We all worry. It’s human to feel troubled about problems of all types – even imaginary ones! This is such a common human habit that the Bible addresses it multiple times. How to stop worrying is the subject of many verses in both the Old and New Testaments.
Learning to deal with worry in a Biblical manner is very important in a believer’s life. Perhaps you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: You can’t stop every thought from entering your head just as you can’t stop a bird from flying over your head. But you can stop dwelling on and worrying about those thoughts, just as you can stop a bird from making a nest in your hair!
I have lots of negative thoughts and worrying thoughts that come to my mind every day. It is my natural inclination to look on the cup as half-empty, and then wonder where the water to fill it is going to come from. But I don’t live (or at least I try not to live) according to my natural inclinations.
I am a new creation. I am filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by grace and love. There is no need for me to give in to my natural inclinations. I can have supernatural inclinations that take control!
How to Stop Worrying: What to Do
First, spend time in the Word and in prayer! Nothing beats worry like filling up on God’s Word and spilling out your feelings and thoughts to Him in prayer. He is always available to listen, love, guide, strengthen, and encourage you. His Word contains the keys to peace, joy, love, and a host of other traits that will beat worry into the ground. The more you know it – and the more you allow it to get into you and change you – the less you will worry!
Second, learn to focus on what is truly important. There are many things that clamor for our attention: jobs, husbands, children, extended family, church, friends, dreams, exercise, housework, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and so much more! How do you focus on the ‘truly important’? It helps to have a clear set of values by which you live your life – but that’s another post for another day! To start with, set clear priorities. Family first is more than a cliché, it is also a truth! After Jesus, family comes first. Keep eternal values, learned from the Word, in mind always. Again, you must know the Word to keep those values up front!
Third, live in the moment. Does this mean no planning, no goals, no dreams for the future? Of course not! After all, I’m writing a series on goal-setting! It does mean taking time to enjoy the little things as well as the big. My kids are grown and I’m a grandma now. But I remember the growing up times. The good parts. Because that is what I focused on. I remember the broken bones, close call, bad choices, and hospital stays also. But I focus on the good things. I focused on them then; I focus on them now. Enjoy each day to its full, while being wise about the future.
Fourth, fill your days with worship, thanksgiving, and praise. Play worship music. Sing along. Learn verses of praise and thanksgiving. Post those verses around your home. If you fill your mind and heart with good things, worry will find little space for building a nest.
Finally, seek out the company of other believing women – those in the same life stage and those ahead of you who can be encouragers. Include those to whom you can also be a blessing and encouragement. Believers were never expected to be alone and lonely. God has placed us in a family – the family we call the Church. Be honest and vulnerable, and when you need them your sisters in Christ will be there for you. Pour into the lives of others from the fullness that the Lord gives you and they will pour into your life.
How to Stop Worrying: Bible Verses to Read
- Psalm 55:22
- Psalm 94:19
- Proverbs 3:5 – 6
- Proverbs 12:25
- Isaiah 41:10
- Jeremiah 29:11 – 15
- Matthew 6:25 – 43
- Luke 12:22 – 34
- John 14:1 – 4, 27
- Romans 1:31 – 39
- Philippians 4:4 – 8
- 1 Peter 5:6 – 10
My Challenge to You
I know worrying is a hard habit to break. But it does nothing good for you or me. It can have negative spiritual, emotional, and physical effects on our lives. It can derail our dreams, our relationships, and our faith. If this is a spiritual battle where you need victory, I encourage you to start by reading the verses listed about daily and then start memorizing them, so you always have the encouragement of the Word with you. As you are tempted to worry, quote a memorized verse to yourself instead. Until you have these verses memorizes, write them on index cards and carry them around with you. When worry raises its ugly head, get out your cards and start reading them, preferably out loud.