You know that disclaimer on vehicle mirrors that says, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”?
This is what tends to happen in our lives.
Be sure to grab your free printable below of the 30 Bible Verses to help overcome stress, fear, worry, and anxiety.
There’s no doubt that we all deal with big issues in our lives. Often they aren’t what we wanted or what hoped for. However, sometimes the situations we face really aren’t as big as we perceive them to be.
Our mind has the ability to create what’s not really there; it can make something larger or bigger than it appears.
Our flesh craves a way that is not living the way we are called to as children of God. Our minds need to be renewed constantly in order to live Godly lives. But, if we aren’t watchful, we’ll tend to our flesh’s desire to either blow things out of proportion (which is distortion) or we try and control what we can’t control.
We don’t outright intend to over-exaggerate what goes on in our lives; we often do it unknowingly.
Our thoughts run rampant and uncontrollably at times. But, in doing this, the enemy who’s not a creator, but a distorter, will help you take your view of something that’s not accurate and feed it incorrectly if you don’t take your thoughts captive.
We tend to over-exaggerate the size of our problem to justify our fear.
– Pastor Bill Johnson
Out of Control
Our life is filled with situations we can’t control. And what we can’t control we also tend to feed.
If you’re afraid of feeling hurt (again), abandoned (again), lost (again), in pain (again), you can find that fear is looming its head. And often it’s the unknown, the parts that are out of our control that we have stress, fear, worry and anxiety about.
You may remember this quote:
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”
– Erma Bombeck
I used to agree with this statement, however, I don’t completely agreed anymore.
Yes, worry definitely gives you something to do, but I would say it gets you somewhere unknowingly.
You see, I have a rocking chair at home. It’s smooth in it’s rock. It makes me feel safe and comfortable. But after rocking consistently over a period of time, I find that the chair that once had room to rock, no longer does. It’s moved back and it’s moved back the slightest amount without me noticing.
To me, this is what worry does.
Worry gives us something to do, but what it does to us, in fact, gets us to places we don’t want to go. We go back. We find ourselves in a darker place.
Worry is like a rocking chair where you meditate on all the wrong things.
What Are We To Meditate On?
As Christians, what are we to meditate on?
Joshua 1:8 NKJV says,
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
So we are to meditate on the Word of God!
And what does it mean to meditate? To meditate means to: to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, speak (source)
And what does the Word of God contain? Promises, life, God’s ways which are higher!
So if you’re sitting on the rocking chair of worry, you are muttering, speaking, and plotting on the things you can’t control fostering fear.
Worry Isn’t New
Even Jesus knew worry would consume people. In Matthew 6:25-27, 31-34 He says this:
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
What We Magnify We Give Power To
The truth of the matter in our stress, fear, worry and anxiety is that what we feel appears more real to us than who Jesus is. This is a hard truth and perhaps not easy to take.
Instead of exaggerating and magnifying the size of a problem, situation or issue, or thinking on the things you can’t control, choose (yes, it’s a choice) to magnify our Father in heaven.
To magnify is to make bigger or larger than it appears… sounds like the mirror on a vehicle.
So whatever size God is in your mind, make Him even bigger. The reality of not magnifying who Jesus is means that we’re magnifying something or someone else. We’re in fact putting trust in ourselves instead of God. It doesn’t outright look like it, but it’s true.
Think of it, if you’re worrying about something, do things change for the better because you’ve worried? Or does it in fact make you feel more stress, anxiety and even sick as you worry?
What you magnify, you give power to. You are putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your life.
And an even harder truth… stress, fear, worry and anxiety is a lordship issue.
Ask yourself this: “If Jesus is really Lord, what does that mean? What does that look like and how do I apply that to my life?”
Jesus being Lord means that you are trusting Him with the outcome no matter what. You are choosing (not feeling), but choosing to worship Him through it all. You are giving everything to Him!
ACTION: Take something that you’ve been magnifying and spending time thinking on and STOP right now. Cast what you’ve been thinking on repeatedly that you can’t control and give it to the Lord. Repent. Ask the Lord for help and then magnify Him, worship Him and set your gaze and your focus on Him. This will be freeing!
In what you’re going through, the Lord wants you. He wants your heart in full. He wants you to yearn for Him and be so hungry for who you know God to be—which is good, gracious, loving, kind, merciful, and generous. Stress, fear, worry and anxiety cannot live in this atmosphere of faith; you’ll starve it.
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What Bible verses do you lean on to help overcome stress, fear, worry and anxiety?
Anchored in Christ,