How to Change Worry and Anxiety

How to Change Worry and Anxiety January 3, 2019

Once I was having skin problems and went to the doctor. I was 20 or 21, and suffered from eczema and other issues. I was hoping for a prescription that would help clear it up. Once in the office, the doctor looked at me and then left the room.

I waited. After awhile, a nurse came in. She brought a tape player this was a few decades ago with a cassette tape loaded up inside it. She put them on the counter and said, “The doctor wants you to listen to this.” She pushed the play button and walked out.

It was a sermon about dealing with worry.

I was furious. I didn’t want to be preached at. I wanted medicine!

But that doctor understood something it took me years to realize: I wasn’t having skin problems. I had emotional problems that manifested as skin problems.

As a kid, I was always worried. I was always fearful. I carried myself so that you’d never know I was afraid or anxious, but these negative emotions had a serious impact on me. Eventually they started causing physical problems like eczema, which has been shown to be worsened by stress.

From relationship problems in my teenage years to fear of rejection as a pastor, I dealt with worry and anxiety for much of my life, until God helped me change my mind about these emotions. Here are some things I learned:

These emotions are not normal. Fear, worry, and anxiety exist only because we think they are normal.

These emotions are thieves. They are robbing us of God. They are robbing us of joy. They are distracting us from our families.

These emotions exist only because we allow them. “Do not fear” or “fear not” is the most common commandment in the Bible. Scripture tells us not to fear, not to worry, and not to be anxious. God would never command us to do something if He hadn’t given us the ability to do it.

We have the power to overcome worry and anxiety. Here’s how:

1. First, consider these thoughts to be agents of the enemy. The devil has planted them in our lives to destroy us, to take away our focus on God, and to rob us of joy. Every morning when you wake up, treat these as the enemy.

2. Second, turn every anxious thought into a prayer. When you wake up, your prayer list should be the things that are worrying you that day. When Paul says “Be anxious for nothing” in Phil 4:6, he follows that up by saying “in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

In other words, your old worry list becomes your new prayer list. You’ll go through the day not worrying about what’s going to happen. You’ll be thanking God because you know He’s taking care of you.

3. Third, by faith, believe and confess that God is our loving Father and He cares for us. The root of all worry is an orphan spirit. God is our Father, but we don’t realize it. We don’t understand how much He loves us and takes care of us.

We are not orphans in fact, we have the best Father in the universe. Instead of worrying, we can rejoice, because He is the answer to every problem. He knows what we need and He has promised to provide. He wants to attend to us and father us throughout our lives.

Well-fathered children are fearless children.

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