The first key to overcoming anxiety and worry is to PRAY. Present your petitions and requests to God.Turn your worries and anxieties into prayers. Pray and ask the Lord to work it out the way he wants to.You can’t carry burdens and worries and anxiety about people and situations that you have no control over. But you can pray. You can lay them at the feet of Jesus. Jesus has control over those things anyway. It’s like carrying a backpack full of bricks. Worries and anxieties are like weights on your back. They weigh you down. They disturb your peace with Jesus. They actually hinder your relationship with Jesus. Anything that blocks or hinders the fullness of your relationship with Jesus needs to go. It needs to be removed, cleared-out, cut out. Lay it down!
The second key to dealing with or addressing our anxiety-burdened, worry-filled lives is FOCUSED THINKING. When we’re overly anxious and worried, our imaginations run wild. We only think of the worst-case scenarios. Parents, isn’t it true when you can’t find your child that you think of the worst case? Or when your teen isn’t at the house or place they said they would be, you start getting worried? Or you can’t find your wallet anywhere and the last place you remember having it was at the movie theater? Instead of letting your imagination run wild with outrageous, severely distressing negative thoughts… FOCUS! Focus your thoughts on the things Paul lists in Philippians 4:8. Focus on whatever is:
- True · Pure · Excellent or Praiseworthy
- Noble · Lovely
- Right · Admirable
We might mistakenly call this “positive thinking” or “thinking good thoughts”. But it’s a lot more than that! I call it “Godly thinking”. Have you experienced how worry and anxiety keeps you locked into negative, distressing, troubled thoughts that end up tormenting you? That’s what I call “stinkin’ thinkin’”. You focus on what might go wrong, all the bad consequences or failures you might have to suffer, or all the embarrassments you might have to face. Stinkin’ thinkin’ never produces good fruit. It’s always rotten, destroys your peace and creates internal stress. Worried, anxious, negative, troubled “stinkin’ thinkin” must be replaced by Godly Thinking. Then the peace that passes understanding will flood your heart! ~ Pastor Randy