This week we are studying about worrying. Do you worry? Are you weary from worry? I could probably win awards for being one of the biggest worriers ever. I am not sure why I worry so much or have in the past. I do believe there are seasons of worry – seasons of losing loved ones, seasons of having no children, seasons of having children, seasons of taking care of parents, seasons of losing a job, a home, our health and so many other reasons.
I honestly believe I don’t worry as much as I used to. I don’t think I let things bother me like before. I find today that money does not matter, jobs don’t matter, but what really matters and can cause me worry is my children in this season of life. They are adults, but even though they are strong in the Lord, they are having some tough things in their lives right now, one of which is our grandson born with EB. Yep I can let my mind really start to wonder when Colt gets a sore in his mouth or on his foot and that little thing can lead to places my thoughts should not go if I were truly hanging on to God’s promises. think I am doing better and love how this chapter has provided steps to help and also statistics that show I do not have control over most of what I worry about.
Scripture trumps feelings!
One of my friends shared today this quote from the Wonderstruck study guide, by Margaret Feinberg. “Instead of focusing on the Why’s of our life circumstances, God calls our attention back to Him and reminds us of the Who that controls everything.” My friend Lauren also shared this, “I think sometimes He wants us to ask the why so that we can be Wowd by His presence within it! ” Is that awesome or what?
In Philippians 4, Paul provides us the prescription for peace in the midst of trials, problems and pain in our life. Have you prayed for peace during those times you start to worry? Verses 6 and 7 say “ Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
One of my study sister, Pat Ewing designed this graphic with the prescription for peace. I love this.
In Renee Swope’s book A Confident Heart (Ch 9) she breaks down those steps to peace for us:
So throughout this chapter and in Renee’s video there are tips on how not to worry and how to overcome worry:
- Rest in His love and peace – Phil 4
- Stop Worrying. Start Praying. Keep Thanking God (Page 171)
- Spend Time with Him – Create a setting for two so you can get away from distractions and set with Him (Pages 176-177)
- Read and Journal and Reflect on His Faithfulness (Page 177)
- Boss your heart around by reminding it to remember who God is (Page 178)
- Write your worries on cards and put them at the cross on your bedside (Here is mine)
And I am about to fill out more about the ice storm that is on the way with possible power outages. As I sit here and thank about what could happen, I stop to think about the good. My mother-in-law is next door and she is with a different power company. My son lives a few miles away on another power company so what have I to fear? My daughter is on the way home – 6 hours away and left at 2:30 this morning to beat it and in another 1.5 hours she will be safely home. Instead of fearing her drive back home alone in the wee hours of the morning and rain, sleet and snow and icy roads I laid there and prayed God’s hand over her every mile of the way and so far no icy roads for her.
One of the things that stood out to me was on page 163 where it talked about the things we worry about and how only 8% can be influenced or changed so why do we worry so much? In Max Lucado’s Book, Come Thirsty he talks about the things we worry about.
- 40% NEVER happen.
- 30% are in regard to UNCHANGEABLE deeds of the past.
- 12% focus on the OPINIONS of others that CANNOT BE CONTROLLED.
- 10% center on personal health, which only WORSENS when we WORRY about it.
- 8% concern REAL PROBLEMS that WE CAN INFLUENCE.
One of my favorite quotes by Renee Swope that I love is “”When my worries make me weary, I need God to guard my heart and mind with His peace, as I tuck myself into Jesus and live in the security of His sovereignty.”
I love that paragraph and the image that came to mind when I read it and thought about tucking myself into Jesus. I was reminded of a saying I wrote on my dry erase board in my office over 15 years ago during a hard time that read like this “Anything that comes into my life must come through God, through Jesus to get to me, so what have I to fear.” Sometimes I forget that, sometimes I question, and then I start remembering all the wonderful things that God has done for me and I remember He has a plan and His plan is perfect. He is chiseling, He is molding me into what He desires me to be.
And other thing Renee shared was bossing our hearts around. You heard that right. Sometimes we just have to take reign of our hearts and boss them.
How do we tuck ourselves into Jesus. Try some of the methods above. Also, personally for me I have to learn to only worry about today. If I look into the future and what might be it is too much to handle and as we heard above most of that is not going to happen so why worry about tomorrow because there is enough to worry about today. Living one day at a time requires complete dependence on God every day.
As soon as you start to worry about tomorrow, stop and bring yourself back to the present. Bring yourself to this moment. God is with you this moment, right now. Talk to God in those moments, not yourself.
Sometimes when those stressors hit us hard we tend to boss others around or we may jus go into a quiet mode. Neither is good. Renee reminded us instead of bossing others around, we need to boss our own hearts around. We don’t have to let ourselves pulled down in a pit of discouragement where we pull others down with us.
Always no matter what is going on in your life, reflect on His blessings and His faithfulness. Keep a notebook, a journal, cards or something to right down all the blessings you have been given. No matter where we are in life, there is always something to thank God for in our lives.
Renee talked about creating a setting for two. Do you have a time you set aside for just you and Jesus? Do you have a special space or a special chair? I would love for you to share. Find your quiet place, your safe place, your setting for two and spend some time alone with God in prayer and Bible study.
Some of you have heard of date nights with your spouse. Do you have a DATE time with Jesus? Renee called it Determine A Time Everyday with God.
I found many other Bible verses about worry and peace, and even some in our study of Chapter 9 this week
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”
Psalm 23:4-5 “Show me your ways Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.“
Luke 12:25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
John 14:27 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.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.