Times are uncertain and the reasons to worry are high — whether it’s the challenge of your child’s admission in school, the rising cost of petrol, or the rising interest rates on your home loan. Inflation’s on the rise and the streets aren’t getting safer. There’s sickness, heartbreak, and family feuds.
In the face of these, there is enough reason to worry. But we tend to worry even when things seem all right.
Take the example of a husband who hasn’t returned from work. He said he’d be back by 8 — it’s 9!
A thought enters the mind of the wife: what if he met with an accident?
She begins to worry.
The thought grows: What if he is seriously injured?
Her body tenses up; she begins to sweat.
What if he is in the hospital?
And no one is near him. He needs blood. He’s dying — He is dead!
O, what will happen to me? What will happen to my children — my future?
In no time, she’s in a terrible state — really worried!
The most common instruction in the Bible is ‘do not worry’. It’s a command to make an active decision.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:6-9:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Five steps that I have found helpful:
- Reject the anxious thought if it is not true. Do not assume. Do not think negatively and worry.
- Do not dwell on it and build a story in your mind.
- Present your anxious thought to the Lord and receive his peace.
- Replace the anxious thought with the truth from God’s word: Never will I leave you nor forsake you – I love you with an everlasting love — I care for the birds in the air and you are more valuable than them.
- Think about what is honourable, pure, lovely and praiseworthy. There is a lot of good around to be grateful for.
Lastly, the key is not just the knowledge of the above, but the practice.