Have friends ever called you a Worry Wart? Do you feel like you stress and fret too much over things that are outside of your control, or have fears about the future? Could you use a little more peace in your life?
Worry, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty — yep, those are the big dogs that keep us up at night, aren’t they?
Anxiety is a monster enemy. It will steal your joy, rob your sleep, gray your hair, weigh down your shoulders, stifle your praise, and diminish your hope. It’s a thief and a liar. It whispers panic-inducing what if’s, induces analysis paralysis, and catastrophizes the future. Anxiety is the nemesis of peace. The challenger for the throne of our hearts.
My favorite book that helped me wade through anxious thoughts is
Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado.
God didn't create us so that we would spend our lives in dread of what may happen. In Anxious for Nothing, Max highlights Philippians 4:6-7:
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.
Two more excellent titles for anxious thinking by Max that are very helpful:
In Trade Your Cares for Calm, you'll learn to reset your default fear button to faith. Max teaches us to give it all to God and receive His mercy in exchange. It's possible to feel supernaturally calm in the middle of utter chaos!
The story of Joseph in the Bible is the focus of God Will Carry You Through. Max shares true stories of people just like you and me dealing with loss, anxiety, grief, insecurity, and worry. Includes scriptures you'll want to underline, write in your journal, and memorize.
The first time I had a panic attack, I thought my heart was exploding – it felt like it might race right out of my chest, I couldn’t catch my breath, the room spun, and my hands and arms tingled with numbness. It turns out it’s not a good idea to quit sleeping, quit eating, and mainline caffeine during finals week. My anxiety went through the roof until my body had had enough. The prescription? Eat, sleep, and fix my eyes on Jesus! (And, I ended up doing just fine on my exams.)
But, it’s not just a past tense issue for me…
- Worry, for me, is like a wet, tired, and hungry toddler with a sawed-off shotgun. DANGEROUS.
I worry about:
- Managing excellence at work while also being a godly, present, and loving mother to my kids
- My children all coming to sincere and devout faith in Jesus
- My kids growing up in today’s culture that’s rife with sexual activity and drugs
- The economy
- Pretty much anything in the news
A friend reminded me: Give this to God! Give this to God. Give this to God.
Maybe that should be the name of this post. “Give This to God.”
Worry Less, Live More by Robert J. Morgan
Life is harder than we expect, isn't it? Pastor Robert Morgan knows the power of anxious thoughts and he knows the prescription. In Worry Less, Live More, Morgan unpacks God's Word — Philippians 4:4–9 — so we can tackle anxiety and experience the overwhelming peace Jesus came to bring us.
I woke up in the middle of the night recently because of my overly-snuggly cat, but it was actually worry that pounced on me. To the point of shaking. I spoke out loud to the enemy, “NO! You don’t get to steal my sleep again!” and sang that old Whitney Houston song, “I love the Lord. He heard my cry. And pitied every groan. Long as I live and troubles rise, I’ll hasten to His throne.” And prayed and prayed.
Take THAT, worry!
If you struggle with sleep because you're worrying, check out this wonderful title. It will help you calm your mind, relax, refocus on God's goodness and provision, and give you scriptures to hang onto when anxious thoughts are spinning.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day busyness and long list of things to do, people to take care of, and responsibilities that rest is elusive. Cheryl Wunderlich understands. To incorporate peaceful rest throughout your days and weeks, especially during times of exhaustion and overwhelm, read
Sacred Rest by Cheryl Wunderlich
Have you had enough of stressing out and worrying, too?
We can’t let anxiety win when Jesus Himself came to bring us peace!
The armor of God even includes shoes of peace (in Ephesians 6:15) which means we’re not supposed to walk in stress, or tension, or fear, or the what if’s. We’re meant to walk out of the prison of anxiety and live our best, Jesus-like lives walking in peace.
Here are some excellent resources to help you give your anxiety thoughts to God and find more peace and calm in Jesus.
5 Minutes with Jesus: Peace for Today by Sheila Walsh
Jesus wants you to know peace — every day. He said that we could expect trials and sorrows, and He offers an amazing gift that changes everything: His peace. He tells us,
The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. — John 14:27 NLT
Sheila Walsh, who knows depression, anxiety and worry all too well, wants to guide you in worrying less and letting your heart be settled.
Sanctuary by David Jeremiah
Sanctuary is a daily devotional that's a perfect way to start your day meditating on God's Word and lay stresses, worries, and anxious thoughts at His throne.
We don't have to be Worry Warts! We don't have to give in to the big dogs of worry, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty! We can find rest in Jesus who is in control of what we have no control over. He is good and kind and His peace is a gift He longs to give us.