Win the War Over Worry
March 12, 2019
I've heard it said that worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. You're doing something, but you get nowhere. You just rock and rock and rock. I've noticed that worry does change one thing—it changes who we are. Worry changes our personality and makes us frustrated, suspicious, cranky, and miserable. It causes us to miss the beauty of the moment and to be fruitful in our lives. It literally chokes us spiritually. We need to learn to win the war over worry.
When we worry, we might as well be saying, "God, I have some big problems, and You're not big enough to take care of them." Jesus talks about this in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. There was a farmer who was planting seed in his field. The farmer represents God, and the seed represents the Word of God that He plants and is trying to get into our life every day. But Jesus warned that the condition of our heart can be like thorny ground. He says, "The Word gets planted in your heart and begins to grow, but the worries of this life choke the Word, making it unfruitful." Worry literally strangles the seed and makes it unproductive.
The apostle Paul gives us insight on how to win the war over worry. He says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6). He didn't just say, "Stop being anxious." He followed it up with a practice that you and I can do every day. He told us to pray. We are to talk to God about everything that concerns us, which is exactly what prayer is. He was saying, "Pray about everything. Turn your worry into prayer. Take your worry list and put it on your prayer list."
We all face struggles. No one is exempt. Are you worrying, or are you praying? Are you living stressed out, or are you peaceful? Prayer and worry can't coexist. They're opposites. Don't pull up a chair and have a conversation with all the anxious thoughts that are trying to drag you down. Don't allow anxieties to push you around anymore. Take your daily worries and anxieties and begin to offer them up to God and bring Him into the middle of your challenges, and it becomes a prayer. Offer up this prayer with thanksgiving in your heart, saying, "My worries are small compared to my great big God." Then the apostle Paul adds, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).