4 Steps to Stop Worrying

I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. I suppose I chose this verse today for myself as much as for anybody. Anxiety and worry, is more often than not, emotionally crippling, physically damaging, and spiritually deadening. I find myself slipping back in a worrying mode about so many things which I have no control over. Much too often, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to put on a heavy backpack, which I’ve lugged around day after day, filled with “life issues” that I worry over. 

If like me, you happen to feel, on a regular basis, the heaviness of anxiety and worry or perhaps you simply wake up feeling restless and antsy about the future, you may want to try these four action steps to stop worrying…to lighten the load in that backpack.

4 Steps to Stop Worrying

1. FIGHT.  Don’t be idle with your worry. In other words, there is a way to fight worry and not to have it overwhelm your life. Too often we run from one worry to the next. We battle to keep plates loaded with worry spinning in a blur, yet the plates will always fall and break and before the day is over, we find ourselves totally wasted and defeated. We’ve been fighting the worry dragon all wrong. Fighting worry in our strength will slay us.

Essentially, when we worry we are saying we don’t believe that God is in control of our life. We forget how much our Heavenly Father loves us…that He will never abandon us. Fight against the urge to spin another plate by meditating on the promises of God. Instead of listening to your own voice, spinning thoughts inside your head, listen to God’s words instead. Fight for experiencing more grace. Make the choice to speak the gospel to yourself. Fight the urge to spin another plate with prayer instead…ask God to give you faith to trust him. It is worth the fight.

2. TRUST. To totally trust God is a choice. We fight the battle of unbelief with preaching the gospel of grace to ourselves and now we must choose to let go and trust God. Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” This verse doesn’t imply that we will never be afraid but it tells us what to do when we are fearful or when we are worrying. The psalmist says to take action when we are afraid…we are to put our trust in God. When we worry and stay afraid, we are not trusting God for the practical details in our life. “The surest way to find out if you can trust God? Is just trust Him. The free fall of faith is what makes you free.”  [1]   

3. SURRENDER. To surrender doesn’t mean defeat, quite the contrary, to surrender your worry over to God will give you power to live free. You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. [2]Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7)

A surrendered life is also a life of constant repenting. Repenting that once again, plates filled with worry and fear are spinning…repent of idle thoughts that rob true joy and peace found in Christ. A surrendered life is a prayerful life…the action step of casting all your anxiety on him. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) That is another promise you can trust! 

4. SING.  To sing is the catalyst of worship. Singing forms the words of our prayers and petitions and even our muddled thoughts into beautiful poetry of worship. When worry is making life hard, then sing even louder. Singing songs of happy praise will ease the battle fatigue of spinning plates. Worry fades when the hum of grace-filled music floods your mind and emotions. Singing makes for a cheerful heart and there is no room for worry there.

It’s been a stressful and crazy few weeks around here and honestly, I’ve been spinning lots of plates piled high with worry. I’m so grateful for the encouragement gleaned from God’s promises and his daily dose of grace to fight the good fight, to totally trust him, to live a surrendered life, and to sing…to experience freedom.

[1] A Holy Experience | [2] Daily Hope with Rick Warren, Surrender: Let Go and Let God Work