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Worried? Turn to Peace

Overcoming Stress | How to Find Peace | Spiritual Exercises

Ever worry about the future? Come on, who doesn’t? Worry is such a universal experience, that if we encounter a person who claims they never worry, we automatically assume they are either lying or crazy.

Well, I won’t lie, and I doubt you’ll think I’m crazy when when I tell you this, but I’ve spent countless hours of my life filled with worry. Loads of questions have rolled through my mind and heart about what might be next in life. Sometimes the thoughts are just pure dreaming and wonder, but other times, my thoughts are filled with anxiety and tension.

The future can be a scary thing. It sometimes seems so far away, and  we wonder and worry over how will we ever find a bridge to cross to get to it. We dream and set goals to achieve the desires of our hearts,  but the road to our dreams often doesn’t look like how we envisioned it to be.

Then worry begins to creep.

We think things like, “What if this dream that’s on my heart doesn’t work.”

“What if I wasted all of this time on this venture… and it’s a failure.”

“What if I’m going in the completely wrong direction?”

Ever found yourself in these thoughts?

Anxiety brings turmoil into one’s life. It’s the opposite of peace, which is a gift from God. When we walk in anxiety, we are walking separated from God. In anxiety, we declare, “I don’t trust you God to take care of this, so I am.” If we really trusted God with the matters that worry us, would anxiety accompany that trust?

I don’t think it would.

Peace can replace anxiety.

But how do we get there? How do we get to the place of peace instead of anxiety?

I read the following passage a few weeks ago in “Jesus Calling”, a devotional book by Sarah Young, and it has stuck with me.

“Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy—even precarious. That is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine. This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you.” (pg. 59)

Trust in God is the antidote to worry – trust in the One who made you and the One who is walking with you.

Overcoming Stress | How to Find Peace | Trust in the Lord | Scripture Quotes | Bible Verses

Our focus is another tool we need to sharpen in order to trust. Is your focus more on God, or obtaining the thing you are worried about?

Where are you focusing your worry?

Are you worried about closing on a house for you and your family?

Perhaps you are worried about your rebellious teenager or your marriage that’s being held together by a string?

Maybe it’s a promised promotion at work that hasn’t come to fruition?

Or is it your health or the health of a loved one?

All of these things are legitimate concerns in life, they all hold the weight of worry.

The bottom line is that God doesn’t promise He will save us from suffering.

God never promises that he will save our loved ones from physical death or give us our dream house. What God promises is something more profound than that.

God promises He will be with us through it all.

The Creator of the world will be with us.

It’s an amazing opportunity to have God walk with us through all of our pain, uncertainty, joy, and laughter.

God is with us.

I don’t say this lightly. I have suffered an immense amount of loss and disappointment in my life. I’ve cried out to God numerous times to step in to perform a miracle. But that’s the thing, the miracle is that God is with us.

God has not left us to figure everything out on our own.

The challenge is if we will believe that God loves us more than we love ourselves and has our best interest at hand. Will we believe that whatever we may be worrying about isn’t worth the anxiety because God is with us?

Yes, there will be pain, God doesn’t promise that we wont have pain. Jesus Christ had pain and we will face pain, but we will not face pain alone. We have the opportunity to be in the company – the companionship – of God who knows pain very well and knows that He is the only true remedy to it.

Whatever you are facing, whatever is stressing you out – no matter how big or small it is – I challenge you to bring it to God and say, “Your will be done.” This is how we move from anxiety to peace.

Are you willing to let go of whatever you are stressing out about and give it to the Redeemer of the world?

I’m not presuming that this is easy, it is an act of obedience, discipline and ultimately trust. Do you trust that God has your best interest? Is your desire to overcome the object of your stress, or to obtain closeness with God?

I know without a doubt that God’s presence in my life has overcome the darkest nights and disappointments I have faced. Will you leave the future in God’s hands, will you be able to trust that He has you in His arms.

Trust is the antidote to worry which brings peace. I urge you to work on your relationship with God.

 “When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine.” -Sarah Young-
Be bold with Him and tell Him if you are unsure you can trust Him in this matter or your life.

God is big enough to handle your doubt. It’s true intimacy when we can be honest with God about how we really are feeling, remember He already knows.

Spiritual Exercise – Open Hands

Think about the issue in your life that is causing you anxiety. As you think about the stressor, use your hands to symbolize the frustration, allowing them to ball up into fists. Focus your anxiety to your hands and welcome God into your mind. As you do, slowly release your worries to God and slowly unclench your hands until you have to open palms. This symbolic act is a prayer that helps release our anxiety to God. End the exercise with open hands that symbolize your willingness to trust God with your problems. Repeat this exercise as many times as needed to help align your heart and mind to God.

Overcoming Stress | How to Find Peace | Spiritual Exercises

Alexis Waid

Alexis Waid

Alexis is a wife, mother, theologian, speaker and spiritual director.
Alexis Waid
Ever worry about the future, come on who hasn't? Worry is a universal experience, but it doesn't have to be so. Come with spirituallyhungry.com and learn how to give worry over to God and bear the fruit of peace. Free spiritual practice included to help you turn worry into peace.

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  1. I was born with a birth defect known as Spina Bifida. I am 47 years old and very ahappily married. In April of 2014 I broke my leg, up until this time my health had been pretty good. I had a bladder infection every once in a while but nWhenI I married at thirty I was in good health. I had known the healing power of God many times in my life. After I broke my legs things went down hill from there. I had a bladder infection in October of 2014 that went sepsis and I was in and out t four different hospitals. My husband and family prayed and God brought me back. I have had many bladder infections since then but what I struggle with the most is anxiety and fear. My husband and I have several serious decisions still to about re routing my bladder. I have three different options and I don’t know what to do. I’ve prayed for guidance. So far I haven’t received an answer. I am not ready to die and leave my husband here alone. I’m so confused about death and what happens. I will never know my husband as my husband again he will be so lost without me and I know I don’t want something to happen to him g me be here without him. I’m stay afraid of what the future holds for me. I do believe in k I have all of my life. I had a lot more faith at one time than I do now. I have my daddy to lung cancer when he was only 70 and now I listen to my moms l and how lonely she feels and then I think about how lost I would be in her shoes. My husband has to do a lot of things for me that he didn’t have to do when we married. I’m angry at myself for falling and breaking my leg and then letting myself get so sick. I don’t want to be afraid of dying or so stressed out all the time about the surgery and what will happen of what decisions I need to make. I wish there was an arrow pointing which way I should go. I would appreciate it if you could help me find Gods plan or how to make such a huge decision when I feel God is so far away. Could you please help. I want to do the wil

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      Author

      Khristi,
      Thank you for sharing the depth of your heart and being so transparent. I’m so sorry to hear of your medical problems and more importantly what they are doing to your heart and mind. The first thing I do want to assure you is that God is with you. He is right there with you right now, whether you can feel Him or not or whether you believe it or not. God is with you, loving you and caring for you. I don’t say that without some serious knowledge of the dark night when one feels so distant from the presence of God. I have had my share of those times in my life. Even though I could not feel Him at this particular times, I can now look back and see His hand and His love abiding with me. I do not pretend I understand the plight of your particular situation. Life throws a lot of curve balls and sometimes they seem to just keep on coming. These things can tear us down, they can steal our security and our peace of mind, and that’s what this situation seems like it’s doing to you right now. Well, what do you do when your life is filled with fear? Fear of what the surgery holds, fear for your beloved ones, fear of the unknown. What do you do when you cry out to God and He seems like He isn’t there? When you pray for answers and they seem like they don’t come. When life just isn’t at all fair. I understand this place and all you can do when you are in this state is to hold on. Hold on to everything you believe in. Hold on to the Truth of God, even though it seems like He isn’t responding or isn’t there. Hold on, have hope and have faith. I am not sure how things will work out for you, but what I do know is God is offering His presence to you and that is the most unbelievable thing anyone could ever need. So how do you get there? How do you get to His presence when you feel so distant? It’s by being relentless in seeking Him. Whether you feel like it or not. I heard an amazing sermon that focuses all around this exact topic from Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Ga. Louie describes battling depression and panic attacks and how he overcame His emotional breakdown was through worship. It’s an amazing sermon and one I would recommend you to listen to, here’s the link: When Darkness Falls Sermon I am actually working on a post all about turning to God through worship that will be posted in the next couple of weeks. We also have resource that might be interesting to you. It’s a free e-book that was created for people who are suffering and dealing with pain. The book has 11 spiritual exercises to help people turn to God in the midst of pain and turmoil: Free Healing Exercises E-book. We have a couple of other posts, I see that you have already found one of them: How to Give Something over to God. We also have a post called How to handle prayers that don’t go your way and finally we have a series thats based on the great worship song Oceans by Hillsong United. This series is crafted all around the song is found in 7 different devotional posts, Oceans devotional series. And finally Khristi, I would like to pray for you: Lord, thank you for Khristi, thank you for how you created her and how You love her. God I ask that you break through her fog. Make clear your presence and love for her. Make it ridiculously clear that You are with her carrying her through this tough time. Help her to lean on You and trust You no matter the outcome. Lord I also pray for healing, I ask that a miracle happens, and should that not be in the plan I pray peace comes. Lord, I actually pray for the gift of peace on her. Bring forth your peace and love upon her, shower her Lord with your mercy and goodness. Lord, thank you for listening and thank you for being so good and loving. I love you and thank you for the opportunity to bring this before You. Amen. Khristi, thank you again for sharing and I will be lifting you up to the Lord. In Him, Alexis

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