4 Reasons We Still Worry

by Cindi McMenamin

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

Let’s admit it. We know we’re not supposed to worry and yet we do. We worry about finances, our health, and the health of those we love. We worry about what’s already happened and about what hasn’t yet taken place.

There’s a myriad of reasons why we shouldn’t worry. Worry causes stress which prematurely ages us, gives us wrinkles, and wreaks havoc on our health. Worry negatively affects our relationships with others who don’t want to be around a worry wart.

But what if I told you the real reasons you and I worry have more to do with our relationship with God than the people and situations we’re worried about? The reasons you worry probably aren’t the reasons you’re thinking, but as soon as you know them, you may be able to convince yourself to stop.

Here are four primary reasons you and I worry and how to stop it right now.

1. We worry because we forget God is all-powerful.

We worry because we forget about God’s power. We forget what He’s capable of and we start to believe we must take care of things ourselves. We start panicking that we’re on our own, and we might not be able to handle it. You know what? We can’t handle it. It’s why we need Him. God wants us to realize and admit our weakness so He can be strong on our behalf.

God often wants to do through us, what is beyond us. So when you’re faced with a situation in which you feel weak or powerless, rather than worry, call upon the Only One who take care of the situation. His power is available to you for the asking. James 4:10 says: “ Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

2. We worry because we’ve forgotten His presence.

One of the first things that causes us to worry is the fear that we are alone. But when we do that, we’ve clearly forgotten God’s presence – that He’s right here with us, going before us, walking alongside us, and watching our backs.

In Psalm 139:7 David asks “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee your presence?” And then he answers his question by explaining the staying power of God’s presence. Read it. Highlight it. Believe it. And ask for God’s power to live it.  When you’re tempted to fret that you are alone in your worrisome situation, remember His presence. And start talking to Him as if He’s right here. Because He is.

3. We worry because we try to control our lives and the lives of others.

It is in our human nature to try to control our lives and the lives of everyone else around us.  We believe, at times, that it’s up to us to right all wrongs and fix all things broken. But only God can restore the broken, heal the hurting, and bring ultimate justice.

After a season of life in which he was convinced he had no control over what God had clearly allowed, Job said: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (42:1). And in case God’s people became prideful and started to think their victories were at their own hands, the Psalmist corrected them when he sang: “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them” (Psalm 44:3 NIV). 

Worry dissolves as you surrender to God and admit you are not in control of anything– He is.

4. We worry because we don’t really believe God is good.

God is good … all the time. As the perfect parent, He wants only the best for His children (Matthew 7:11). God is good because He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So trust His goodness. He wants for you what will shape you for eternity. That means you don’t need to worry about what happens around you. Nothing can come close to you that hasn’t first passed through His loving hands (Romans 8:38-39).

Can you surrender your worries to the Only One who can work all things out according to His good and perfect plan?

For help battling the worry bug, see Cindi’s books, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom, and Women on the Edge.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker, Bible teacher, and award-winning writer who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 150,000 copies sold),  Find out more about her speaking ministry, coaching services for writers, and books to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, at www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.  

Every woman, at one time or another, has felt as if she’s “on the edge.” She has felt unappreciated, unsupported, and weary. Such frustration can drive her away from God or toward Him. In Women on the Edge, Cindi shares how women can thrive even in the hard times and learn to live with joy, as they pursue God in exciting new ways.

Join the conversation: Can you find the reason you are worried right now in the article above?

Where’s my Control Button?

by Lynn Eib

But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  Romans 8:6 NLT  

I love to play FreeCell Solitaire on my laptop. I tell myself that I play to keep my mind keen as I age and that all the strategizing sharpens my mental skills. But I think the real reason I’m continually drawn to this card game is because I can control it.

Every single game of FreeCell is winnable, and if I find my strategy isn’t working, or I don’t have any more moves, I simply hit CRTL-Z.  I “undo” my past turns and make other choices until once again I emerge a winner. (Current win streak: 929.)

You know what CTRL stands for, right? CONTROL! Yep, that’s why I love the game. I’m in control and if the game gets out-of-control and I might lose, I simply take control and make everything turn out the way I always wanted it to. It’s the perfect game for a perfectionist like me, who hates to lose!

 Don’t you wish life had a CTRL-Z button? You could hit it and go back and change the serious diagnosis you or your loved one have received. Or you could tap it and delete the deep disappointments you’ve experienced. Or you could type that command and forgo all the financial struggles. Or you could strike those two keys and erase the emptiness. Somehow–some way–you could control the situation until everything turned out just as you hoped.

Mary, a member of my cancer prayer support group, would have loved a CTRL-Z button when she was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, just 19 months after being widowed. “My husband was gone; I retired Feb. 3 and got diagnosed Feb. 27,” she says. “It was the one-two punch. The shock just hit me and I was ready to die.”

Not only did Mary feel out-of-control, but the cancer looked out-of-control, as it already had spread to her liver and bones.

However, within a few months of starting treatment scans showed the disease was responding. As I write this, she has been a survivor for more than six years. But despite her good quality of life, Mary still lives under the uncertain shadow of an incurable cancer.

“I find myself asking God: ‘Could I just have a little control? I want your will, but could I have just a little of mine?’” she says with a laugh.

I really appreciate Mary’s honesty and the fact she recognizes the humor in desiring God’s will, but on her own terms.

God is teaching both Mary and me to quit searching for life’s CRTL-Z button and to stop pretending we can be in charge of it all. The truth is, we never were in control in the first place, and none of us has the wisdom to successfully direct our own steps.

The temptation always is there to place our trust in our fallen feelings or our limited view of the facts, but The Message Bible paraphrases a wonderful control-releasing truth in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all” (MSG).

I’m learning to give up the control-stick and trust the One who is all-knowing, all seeing, and all-powerful–because letting the Spirit control my mind instead truly does lead to life and peace.

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Where’s my Control Button? Insight from Lynn Eib on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

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About the author: Lynn Eib is a long-time cancer survivor, a patient advocate, and an award-winning journalist. She has six titles with Tyndale House Publishing, including When God & Cancer Meet with 100,000+ copies sold. Her website www.lynneib.com provides a bi-weekly blog of encouragement; tips for founding, facilitating and finding faith-based support groups; and free resources for cancer patient and their caregivers.

In Lynn’s beautiful, giftable book, Peace in the Face of Cancer, she shares how to live well from the moment of diagnosis through the rest of life. You’ll discover how to bring God’s peace into your own home and heart―regardless of your or your loved one’s medical prognosis.

Join the conversation: Do you struggle with giving up control?