By Steve Hearts
Lately the Lord has been teaching me a lot about effectively combating worry through faith in and meditation on His Word. I’m still growing and progressing in this area, but I’ve learned quite a bit and made enough progress to write about the subject. I pray the insight below will be encouraging and beneficial.
First of all, there is no better antidote for worry than meditation on God’s Word. Though I’ve always known this in theory, I’ve finally made a greater effort to practice it more consistently and have reaped tremendous results—especially greater peace of mind and heart, even in situations where I’d otherwise be worried sick.
I had to come to the full realization that worry is not part of God’s plan for me and that it doesn’t profit me in any way whatsoever. This is why Jesus said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”1 Worry makes us anxious, and God’s Word tells us to “be anxious for nothing.”2
While there are multiple sources of fear and worry, the focus of this post is worry about loved ones—although I’m learning to apply the lessons shared here to other situations as well.
One erroneous idea I had picked up is that worrying myself sick about someone is an indication that I love them—and lack of worry is lack of love. I now see this idea could be used by the enemy to make me fall into the trap of worry. While we should definitely be concerned about those we love and do the best we can to look after them, worrying about them is not the way to do this. We should instead commit them in prayer to God and stand on His Word, which gives us faith and peace for any given situation. I’m realizing that worry is basically concern gone out of control, and I need to remember and believe the words of Psalm 138:8: “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.”3
I’ve found that worrying provides no solution whatsoever. But when I choose to focus on God’s Word and accept His peace, I’m better able to hear God’s voice and obtain His insight on the part I’m meant to play in helping to resolve the situation—even if it is just to lend prayer support.
Another important way to combat worry is to make my thoughts captive to God’s Word. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:4–5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Bringing my thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ means that I refuse to let worry take over my mind. No “what ifs,” no imagining things getting worse than they are. It’s choosing to dwell on the Word and promises of God.
Last year I faced a situation that served as an opportunity to put what I shared above into practice. It was the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my girlfriend caught what seemed to be a cold, with a sore throat and slight temperature, and she had to stay in bed for a few days. Because of work-related concerns, it became necessary for her to take a COVID test.
When I heard about this, I was immediately hit with all manner of worrisome thoughts. What if she tests positive? How severely will the virus affect her? And so on. But I quickly caught myself, and recalled what I’ve been learning about the importance and power of meditating on God’s Word. I began to see this situation as the perfect opportunity to put it into action and live it. I also knew that whatever the situation was, my girlfriend needed me to be a strong support for her during this time and that worrying would prevent me from doing this.
So, besides praying a lot for and with her, and requesting prayer support from several people, I took authority in Christ and refused to allow place to any thoughts of worry, and focused my mind on Scripture. This filled me with peace and determination to see this battle through victoriously. A few days after she took the test, she received word that the results were negative. Praise the Lord!
God does not want us to live in worry and fear. We can trust Him and His infallible Word every single day without exception. While there are definitely days when I do better at this than others, the Lord is helping me do this more and more at a steady rate, and He can help you do so as well.