How to Overcome Anxiety and Leave Worry Behind

Back when I was in college, the night before final exams I would stay up late, cramming as much information into my brain that I could, all while worrying that I wasn’t going to pass my tests the next day.

I remember one night, I was overwhelmed by stress when I suddenly felt prompted to step away and find rest by spending time with God. So I picked up my guitar, climbed up on the roof, and had such a sweet time of worship that filled me with so much calm and peace that afterward, I immediately went to bed and fell right to sleep. The next day I did just fine on my exams!

Why Do We Worry?

Every person is challenged by worry and anxiety in their lives. Yet, worrying does not change our circumstances and can actually cause us emotional, physical, and spiritual harm. Our enemy uses worry to distract us so that we are focused more on ourselves and less on God or others.

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
— Jesus (Matthew 6:27)

Worrying also exposes our need for control and a desire to feel that we are in charge of our future, but the truth is that God is in charge and we need to trust in Him. When we trust God and release our problems over to Him, He will give us the peace and rest that we long for!

God Commands Us Not to Worry

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus uses the phrase “do not worry” three times. It’s pretty clear, God doesn’t want us to be worried—He wants us to have faith.

Throughout the Bible, God calls on us to basically just calm down and rest in Him. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 37:7 proclaims, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Job 37:14 tells us to “stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Do you see the pattern?

The Bible reminds us over and over again that it doesn’t help to focus on our problems; instead, focus on God.

Finding Rest in Jesus

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” If we aren’t experiencing that rest, if, instead, we’re always operating in a constant state of panic and anxiety, then we’re probably not coming to Jesus.

Often, whenever I feel overwhelmed and anxious, I will go outside at night just to look up at the stars. Seeing that tiny sliver of the universe that is visible to my naked eye reminds me that if He can hold all creation together, then He can certainly manage the problems in my life.   

With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?
— Henry Ford

Our God is majestic and awesome in power! There is nothing too big for Him to handle.

So when life’s problems begin to weigh us down, instead of wasting precious time stressing over stuff we have no control over, let’s run first to God to help guide us through troubling circumstances. He’s available 24/7 and no problem is ever too big for Him!

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