Dealing With Worry
By Mark A. Finley
Worry and its twin, anxiety, are two of the most crippling emotions we may be called to face. They sap our energy, darken our joy, and negatively impact our health. God has a much better plan for our lives than for us to be paralyzed by fear, worry, and anxiety. Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Although we cannot always control our emotions, we can control how we process them. In this lesson we will discover how to deal with worry and how to handle anxiety and fear.
1Read Psalm 37:8. When we become angry at the way our lives are going, or feel distressed about the future and become filled with worry, what is the result upon our physical, mental, and spiritual health?
The psalmist is clear: When we fret, which is worry, it creates havoc with our entire being. Excessive worry or anxiety releases negative chemical properties into our bloodstreams that destroy our total health. Crippling fear also clouds our vision of the possibilities for God to do the impossible and remedy the situation.
2Read Psalm 34:3-7. What solution does the psalmist offer as a remedy for fear?
As we magnify the Lord and praise His name because of His goodness, He will deliver us from fear and worry. One of the reasons we worry so much is that we are looking in the wrong direction.
Someone quipped, “When I look at my problems, my trouble grows; but when I look at Jesus, my trouble goes.” This does not mean, of course, that we will have no problems if we are committed to Jesus. It means that in Him we have discovered the solution to those problems.
3Read Philippians 4:6, 7. How did the apostle Paul counsel the believers in Philippi to deal with anxiety? What will be the result of following Paul’s counsel?
As we come to Jesus with our worries, and present our concerns to Him with a thankful, confident heart that He will deliver us from our anxieties, He promises to fill our hearts with a peace that passes human understanding.
4What assurance did Paul give to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7?
Love breaks the chains of fear and delivers us from the bondage of worry. Filled with God’s love, we have a sound, or healthy, mind. See also 1 John 4:18.
5In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus counseled His disciples to cease worrying about their immediate problems and future challenges. The Master pointed out that He was fully capable of caring for their needs. Read Matthew 6:25-34. List all the things Jesus tells us not to worry about. Then list the basic reason worry does no good (verse 27).
6Read Matthew 11:28-30. What gracious invitation does the Savior give to those whose minds are burdened with worry?
What a compassionate, loving Savior! He invites us to lay all our worries at His feet. He is fully capable of handling them. His shoulders are broad enough and strong enough to support us.
Worry and anxiety are emotions. The circumstances of life cause these emotions to flood into our minds; but we can choose what to do with them. We can either harbor negative thoughts, project the worst possible outcome on the screen of our minds, or consciously bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5) and lay it at His feet. We can choose to cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). As we cultivate a trusting spirit in the face of life’s challenges, worry will no longer dominate our thinking and control our thoughts.
Praise God’s holy name!