8 Ways to Stop Worrying

Book Review: Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur

Hi. I’m Lisa. And I’m a worrier.

But I don’t want to be.

We too often discount worrying as just an annoying habit, when instead it is sin. Jesus plainly tells us not to worry, so when we do anyway, we’re essentially saying, “Lord, I know you care, but I don’t think you can handle this one.”

In his book, as usual, John MacArthur sticks to the Bible to equip us with resources in overcoming sin. It is filled with scriptures and concludes with a rich appendix, “Psalms for the Anxious,” as well as a “Readers’ Guide for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion.”

Here are 8 ways MacArthur offers to overcome anxiety:

1. Observe how God cares for you (Matt 6:28-30)me-worry

Look for the abundant evidence all around you that God is providing for your needs. If he feeds all his creatures and clothes even the fields with beauty, he’ll certainly care for you. “He promised to provide all your needs and he will (Phil 4:19). That is his concern, not yours.”

2. React to problems with thankful prayer (Phil 4:6)

Being thankful is a “tangible demonstration of trusting your situation to God’s sovereign control. And it is easy to do, since there are so many blessings to be thankful for: knowing that God will supply all our needs (Phil 4:19), that He stays closely in touch with our lives (Ps 139:3), that He cares about us (1 Pet 5:7), that all power belongs to him (Ps 62:11), that he is making us more and more like Christ (Ro 8:29; Phil 1:6), and that no detail escapes him (Ps 147:5).”

3. Develop a humble attitude (1 Pet 5:5-7)

“The key is never to contest God’s wisdom, but instead to accept humbly whatever God brings into your life as coming from His hand.”

4. Look to Jesus (Heb 12:2)

Get your focus off yourself and onto Jesus and his will. Praise God in the now for who he is and what he does. “Jesus gives us three reasons for not worrying about this life: It is unnecessary because of our Father, it is uncharacteristic because of our faith, and it is unwise because of our future.”

5. Remember that others are looking out for you (Heb 1:14)

Your life is never a solitary struggle. Angels watch over you; the Holy Spirit guides you; fellow believers are at your service.

6. Have peace in every circumstance (2 Thess 3:16)

Divine peace is a gift that is always available and not subject to circumstances. Understand that God is using the difficulties you face to perfect you. It is not all for nothing.

7. Do all thing without complaining (Phil 2:14-16)

“Isn’t it God we are really complaining against when we gripe about our circumstances? After all, He is the one who put us where we are. A lack of thankfulness and contentment is ultimately an attack on God.”

8. Learn to be content (Phil 4:10-19)

Be confident in God’s providence. Be satisfied with little. Detach from circumstances. Preoccupy yourself with the well-being of others. Cling to the promise of Romans 8:28: “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.”

* * *

18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O LORD, supported me.

19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Psalm 94:18-19

More Anxious for Nothing

4 comments:

Debbie said...

I've been exploring your blog a bit this morning and I'm glad I "stumbled" on this one. I too struggle with worry at times. In this season of my life, there seems to be so much going on. I don't know the outcome of my situation and yet, I trust the Lord who knows all and sees all that's going on. I know what I know and yet ...there are those moments when worry sets in. I know it's sin. I remind myself of these Scriptures but over time I tend to become depressed when I don't see any changes in the situation.

I know what I know and God is God. I will trust Him even though I may not understand. His timing is always perfect. Sorry for this rambling but I guess I just needed to verbalize it.

Lisa notes... said...

Debbie,
I appreciate you sharing your heart here. We can definitely relate to each other on this.

You have put down wise words; I need to hear them myself. It's good to remind ourselves often of what we "know" even when we don't always "feel" it. Thanks for your words.

Endurance Ministries said...

I keep this page marked and I read through the reminders often. I struggle with security....my husband is in sales, and so commission is always a ?. I worry that with the sluggish economy, we will not make enough to make ends meet. I too know that worry is a sin, and looking at it that way helps me refuse it. But, sometimes I feel it coming on. It's like stinky thoughts....trash thoughts. God is good. He will provide for us. He won't forget us. This is truth. I have to remind myself to keep "taking out the trash" if I don't want the inside of my mind to start stinkin'.

Lisa notes... said...

I’m glad this ministers to you as well. I return to it too. I’m actually re-reading the whole book this year since I’m trying extra hard to grow more faith in God’s provisions and release my worries. Little by little I see progress, but I have a long way to go. I’m just so thankful for his grace to cover me as he changes me.

Praying for you now; I can imagine that having a husband in sales would make me feel anxious too, but yes, God is good, he always provides and he’ll never forget us!

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