I read a lot of books about many and various subjects. I usually take copious notes while I am reading so that I can digest the content at a later date without reading the book again. I apply this to most books I read except the Bible which I love to read again and again. I generally document my notes well, but sometimes I do not. I am sharing the contents of one such occasion. These are not my original thoughts or insights. I just wanted to share them.
Worry is a most useless and unproductive activity. It never improves anything. The Swedes say, "Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow." Worry infects your fears with more power than they should have. Worry keeps your fears alive and grants them permission to travel with you wherever you go. To fight and defeat worry, you must understand it.
So here are eight truths about worry:
It feeds on itself. The more you worry, the more you can usually find to worry about.
It paralyzes you. It paralyzes you emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually, and physically. It freezes you in your tracks. It steals your joy because it focuses on what can go wrong and how bad things could become.
It drains your energy. It wears you out and exhausts you, hindering your ability to problem solve and to move beyond your emotions.
It robs you of peace. How can you feel peaceful or serene when your mind is full of anxiety?
It hurts your health. Chronic anxiety and worry have been linked to weakened immune systems, cardiovascular disease, and clinical depression, just to name a few of its physiological effects.
It undermines your confidence. It highlights the negative and points out what you can't do to help yourself or those you love.
It squashes your dreams. It fills your imagination with the worst, pushing all that is positive and good out of the picture. Fear and worry work together to beat you down. Fear leads to worry and worry only makes your life harder to handle.
It Controls your life. Worry allows your fears to dig themselves in deeper and control your life.
Letting go of your worries involves four steps:
Stop. “6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” — Philippians 4:6 (CSB). When worries come, literally say to yourself, "Stop." Then consider what a waste of time worry is, for all the reasons listed above.
Refocus. “8 Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.” — Philippians 4:8 (CSB). As an act of will, move your thoughts from a negative focus to something positive.
Release. “7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.” — 1 Peter 5:7 (CSB) Let go of them and hand them all over to God.
Rest. “28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”” — Matthew 11:28(CSB)
After you have let God lift your worries, you can begin to relax. Jesus is the One who will give you true rest and refreshment.
Those are some of my notes. My prayer is that this helps you today. I know that it helps me. All the cliches and pat answers in the world will not help worry, but going to God can. Worry is a spiritual battle and must be fought in the spiritual realm.
Remember that God has already won that war. We are assured victory. Don't look to fight, let God win in your heart.
Worry will disappear and then you will find rest.
Here is a recently released song by the band I Am They. I find it encouraging.