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Weekly Devotions

Worry-November 13, 2023

What me Worry? Yes, you. We all do it. Let's look at some ways we can make these tendencies work for us.

Monday Morning Devotion-November 13, 2023


Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.    Philippians 4: 6-7.

*From May 2021

         Worry it's what we do!  Even when we are putting on a brave face in tough times and it appears that we are not worrying.  Wrong!  We are!  Worry is mentioned in the Bible. (See Genesis 7:16; Psalm 37:8-9 & Luke 22:24 for a few examples) It not only saps us of energy, but drains dry our hope and trust in God.

            What can we do about it?  The Apostle Paul says the answer is giving thanks.  Sounds like a good solution to me.  But let's dig a little deeper into the subject of worry and try to understand it better.

            What causes us to worry too much?  The simple answer is that we are concerned with what is happening now or what could happen in the future.

            That's a given.  So why do we need to stop worrying?  One good reason is worry causes stress and stress can cause real physiological effects.  In other words a change in your system occurs that is not a good one.

            So let's tackle this idea of worrying too much.  Psychotherapist Amy Morin writing in Forbes magazine poses the idea that there are two things a person can do to combat excessive worrying:

            1)  Develop a realistic sense of control:  Try to identify what is within your control and what isn't.  Ask yourself: "Is this a problem I can solve or do I need to change how I feel about the problem?

            2) Schedule time to worry:  Here's an interesting idea.  Realistically you may not be able to immediately change something that you are worrying about.  Why not just set aside 15 minutes to worry.  "OK I'm going to worry from 8 to 8:15 a.m."  Worry during that time period then move on.  Sit and think about things you are worrying about that are out of your control.  Then when those 15 minutes pass go about your everyday life.  Whenever you catch yourself worrying outside of that time frame°stop, remind yourself you are not on "worry time" and move ahead.  Sounds a little crazy, but who knows.  If you are really bothered by something(s)


           It's worth a try.


            It's natural to believe that worrying about a problem is similar to problem-solving.  Not!  When we take this approach, we often think over and over about things that can go wrong and derail our coming up with a solution.

            Let's face it.  It is hard to stop worrying.  Obviously worry cannot be totally eliminated.  But it can be controlled to the extent that it doesn't make us unproductive or ruin our health.

            Seth J. Gillihan, Ph,D writing for Psychology Today suggests a few ways to achieve a sense of calmness when worry threatens to take over:

* Calm the nervous system by relaxing your muscles and doing simple exercises.


* Recognize when you are worrying and identify beliefs that reinforce worry. Awareness gives you a choice of how you respond.


* Embrace uncertainty.  Instead of simply tolerating uncertainty accept is an inherent way of living and move ahead.


* Live in the present.  Worry is by definition about the future.  Train your attention to the present and reduce your worries.


* Face your fears.  Worry is intended to protect you from your fears.  When you face your fears head-on, they tend to diminish.


            Over the years researchers have found that people often harbor positive beliefs about worrying.  Many think that they are doing something positive when worrying and that it helps to fix our problems.  While it can focus our attention on the issues by repetitively thinking about them it can cause them to slide into what can go wrong instead of identifying and focusing on solutions.

            Studies have shown that people are better at problem-solving when they shift out of worrisome thinking and into more objective, strategic thinking such as breaking the problem down into smaller parts or focusing on goals.  True problem-solving will make you feel better about an issue---not worse. ("The Secret Reason Why You Can't Stop Worrying" November 26, 2019)

            All things considered it really comes back to what the Apostle Paul was trying to tell us as Tony Dungy writes: "What is a good antidote for worry?  Paul reminds us to stop and thank God for what He has done for us.  It's the 'count your blessings' perspective.  If we remember what God has already done for us, we can hold on to the assurance that He will continue to provide and make a way through the uncertainty of tomorrow.  It's lying back in the strong arms of God and basking in the peace that time with Him provides.

            "God will relieve you of worry if you ask Him.  It doesn't always mean that instead of worrying He will give you success or the outcome you think is best.  What He does promise to give seems unfathomable to the world: peace.”

            Worry?  We all do it.  But we need to stop!

Prayer:  Lord thank you for the peace you provide that helps us guard against the harmful effects of excessive worry.    Amen!

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