Today I bring to you this comprehensive guide on how to overcome worry and anxiety. This is important at the moment because worry and anxiety are two of the biggest life threatening issues in our world today.
I’m going to start by showing you this scripture. It is a long one but I encourage you to read patiently.
You cannot be a slave to two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
This is why I tell you: do not be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body.
After all, isn’t a life worth more than food? And isn’t the body worth more than clothes? Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it into barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them!
Aren’t you worth much more than birds? Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?…
So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.)
Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.
So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings. Matt 6:24-34 GNT
Now after reading that let’s begin.
The need to eliminate and overcome worry and anxiety in our lives cannot be overemphasized. You can see very clearly from the passage above that the Lord had strongly prohibited us from burning ourself down with the heavy loads of worry and anxiety.
Too many worries result to anxiety, but none of these two is allowed in us by our Master. This is because worry and anxiety give birth to a crazy passion for money, and the desire to get rich, by all means, is a result of the same, which is at all times too dangerous for our personality.
No one can serve two masters; or else he will hate one and like the other, he will be loyal to one and despise the other. Worry and anxiety will make you despise the power of God.
Jesus is not in any way asking us to stop working or be lazy, for anxiety isn’t the same as hard work. He’s simply asking us to do our best and leave the rest to Jehovah Jireh our great provider- putting all our trust in Him.
Let’s learn how to overcome worry and anxiety from birds and ants
Birds, as well as ants, are great workers who never give themselves to worry and anxiety.
Truly, birds neither sow nor reap, but these little creatures do not sit back in their nest thinking, worrying and troubling themselves overnight about where and how to get their food when the day breaks.
Instead, they patiently await the day to break and then fly out of their comfort zone in due time, trusting God for their daily bread.
They do not cheat the night for the day. They do not overburden their minds when they were supposed to be having their bodies refreshed. And of course, they do not the right thing at the wrong time.
If they have kept thinking, worrying and troubling their minds on the same spot, throughout the night and even throughout the day without mounting on the wings of faith, I wonder what ten thousand loads of worry would have brought them.
Our Imaginary problems
One of the nice things about problems is that many of them do not exist except in our imaginations. A lot of people are so anxious and worrisome about imaginary events that may never actually happen to them.
Madam Martha, Mary’s sister, was a woman of such passion. She was worried that Jesus might have her rebuked if she fails to prepare a delicious meal for Him. But in the end, did it happened as she had worried?
Come to think of it, today is the tomorrow that we worried about yesterday, but what do we gain from our worries? Has any positive change come to take place in your life today because you gave in to worry yesterday?
Truth is, a hundred loads of worry and anxiety cannot pay a cent of debt, so there’s no need to worry but to give oneself rest of mind and trust completely in the Lord.
There are two days in our lives we must not worry about, they are yesterday and tomorrow, because yesterday had come and gone, nothing could be influenced, except the lesson learnt; and tomorrow lies beyond our grip and control.
According to Dr David Malapo in 10 Exciting Keys To Success, “40% of the things you worry about never happen; 30% are in the past and cannot be helped; 12% concerned the affairs of others and are not your business; 10% are about sickness, real or imagined; and 8 percent are worth worrying about.
Attack the 8% with faith, and you can eliminate most of the worries, doubts, and fears that seem to prevent your happiness and attainment of your goals”.
Self-reliance is a cause
Worry and anxiety occur when we face a tough situation and choose to rely on our own strength rather than God and His word.
They also emanate when we assume responsibility for things that are outside our control. Maybe we have forgotten that God can handle any problem, or we think His timing is too slow for our liking, or perhaps we just let our carnal nature persuade us that we can do a better job handling the situation ourselves.
The moment we step into self-reliance, we open the door of our emotions to a flood of anxiety and worry.
Effect of worry and anxiety
I’d like you now to see what worry and anxiety can do in the life of a person that permits them.
Worry bankrupts the spirit and turns men to dust before they really die.
Experts have said that worry and anxiety are the major cause of ulcer, insomnia, heartburn, chronic diarrhea, depression, sleepless nights, stroke, mental disorders, hypertension (high blood pressure), etc.
We can explain worry and anxiety using two small phrases: to divide and the mind. In other words, an anxious person suffers from a divided mind, leaving him or her disquieted and distracted.
It’s proper to say worry and anxiety are some of the most dreaded missiles of the devil. They are the most notorious killers of faith. They sap our strength slowly and keep us from maturing in faith.
Overthinking ruins, compound situations, twist things around, makes and renders victims’ lives and minds distorted, leaving them a bundle of irrational personalities.
We can effectively manage if we will naturally take each day with the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday ‘s burden over again today or the burden of tomorrow before we are required to bear it.
The way out.
To overcome worry and anxiety in your life there are some things you need to do.
To overcome worry and anxiety, allow God’s word in your heart.
The word of God has solutions for every life problem. If you make it a habit of studying God’s word and sticking to His promises, anxiety will have no more place in your heart.
A man that is used to worry and anxiety is a man that is not used to God’s word and vice versa.
In God’s word, there is peace, there is power, there is a breakthrough, there is a success and much more.
But until you take the study of the word as important as you do eating and drinking, you will not be able to lay hold of these treasures in your hands, but when you give God’s word its full place in your heart, you will not need anyone to tell you before you let go of your worries.
Put your trust in the Lord.
There is a big difference between studying God’s word and trusting it. But in reality, if you want to get rid of your worries, you need to learn to believe and rest in the promises of God for your life.
Go for action.
Always be active. Watch how you think and act. You must learn how to handle your temperament especially if your temperament is melancholy.
Melancholics are the category of people who spend most of their lives thinking. They think more and act less.
They can be captured in a thought for twelve hours and act for five minutes. This will inevitably bring failure and poverty.
There’s no shortcut to success and you don’t succeed accidentally; success comes when you go for the right action. Do what you know you can do on time.
Procrastination will not help you at all. Over thinking will do you more harm than good.
Learn to live each day at a time
I have learnt to live each day as it comes, and not borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow today.
Jesus taught us to pray God to give us this day our daily bread, but there are people with stockpiles of food to eat even for the next three months, which in itself in no way is anything wrong.
And there are people who cannot boast of what to put on the table tomorrow talk less of next week. Wisdom demands that these second category of people should learn to live today with the little they have and trust God for His provision for tomorrow.
They must learn to forget their circumstances, trust God, and go out in faith today in preparation for a better tomorrow.