“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27, ESV)

Are you a worrier? I suspect we all are to some degree. Life has its uncertainties and problems, and it’s easy for us to feel anxious or fearful about what the future holds. We worry about our finances, our health, our relationships, and our safety. We may entertain a lot of “what ifs.”

What if I make the wrong career choice?

What if my health fails?

What if I’m not a good parent?

What if I don’t have enough money to support my family?

What if I never find someone to love and marry?

What if I lose my job?

When worry becomes chronic rather than occasional, our health may be affected. We may develop muscle tightness, insomnia, restlessness, stomach or back pain, or other physical symptoms.  Our stress level goes up, and our joy level goes down.

Many of the things we worry about are not life-or-death situations. Sometimes, however, those small day-to-day problems become major issues in our minds.

Martha of Bethany may have been a worry wart. She showed hospitality to Jesus and His disciples, but I’m not sure she was joyful with it. She allowed the worry and stress of meal preparation and being a hostess to make her worried and irritable. She then directed that irritation toward her sister, Mary. (Read Luke 10:38-42.) It can happen to us also.

What triggers your worry and stress levels? Balancing the family budget? Heading a project at church? A difficult assignment at work? How do we de-stress and stop worrying?

Here are some biblical ways to help overcome worry.

1.  Don’t borrow tomorrow’s problems.

Merriam-Webster defines worry as “to afflict with mental distress or agitationmake anxious.” I prefer Corrie ten Boom’s description.

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength — carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time.”

Matthew 6:34 (NLT) tells us: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” In other words, let’s live one day at a time. Most of the things we fret about never happen. We worry needlessly.

2.  Live with gratitude.

Articles on the web offer numerous tips on how to overcome worry. Ideas range from creating a worry log to meditation, talking to others, exercise, breathing techniques, and yoga. Some of these may be helpful, but let’s not forget one of the most important things we can do to eliminate worry. Turn it over to God. A key verse we should memorize is Philippians 4:6.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV)

This verse not only says to entreat God for our needs but to also do it with thanksgiving. We must come to Him with gratitude, not whining and complaining.

3.  Replace fear with trust.

Worry focuses on negatives and worst-case scenarios. Our imagination of what might happen makes us fearful. Don’t allow fear to fill your mind. Choose to replace that fear with trust.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)

I doubt that any of us will ever live completely worry-free. It’s a human trait. We can, however, learn to release those worries to the Lord. When we place our complete trust in Him, we will find joy even during life’s most difficult situations.

“When I am filled with cares, your comfort brings me joy.” (Psalm 94:19, CSB)

Lord, I am grateful for the many promises You have given me in Your Word. When I am worried, fearful, and filled with anxiety, You are the One I lean on. When I place my confidence in You, my worry turns to peace and joy. Help me to always trust You completely.

(Other passages to read: Deuteronomy 31:6, Proverbs 3:5-8, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 6:25-34, I Peter 5:6-7)



Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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