Stress is a modern-day epidemic.
Every one of us deals with a degree of stress, however God never intended for us to live our entire lives stressed out.
Proverbs 12:25 says, Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down.... Stress and worry have an impact on every single area of our lives—they affect us mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
But God has given us the antidote in His Word.
Proverbs 3:5 is one of my favorite scriptures. It says, Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
Trusting God is the greatest stress reliever in the world. But the choice is up to us. We can “rely on our own insight and understanding”—endlessly thinking about our problems, trying to figure everything out ourselves. Or we can choose a trusting attitude that says:
“God, I’m not sure what to do about my situation, but I know that I can’t fix it on my own. If there is something specific You want me to do, please show me. Meanwhile, I’m going to trust You and enjoy my life while You work on my problems.”
Worry is the opposite of faith and trust. It steals our peace and joy and even makes us sick. When we worry, we actually torment ourselves—we're doing the enemy’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. However, we eventually learn one way or another that trying to take care of everything ourselves is too big of a task.
I used to be a professional worrier—I was good at it. Years ago, when my children were young, I would sit at our kitchen table and spend hours looking at our bills, worrying how we would pay them.
My husband, Dave, on the other hand, would be sitting on the floor in the TV room, letting the kids put curlers in his hair.
I would say, “Dave how can you have fun at a time like this?” And he would answer, “Joyce, we’ve prayed about it, and we’re doing everything we know to do. I refuse to be miserable with you.”
It made me so mad! But Dave was right. I was allowing myself to get upset and waste time I could have been spending with my children.
In John 14:27 Jesus says, Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.
I love this! God is saying, “I am giving you My peace, but the choice is up to you!”
We don’t always have to know what God is going to do or when He’s going to do it. All we really need to know is that God has a plan and He is in control. We can rest in the truth that at the right time, God will execute His plan.
The truth is God knew about your problem before you ever got it, and He already has a plan for your solution. In the meantime, you can choose to enjoy your life while you wait. With His help, you can trust more and stress less.
5 Things to Do When You’re Tempted to Worry
- Place your trust in God - Believe that God will take care of your situation, in His perfect way and timing.
- Humble yourself - Honestly come before God and let Him know you can’t do it on your own. Recognize that you need His help to have success in any area of your life.
- Cast your cares on Him - God wants us to throw our cares and worries onto Him and allow Him to carry the weight of them. See 1 Peter 5:6-7.
- Choose to think and say positive, faith-filled statements from God’s Word. - For example: “The Lord is going to take care of this. It doesn’t matter what it looks like—I believe God is working!”
- Enjoy your life while you wait! - Enter into God’s rest, knowing He will come through!