“In my life I have suffered many troubles most of which never came to pass.” I read this quote a few years ago. I am not sure who said it, but it motivated me to stop worrying at all cost. It has been a difficult battle well worth every effort. I can honestly say I have peace everyday, and joy most days.
That was not always the case. Fear and worry were the norm for me. I don’t know if worry is struggle for every person, or if I was just lucky enough to be born into a family of worriers who taught me well. One thing I know, worry is not God’s plan for our lives. But it is the devil’s plan. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18 NKJV). Fear torments us. Often it is based on speculation about what might happen, or what could be wrong. There is no solution, just a knotted stomach.
There is no shortage of things to worry about thanks to technological advancements in the last century. If we don’t have any problems affecting our own family we can get on the phone a talk to a friend about their problems. We can turn on the news if our friends are not in any crisis. We don’t even have to wait until 5 o’clock anymore. We can get a constant stream of things to worry about from CNN 24 hours a day. We can look it up on the Internet at work if we need to get a fix of negativity before we get off.
I can’t stand to watch the news. Nothing aggravates me more than a breaking story. A breaking story is one tiny morsel of fact the reporters have gathered surrounded by an ocean of speculation. Last week a breaking story took up half of my Dr. Phil show. The story was that gunman had opened fire in a large local company. Police were searching cars. They couldn’t find the shooter. It was 20 minutes of footage of a office building interrupted by a police interview which is the officer saying “We aren’t releasing any information at this time” over and over again. It turns out some psycho shot herself in the foot, and said somebody was trying to kill her. This is news! It’s ridiculous. Enough of me ranting about the news.
Anyway a few years ago I decided to stop worrying. I framed the following quotes from the book Calm my Anxious Heart:
- “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of it’s sorrow. It empties today of it’s strength.”
- “Worry is the advanced interest you pay on troubles that seldom come.”
- “Worry is a small trickle of fear that meanders through our minds until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
- “Worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the details of our lives.”
My new wall decor did not make me stop worrying, but it reminded me daily of the reasons I was going to stop worrying. My victory over worry came from the revelation that most of my thoughts and emotions were based on speculation and not fact. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4-5 NASV).
Worry means the devil is currently winning on the battlefield of our mind. The way we take back the ground of peace he has stolen is by taking up the sword of the spirit. The only offensive weapon in the spiritual armor. We need to use the Word as a weapon against our enemy. We do this by learning scriptures that apply specifically to our area of concern and assimilating those truths into our world view. In other words by believing what the scripture says despite what our circumstances are telling us.
Jesus modeled how to wage war against the enemy when Satan tempted him in the desert. He defeated the enemy by speaking scriptures out loud. The devil won’t stick around long if you are speaking the truth out of your mouth. But speaking negativity and fear is music to his ears.