Worry, anxiety, and stress seem to knock on doors quite often. As a single mom I assure you that these unwanted pests seem to be at my door quite often. I know that if I feed these feelings I can almost always count on being miserable and making those around me miserable. But worry creates confusion and it suggests we are not trusting God.
It’s not easy to stop worrying but I have found that these four things can help:
1. Lay all requests before God with thanksgiving. This is the first step in battling thoughts which is where feelings are stirred and trouble begins.
2. It’s a good idea to consider the blessings in our lives.
3. Do something nice for someone else because it takes our mind off ourselves.
4. Another great idea that works well for me is to run away for the day and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. My daughter and I will take off for the beach, a park or somewhere different. We might simply want to have a photo shoot which allows us to really capture and appreciate nature, each other, and the simple things in life.
Doubt is an ugly word. It implies a belief that something most likely will never come to pass. When hope has not been met, it can leave us in doubt and at worse sinking deep into a sea of despair. Doubt over time can choke our hope, especially when years have fled without answers, we have lost our youth, and when sorrow occurs. There is no cure for doubt as it can attack at any time, but if we keep truth before us it can smother the doubt that is hostile to our hopes. Doubt is deceitful. Hope is promising.
Scripture for encouragement:
“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.” Psalm 119:114
“The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,” Titus 1:2
“Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” Psalm 25:5
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
“Sustain me, my God, according to Your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.” Psalm 119:116
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19
Note: Scripture from NIV
What does this sweet prayer teach me? It shall be my evening’s petition; but first let it yield me an instructive meditation. The text informs me first of all that David had his doubts; for why should he pray, “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation,” if he were not sometimes exercised with doubts and fears? Let me, then, be of good cheer, for I am not the only saint who has to complain of weakness of faith. If David doubted, I need not conclude that I am no Christian because I have doubts. The text reminds me that David was not content while he had doubts and fears, but he repaired at once to the mercy-seat to pray for assurance; for he valued it as much fine gold. I too must labour after an abiding sense of my acceptance in the Beloved, and must have no joy when his love is not shed abroad in my soul. When my Bridegroom is gone from me, my soul must and will fast. I learn also that David knew where to obtain full assurance. He went to his God in prayer, crying, “Say unto my soul I am thy salvation.” I must be much alone with God if I would have a clear sense of Jesus’ love. Let my prayers cease, and my eye of faith will grow dim. Much in prayer, much in heaven; slow in prayer, slow in progress. I notice that David would not be satisfied unless his assurance had a divine source. “Say unto my soul.” Lord, do thou say it! Nothing short of a divine testimony in the soul will ever content the true Christian. Moreover, David could not rest unless his assurance had a vivid personality about it. “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” Lord, if thou shouldst say this to all the saints, it were nothing, unless thou shouldst say it to me. Lord, I have sinned; I deserve not thy smile; I scarcely dare to ask it; but oh! say to my soul, even to my soul, “I am thy salvation.” Let me have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am thine, and that thou art mine.
Tip: Cut out pictures that will inspire you. Add them to your journal or create an inspiration board that will inspire you to walk into the life you dream.
- To always be prayerful and learn to listen.
- Keep priorities in their proper place.
- Take action. Very few things will happen without some effort and we should always act in accordance with our belief. We do what we can and have faith that God will do the rest. The doors you are seeking may just open wide.
- Be patient. Honestly, none of us particularly like it, but if we do not continue in patience we will give up – which is the only sure way to fail. So we continue in patience and hope. We hope in what we do not yet have.
- Remember your inheritance. As a child of God you have an inheritance that will surely come to pass. An inheritance more magnificent than anything you could hope for in this lifetime.
We all get in routines that over time can make one feel stagnate. Break your routine and try something new. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Simply climb a tree and hang out for a little while or spread a blanket and watch the clouds rolls by. Let your imagination go and have fun!
Writing plans down, setting priorities, making to-do lists and following through, are all helpful tools in getting where you want to go. Without these simple tasks it would be like taking a train ride home and not knowing which train to take first. You would most likely do a lot of needless wandering.
Here is a daily planner I created that you may download for free to help you get started.
It’s impossible to never feel the weight of life’s burdens. Even if all is well in our little corner the burdens of those we love, within our community or across the world can add another drop to our already full cup. I have had many a day when I wanted to stay hidden under the covers! But as tempting as that may be, hiding from the pressures of life do not help make it better.
A few things to consider:
- Pray. Be honest and open and pour out your heart.
- Ask others to pray for you.
- Remember to pray for others.
- Ask yourself: Is there something that I am doing that is adding to my burdens?
- Learn to say no. Always prayerfully consider your answer but if you find yourself having a hard time saying no, perhaps now is the time to begin. When you find the need to say “no”, remember that you do not need to explain your answer.
- Spend quiet time with God and reflect on His Word. Take time to listen.
- You are not alone.
- Ask Him to increase your faith.
- Remember the burdens of others. Prayer is wonderful, needed, and a necessity, but remember that God uses His people to answer prayers. If we see a need and are able to help then it is right to do so. Keeping the focus off ourselves is a wonderful way to honor God and we might be surprised how much it helps us as well.
- The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction. Charles Spurgeon
- “God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.” C.S. Lewis
Psalm 33:20-21: We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.
Psalm 146:5: Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.