As I write this post for the second time, I am reminded that God is good, He has a sense of humor and He’ll test our words. Do we truly live out what we say?
I wrote this article two days ago. My computer had started glitching a few days prior to me finishing the article. My mail would quit. I couldn’t upload videos to my YouTube Channel. Photoshop would suddenly stop. And my Microsoft Word would unexpectedly shut down. I ignored all the symptoms of my crashing computer and kept writing the article.
I finally finished and saw the completed article on my desktop. I was so relieved, but then my article simply vanished from my desktop. Another window popped up reading, “Your disk is full.” I frantically looked everywhere for the article, but I couldn’t find it. I almost started to cry.
Then a realization hit me. I was beginning to worry right after I wrote an article about the ill effects of worry. I had to laugh and eat my own words. God was in control. Either the article would miraculously appear on my computer the following morning or God wanted me to rewrite it. No matter what, I would stop fretting, get off the computer and enjoy the rest of the evening. I told myself that all things work together for good for those who love God, so I left the article in God’s hands. Whatever happened I would have faith and not worry.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28 NIV).
I sat down on the couch with my husband and smiled. I had passed God’s little pop quiz. I chose not to worry. Instead, I chose faith, which led to peace, trust and continued joy. I did exactly what my article suggested when faced with worry. I fought worry with Scripture from the Bible. When Jesus was in the wilderness, He fought the evil schemes of the devil with Scripture, as well (Matthew 4.1-11). We can learn from His example.
The next day, I realized that I lost the article for a reason. I called customer service for my computer, and they discovered that my computer was logging all my emails (pretty much copying them) and that they were taking almost 70% of my computer’s memory. I had zero memory left. I deleted the duplicated emails and stopped the logging process.
Losing that article forced me to face the problems occurring on my computer. The customer service rep said if I hadn’t gotten help sooner, my entire computer would have crashed, losing the thirty-five books I have published along with covers, articles, marketing images, videos, etc. Now I have my computer backing up daily on a hard drive, and I’ve upgraded my iCloud to also save all my work. Indeed, all things work together for good for those who love God, so why should we worry?
When we are confronted with future unknowns, we have two choices to fill the void that not knowing creates in our minds. We can choose to fill the void with negative thoughts of fear, mistrust, anxiety and lack or we can choose to fill the void with God’s promises of provision, protection, trust and love. In essence, we can choose to worry or to have faith.
Worry will create negative thought patterns in our minds that cause emotional and physical stress. Faith will create positive thought patterns in our minds that cause emotional and physical peace.
Worry is not a must – no matter what we face. It is a choice. Jesus says that He has already given us His peace. We must reach out and claim it when worry rears its ugly head.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14.27 NLT).
However, our habit of worrying will not disappear overnight. We must learn to renew our minds according to God’s Word and capture every thought that goes against the knowledge of God’s goodness (Romans 12.2 & 2 Corinthians 10.5). Change can be difficult at times, but the mind is exceptional at change if we will practice.
Here’s a system I learned to help me combat thought patterns of worry in my mind and replace them with thought patterns of faith.
1) I read God’s Word.
2) I find promises that apply to my situation.
3) I write down those promises.
4) I speak those promises over my situation.
5) I replace worry with faith.
With the example of my missing article, I have read God’s promise that all things work together for good many times, so I simply applied it to my situation and replaced worry with faith. This is a small example. Other times when faced with greater difficulties, I read through God’s Word, and apply God’s promises to things like struggles, fear, lack, health problems and lies from the enemy. Then write and speak those promises, filling my mind with faith so worry couldn’t infiltrate my mind and steal my peace and joy.
- When faced with a struggle, I would declare that I have the victory in Christ (1 Corinthians 15.57)
- When faced with lack, I would declare that God would meet all my needs with His glorious riches (Philippians 4.19).
- When faced with fear, I would declare that greater is God in me than the devil of this world (1 John 4.4).
- When faced with a health scare, I would declare that by the stripes of Jesus, I am healed (Isaiah 53.5).
- When faced with lies from the enemy, I would declare that I am the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. The enemy has no right to accuse me (Romans 3.22).
We fight worry with faith in God’s Word, and we keep practicing until we automatically use Scripture to usurp worry–just like my example above that caused me to worry. Practice makes perfect, so keep practicing until your life permeates with the continual peace of Christ. We can trust that God loves us and He is always with us. Why should we worry? Jesus has overcome the world!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16.33 NIV).