ahead and move on.
3. Friendship is like a book. It takes only a few seconds to burn it, but it takes years to write.
4. All things in life are temporary. If they are going well, enjoy them for they will not last forever. If things are going wrong, do not worry as they cannot last long too.
5. Old friends are gold. New friends are diamonds. If you get a diamond, don't forget the gold. It's because a diamond always needs a base of gold.
6. When we lose hope and think that it is the end, God smiles from above and says, "Relax sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end.
7. When God solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities. When He doesn't solve them, He has faith in your abilities.
8. A blind person once asked a sage: “Can there be anything worse than losing one's eyesight?” He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"
9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them. When you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
10. Worrying does not take away tomorrow's trouble; it takes away today's peace.

MOVING BEYOND WORRY AND ANXIETY (BY JOYCE MEYER)

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Soak yourself in the truth from God’s word. Declare it aloud and claim its promises. Let it minister to your soul.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoN4N9yWqA8


HOW TO STOP RUMINATING
Do you constantly replay or obsess over negative situations? Known as rumination, it can feel like a broken record. Your mind rehearses the play-by-play of what led to that horrific breakup or missing a deadline at work.
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/02/16/8-tips-to-help-stop-ruminating/

                                                                          

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