1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Do you think that you can you catch another person’s stress like you can catch the flu? And the answer is – yes! Haven’t you ever noticed when someone you’re talking to is getting more and more stressed, as they recount to you how someone has wronged them and then you begin to get upset, also? Or how about when someone is worrying like crazy about something and starts telling you about it, and how you begin to worry like crazy about what’s going on in your life. Stress and worry are easy to pass on to someone else. It’s okay to tell others what’s stressing you out, but do so in a way that you’re not spending the entire conversation getting ramped up about your circumstances. Instead, tell them your circumstances and then focus the conversation on possible solutions, not just the problem. This will help the other person to have something concrete to work with. You both can weigh the pros and cons of the solutions. Then you take it to God in prayer, and he will bring you peace once more as he promises to. Your heart will become steadfast and the stress will get kicked out the door
Psalm 77:12 - I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head to the point that you can’t seem to shake it off? Well, with me if I’m not careful, my mind will play the same sad song over and over. Except, the song that’s stuck in my head is thoughts of the struggles I’m currently facing. Sometimes I wish that God had a way to pluck that sad song out of my head and replace it with a joyful noise. Oh, wait! He does replace the song with his Word, the Bible. When I’m struggling the most I find a Bible verse that talks about my struggle. It can be worry, fear, disappointment, pain or sorrow and they’re written right there for me to meditate on, especially in the Psalms. Then when that circumstance starts eating away at my peace, I can take that verse and push play on the tape recorder in my mind and watch the thoughts in my head get replaced with faith that God can take care of it all.
Luke 8:24 – The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm
The wind is blowing hard outside today, as it has been with each of the last few storms. It howls and shakes and tempts to pull down the strongest of trees. We also are assaulted by howling winds in our lives. Sometimes that wind comes from a cruel statement, from someone who has no clue how much they’re risking your life falling down, by what they say. Some winds come from your job where you’re told you don’t have the muster to complete your daily work, and out the door you go. But some winds, the harshest winds, come from within yourself: Who am I to think I can beat this storm? Who am I to think I can measure up to this job? Who am I … The list goes on and on. Who you are is a child of the King and he is your protector. He closes his wings around you and says, “Just stay here until the storm passes.” Won’t you let him hold you? He waits to stand with you through the storms you face.
Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Every day we are being watched. Your neighbor next door. The cashier at the grocery store. The person sitting next to you at church. They all notice what you’re doing. Then there are all of those pesky cameras set up on street lights or attached to buildings and even the one on your computer. They all have their sights set on you. Does this make you feel paranoid? Do I mean for you to be paranoid about so many people watching you? Well, maybe just a little bit. You are an example to the world around you whether you want to be or not. What I want to be like is those I admire, and who have shown the world they have a lot to give no matter what their life looks like. Such as: Joni Eareckson Tada and the many women who go to my church that have Crohn’s Disease, liver disease and battling cancer. These individuals shine like the morning sun. To me they are part of the great cloud of witnesses that surround my life. They give me the strength to take that next step; putting one foot in front of the other and continue running with perseverance the race that God has marked out for me.
Galatians 6:2 - Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
One of the synonyms for anxiety is “care.” It implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension. Some people deal with their anxiety by walking around with a chip on their shoulders just waiting to lash out at the next person who crosses their path. Others, like myself, carry around a different kind of weight – the “weight of the world” on my shoulders. I feel it’s my job to try to fix all the problems around me. Anxiety rises within and weighs down my heart. But there is a way to lift that weight – kind words. It doesn’t take much to lift that chip off someone’s shoulders, or to set the anxiety free. It just takes someone who will stop what they’re doing, smile, and cheer us up with a few kind words and bring us hope. There may feel like there’s no hope when we’re filled with anxiety, but when someone sits down with you, places their hand on yours, looks into your eyes and says, “I know this is tough. But we can get through this together.” It can wipe away our concerns. Can you be that person today? Can you be the one to say a few kind words? Don’t think of it as a difficult task to do. You may worry you’ll say the wrong thing. But God can give you the words you need and the strength to say them. Make a difference in someone’s life today and help to lift off their burdens.
Psalm 112:7-8 - He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
Uncertainty. The unknown. Life is like a sandstorm whirling all around us. So few things are sure. So few things stay the same. Our lives shift like sand on a desert island. Life’s uncertainties feed our anxieties. It moves them into a giant, shapeless sand dune. Fear wants a way of escape, but depression stopped caring a long time ago. Life doesn’t have to look like this. There are uncertainties in life, but finding support may help. Have a conversation with a close friend or family member and ask them to help you put things into a right perspective. They know life is uncertain, but they can point out some things in your life which are certain, like their friendship, and they may offer to help you through the unknown. God will also help you walk through the sandstorm of uncertainty, because he knows the beginning from the end and knows what is going to happen next for you. He will cause your fears to blow away.
Psalm 34:18 - The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Living with emotional pain can be a roller coaster ride. You go up feeling okay and that you can handle things, but then the ride plummet you toward the ground, knocking the wind out of your lungs and plunges you into a valley of emotional pain. So what’s the answer? You get off the roller coaster. Life is full of ups and downs and heartaches that want to crush your spirit. And yes, there can be a good cause for those ups and downs during seasons of your life. But I’m talking about chronic emotional pain. For that you must turn to God for help. As you pray, God will wrap his arms around you and hold you until your emotional pain roller coaster takes a more level path.
Job 11:15 - Then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.
Are your fears healthy or unhealthy? Is it something that stems from something that could happen or is it something that may never happen? A healthy fear is indeed good for us to have such as to watch out for cars running a red light or follow a storm watch and when not to leave on a trip. But how do we let go of our fear of things that we don’t need to be afraid of and walk in freedom instead? It’s simple, but not easy – Trust yourself and trust God to help you follow through and seize the day instead of letting your fears seize you. Let’s talk about it.
Exodus 33:14 - The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
When you are upset, do you ever notice how a part of your body starts to hurt? Well, it turns out that pain receptors in the brain see emotional and physical pain the same way. So here’s another reason to let go and rest the situation in God’s hands. It’s not necessarily always easy, but the end result will bring you peace. Do you become upset often? Does your body hurt when you do? Let’s talk about the difficult circumstances we face and together we can move through the situation.
Job 20:2 - My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed.
Are you a “stuffer”? Do you push down your feelings and ignore what’s going on? Whether it is chronic pain or emotional pain we can only try to hide for so long. Eventually your feelings will come out. The only question is how you want them to come out. It doesn’t make us weak or a bad person because we don’t always act like we’ve “got it all together.” Stop stuffing and start letting go by laying it at Jesus’ feet and listening to what he says about you. He knows you’re hurting and you don’t ever have to hide something from him. Especially your feelings. Do you stuff your feelings and try to ignore the pain you’re going through? Let’s talk about it.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.