Overcoming Anxiety: Turning Your Worries Over to God
What Worries You?
Most people have concerns, but they usually pass quickly. However, excessive and persistent daily worry can cause havoc in our lives. When we are restless and constantly on edge, it can have a negative impact on our relationships, career, and even our health.
Many things in life can trouble our peace and cause us to be anxious, including financial concerns, lack of job security, violence and crime, and family problems. When we worry excessively, we can experience trouble sleeping, poor concentration, and impairment of our daily functioning.
Sometimes we may worry excessively — even when there is no factual basis for anxiety. In these times, we could find 1 Peter 5:7 extremely assuring and helpful:
"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." (AMP)
What an invitation! God invites us to throw off our worries and concerns on him. He is ready to take our anxieties because he loves us. The catch, though, is that we have to give them to him. We have to give him not just some of our worries, but all of them.
If you are like me, you are so used to carrying the loads of anxieties and worries that you sometimes find it difficult to really let go and give God your burdens. I have found that when I let go of my burdens, I experience true relief and peace of mind.
Here are four practical steps based on biblical principles that can help you reduce your anxiety and improve your well-being.
Find Balance in Your Life
There are some many things that compete for our attention every day, and this can cause us to be anxious when we find that we are not able to live up to our obligations. We need to find balance among all the important aspects of our lives such as the spiritual, emotional social and physical areas. But genuine life balance begins with faith in God. For our faith should be the core of all the activities in our lives.
Instead of allowing anxiety and fear to grip our hearts we can draw from the source of our total supply. Our Father God wants to guide us in every situation we face. So it is important that we spend time in prayer and meditation on the Word of God to keep us centered.
We need to understand ourselves and know what we want from life. This includes knowing our Christian values and beliefs and sticking to them. Of course, we cannot do this on our own, but we can ask the Holy Spirit for the help and empowerment we need. When we do we grow spiritually and each area of our lives line with our commitment to Christ.
Building strong, nurturing relationships is essential to a balanced life. While work is important, we must be sure to find proper work-life balance. For example, we need to spend quality time with our families. We also need to pursue friendships and activities outside our work and spend time connecting with others and sharing common interests, for example, becoming involved in our local church. So the Bible instructs us to, "encourage one another and build each other up" (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV).
We also need to take care of her physical well-being. This means eating the right balance of food, regular exercise, and adequate sleep and rest. The emphasis is on a healthy lifestyle, which could make it easier to deal with worry and concerns.
Why Do You Worry?
What is the main thing that cause you to be anxious?
Scripture Verses to Calm Your Worry
Renew Your Mind with God's Word
Our self-talk is what we tell ourselves over and over. When our self- talk is negative we get anxious and depressed. So we need to identify our self-defeating thinking and replace them with self-enhancing ones.
Psychologists call these thoughts that are generally not based on reality cognitive distortions. They cause us to focus on the negative aspects of our lives and disregard our strengths and abilities, and so we become anxious. The Bible teaches that we are "transformed by the renewing of our minds" (Romans 12:2). This renewing of our minds comes through reading, meditating on, and applying the Word of God to our lives.
We can start to challenge our anxious thoughts, by monitoring them daily and using the Word of God to re-frame our thinking. Here are some Scriptures that could help us to renew our mind and change to positive self-talk as we say them daily:
- I cast all my cares, worries, and anxieties on God because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)
- When I am afraid, I trust in God (Psalm 56:3)
- I am strong and courageous, and I am not discouraged because the Lord is with me wherever I go ( Joshua 1:9)
- I am not anxious for anything but In every situation, I will present my request to God with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6).
- My heart is not be troubled, instead, I will trust in God (John 14:1)
- The Lord himself goes before me and is with me, he will never leave me, so I'm not afraid or discouraged (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
- The Lord is the strength of my life and so I am not afraid (Psalm 27:1).
- I will not throw away my confidence, and I will be richly rewarded (Hebrews 10:35)
- My God's grace is sufficient for me, and his power is made perfect in my weakness ( Corinthians 12:9)
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."— (Philippians 4:6, NLT)
Cultivate a Grateful Attitude
It is so easy to minimize the blessings in our lives and focus on the things that are going wrong. This increases our anxiety and stress and we find it difficult to cope and enjoy life. Instead, we need to approach each day with an attitude of thankfulness.
There are many things we can be thankful for, and the greatest is God’s love that he showers on us every single day. But we must make a choice each day to be thankful and not overlook the blessings in our lives. We could find that with this attitude of gratitude we experience a more satisfying life.
The Bible reminds us that, “whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God's will in Christ Jesus that you do this” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, GWT). As we become more appreciative, we could find that our stress and anxiety decrease.
Here are some steps we can take to cultivate this attitude of thankfulness.
- Spend time each day in thanking and praising God for his goodness (list specific blessings).
- Recognize the things that we have and express appreciation for them.
- Remind ourselves of past blessings and how they have enriched our lives.
- Connect with people who are supportive and have a positive outlook on life, and take steps to improve our relationships.
- Express thanks to someone each day, for example, sending a “thank you” note to an aunt that we might not have seen for some time.
- Extend ourselves and help others, for example, through volunteer work. It gives us a sense of satisfaction and well-being when we touch the lives of others.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Regularly, make a list and reflect o people and things that are a blessing to us.n
Receive God's Peace and Joy
Let Faith Arise in Your Heart
We have to take God at his Word, and when we do we replace fear and anxiety with faith. The Bible tells us that God's "perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18, NIV). As we meditate on the Scriptures in the previous section and others, we receive the strength we need face the circumstances of life.
We have to make the choice to believe the report of God's Word over the situations we face. But we can't wait until we are facing adverse situations to build over faith. Believing and standing on God's Word should be our way of life.
Here are some steps to take to build faith in our hearts.
- Spend some quiet time each day in prayer and meditation on God's Word to build your faith.
- Practice the presence of God throughout the day, know that our Heavenly Father is with us all through the day, and talk to him like you best friend.
- Find and write Scriptures on God's promises on specific needs in our lives and repeat them daily
- Line up our prayers with the Word of God instead of reciting the problems over and over.
- Spend time thanking and praising God for his goodness even difficult situations, God is well able to meet our needs.
- Share with other believers, in an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement, and our faith will be built up.
- Receive and pass on God’s love to others in our families, at work, and so on in practical ways daily.
Ways to Deal With Worry and Anxiety
What is your best method to deal with worry and anxiety?
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your great love. Thank you for the invitation to give you all our anxieties. Today, we throw all our cares on you and leave them there. Thank you for your great peace. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Focus Activities to Overcome Anxiety
You don't need to carry you worry when your loving Father invites you to "cast your anxieties" on him for he cares for you! Here are five steps you can take to experience victory over anxiety and worry.
- Keep reminding yourself how much God loves you. Recall that everything is possible with God and that there is no situation that you cannot overcome as you put your trust in your loving, heavenly Father. Does your anxiety subside?
- For each situation, you face that causes you to worry, try to identify what is the trigger for your anxiety. Do you find that this helps you to deal with your worry more effectively?
- Practice taking a decision for each troublesome situation to focus your thoughts on a specific promise from God's Word. Do you find it difficult to this? What do you find helpful to keep your mind stayed on God's promises instead on the negative situation?
- Ask the Holy Spirit for help to renew your mind so you can gain his divine understanding of God's specific provisions for the situation. As you continue to meditate on the specific promise and wait on the Holy Spirit, what do you sense?
- Practice sensing God's presence each moment of the day by remaining in a prayerful attitude throughout the day. What does it mean to practice the presence of God? When you remain in an attitude of prayer, is there a difference in your response to challenging situations?
You could find the article, How to Stop Worrying: 13 Practical Steps, from CrossWord very helpful.
Moving Forward Worry-Free!
While life has many challenges, we must not allow persistent and overwhelming fear and anxiety to destroy our peace of mind. We can find God's peace in face of the storms of life. Instead of being plagued with worry, we can receive God's peace each day. Then we can truly say that the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10).
As we identify the factors that cause us to be anxious, we must change the way we respond to these stressors. Instead of being overwhelmed we can practice the steps including prayer and meditation and maintaining strong relationships for a more fulfilling life.
© 2014 Yvette Stupart