A UK-firm recently polled 18,000 respondents across the globe asking what worried them most. The top worries of people around the world were:
• Corruption and political scandals in their country
• Crime and violence
• Healthcare, and
What would you say worries you the most? Money to pay your bills? Your health? Whether you are attractive? Your financial future? Growing older? Your pet’s health? The behavior of your kids? Fear of the unknown? Something else?
How can you conquer worry in your life? Consider these 5 keys.
1. Rely upon God and His Word, the Bible.
A big mistake we make when dealing with anxiety and worry is attemping to tackle it in our own strength. Big mistake! Lean on God during times of worry. Seek His strength. Rest in Bible promises that help you with your worries. Examples are: Philippians 4:6-7; Isaiah 41:10; 1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 6:25; John 14:27. Don’t let your carnal nature persuade you that you can do a better job of handling your stressful, worry-producing situations than God can.
2. Pray About Your Worries
Make a list of all the matters in your life that are causing you to worry and to feel anxiety. Then, daily pray over each item on your list. Claim the promise of Philippians 4:6-7 as you pray. Trust that God will work in your circumstances.
3. Recognize How Little Worry Actually Helps You.
Jesus told us in Matthew 6:27 that worry won’t add hours or days to our lives. And I would add that worry won’t build you up, make you smarter, or give you confidence. But, as Whitney Hopler has written, worry will harm you physically (such as by contributing to high blood pressure, causing insomnia, and suppressing your immune system), mentally (by sending a stream of negative thoughts into your mind), and spiritually (by encouraging fear rather than faith in God). Worry also wastes valuable time and energy that you could be using for better activities.
4. Cultivate Contentment
Would you agree that much of what creates anxiety and worry in our lives is our discontent. We don’t have what others have. We aren’t satisfied with our possessions. We don’t like where God has us. Our home is too small or our car is not new enough. Philippians 4:11 states, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” From this verse we could say that contentment is a choice we make. And I believe when we choose contentment, we conquer many of our anxieties.
5. Be Thankful
Here is an exercise I learned years ago from a missionary. Each day thank God for something that you never have thanked Him for. One day I thanked God that a teacher taught me to write. On another occasion I remember thanking God that I had shoes. You get the idea. Run-through this exercise each day. You will grow in appreciation for what you have, and in the process, you will worry less.
God wants so much more for us than to walk through life full of fear, worry and anxiety. So, practice these 5 keys for conquering worry. Best of all, as you conquer your tendency to worry, you will have more hope in your life.