Worry—feeling uneasy or troubled—seems to plague multitudes of people in our world today. It's human nature to be concerned about the bad situations in our world and in our personal lives, but if we're not careful, the devil will cause us to worry beyond what's reasonable.
Like a rocking chair, worry is always in motion, but it never gets you anywhere. So why do we struggle with it? And what good does it do?
Worry is the opposite of faith. It steals our peace, physically wears us out, and can even make us sick. When we worry, we torment ourselves—we're doing the devil's job for him! Worry is caused by not trusting God to take care of the various situations in our lives. Too often we trust our own abilities, believing that we can figure out how to take care of our own problems. And yet, after all our worry and effort to go it alone, we come up short—unable to bring about suitable solutions.
At a young age, I discovered firsthand that people hurt people, so I didn't trust others. I tried to take care of myself, refusing to depend on anyone who would hurt or disappoint me.
Too often our experiences in the world teach us this, and even after we become Christians, it takes a long time to overcome it. It's difficult to learn how to trust God, but we eventually must learn that trying to take care of everything ourselves is too big a task.
Cast Your Cares on the One Who Cares for You
First Peter 5:6-7 says, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. If Jesus invites us to cast all of our care and worry on Him, why do so many of us refuse to let go? Apparently, we're not yet fed up with being miserable.
The only way to have victory in our lives is to play by God's rules, and He says we must quit worrying if we want to have peace. So, when things come our way that cause us to be concerned, we need God's help. But how do we get it? First Peter 5:6-7 lists two important steps: 1) humble yourselves, and 2) cast your anxieties—or cares—on Him.
All of us would be better off if we'd learn to lean on God and ask for His help. But as long as we try to do everything ourselves, God will let us. He won't take care of our problems and worries—our anxieties—until we turn loose of them and give them to Him. Either we're going to do it or God's going to do it, but both of us aren't going to.
Now, casting your care doesn't mean you can be irresponsible. God won't do for you what you can do yourself. You must do what you can do, and then trust God to do what you can't. When we humble ourselves and ask for His help, then He will release His power in our situations. It's only then that we can really enjoy life.
So the cure for worry is humbling ourselves before God, casting our cares on Him, and trusting Him. When we are able to believe and say, "God, I trust You," it will literally change our lives.
Develop an Attitude of Faith and Prayer
I've learned that my attitude has a lot to do with living a worry-free life. There will always be situations that cause us concern, but with God's help, we can live above all of it and enjoy life. However, when you give your problems to God, you must also decide to be satisfied with His answers.
See, trusting God to do what's best for us also involves dying to self. Paul said, ...It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20). You can trust God to do what's best for you, so you don't have to worry about it. When you have a positive attitude and keep your faith in God, you can't be defeated.
Together, faith and the Word of God will help you overcome worry. Worrying involves negative thoughts, but speaking positive things out of your mouth will interrupt those negative thought patterns. When we are full of the Word of God, we can speak it out of our mouths in faith. Faith is stronger than doubt, negativism and unbelief. It has a positive attitude that can overcome our past and lead us into a great future.
Faith is a powerful force that cannot be conquered.
Another powerful force is prayer. When you're under pressure, it's always best to pray about it instead of talk about it. Prayer is the blueprint for a successful life. During His time on earth, Jesus prayed. He entrusted everything to God—even His reputation and life. And we can do the same. We don't have to explain all the problems to Him; we can just give them to Him and ask Him to take care of everything. Don't complicate prayer. Just have confidence in simple, believing prayer.
Look at Paul's instructions in Philippians 4:6-7: 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.
If you're a Christian who goes around burdened or weighed down all the time, something is wrong. You may have had faith in Christ for salvation, but you haven't moved into walking in faith daily for the life that God has given you. The Bible tells us that God is faithful—that's one of His major characteristics. He can be counted on to come through for us, so we should trust Him totally and completely. When we do, we'll be ready for anything that may come our way.
Allow God to Give You Peace and Rest
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Jesus wants to ease our burdens and give us rest.
That sounds good, doesn't it? I've had enough heavy stuff in my life, and I want to be free.
When we're overloaded with the cares of this life—struggling, laboring and worrying—we need some help. Our minds need to rest from worrying about how to take care of problems; our emotions need to rest from being upset all the time; and our wills need a rest from stubbornness and rebellion. So we need to be humble enough to call out to God and say, "I need help!"
Your beginning doesn't have to dictate your ending. Get God involved in every area of your life and allow Him to lead you into rest.
Worry or Worship?
Worry and worship are exact opposites, and we'd all be much happier if we learned to become worshippers instead of worriers. Worry opens the door for the devil, but worship is reverence and adoration for God that leads us into His presence. God created us to worship Him, and I don't believe we can walk in victory if we don't become worshippers.
Sometimes, when we don't have what we need or want, the enemy tries to discourage us and keep us from worshipping God. But when we know that God has our best interests at heart, we can worship Him regardless of our circumstances. Remember, God is good, even when our circumstances are not! God may not always give us our heart's desire right away. But He always wants us to develop a deep, personal relationship with Him and an outrageous love for Him—so much so that we can't live without it. This kind of relationship and love brings about worshipful attitude that God wants us to have.
To worship means "to reverence," or "to defer to." We are to have reverential fear and awe of God. We are to respect and honor Him, and defer to Him through submission and obedience, adapting ourselves to His will. We must realize that Christ, living in us, has come to lead and guide us into a special lifestyle of worship and victorious living.
When Satan throws worry on you, I challenge you to stop what you're doing, get down on your knees before God, and begin praising Him. Worship is a spiritual weapon, a warhead or bomb you can use against the enemy. Your prayers and worship will get you heavenly help, and you won't have to fight your own battles alone. God's grace and power can make things happen with ease that you can't bring about no matter how much you struggle.
So stop worrying about everything, give it to God, and live in grace. Grace isn't just divine favor—it's power! Don't waste another day of your life worrying. Determine what your responsibility is and what it is not. Don't try to take on God's responsibility. When we do what we can do, God steps in and does what we can't. So give yourself and your worries to God and begin enjoying the abundant life He has planned for you.