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Displacing Worry

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Psychologists will tell you that worry is intended to protect us from fear. However, God did not intend for us to dwell on it or to let it consume us. When it stays at the forefront of my thoughts, it causes me to run scenarios over and over in my mind of things that will probably never happen. It keeps me up at night, drains my energy and robs me of peace. In a way, worry can be addictive. It can feel like if we’re not worrying about something, we don’t care enough. Thinking that way can cause us to get caught in a loop that feel impossible to break, but we must break it. We must learn to let it go and displace it with proper thoughts.

I love the way the Message unifies this passage of Scripture on worry. Philippians 4:6-9 says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Worry often is a sign of a lack of trust in Christ to work things out. Worry takes control of the situation and puts it in our hands. When we pray instead, we give it back to God where it belongs. Then we need to replace it in our mind with productive thoughts so we can get back to living the way God called us to. Worry isn’t just a harmless feeling. It has the power to disrupt how we’re supposed to live and trust in God. If you’re overwhelmed with worry today, begin to pray so you can hand those things and situations over to God. Verbalize that you’re giving them to Him and are trusting Him with the things you can’t control. Any time worry tries to make itself at home in your mind, remind it that you aren’t in control, but God is. Don’t let it take roots again. Fill your mind with praise, God’s promises and the things listed in Philippians 4:8.

Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

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Think On These Things

 Since the Garden of Eden, the enemy has been trying to get into our mind and convince us that a lie is the truth. In Genesis 3:4, the snake told Eve that what God said wasn’t true. What I’ve seen in my life is that he’s still doing the same thing. He gets us to question what God says when our circumstances don’t line up with our expectations. If he can get us to question what is true, then he can get us to lose faith in God.

You and I have to remember the promises God has given us and what the truth is if we are going to hang on in tough times. Here are some verses I go to when I feel the enemy attacking my thoughts.

1. The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

Psalms 34:17 NLT

2. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Ephesians 3:20 MSG

3. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.

2 Corinthians 9:8 GNT

4. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

5. The LORD is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

Psalms 27:1-3 NLT

6. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

Isaiah 53:5 AMP

7. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

8. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Romans 8:1-2 NLT

9. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:13-14 ESV

10. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 NLT

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