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What to Do When You Start to Worry – Rick Warren

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways” (Psalm 37:7 NIV).

You may not hear the word “fret” much anymore. It’s an older word that just means “worry.” When you fret, you get stressed out, anxious, and impatient. You worry because things are either happening too fast and you can’t handle the change or because things are going too slow and you want God to speed things up.

We don’t usually mind waiting if we can gripe about it. But when you choose to wait patiently on God instead of fretting, it is actually a statement of faith. You’re making a declaration about God’s character. When you wait patiently, you’re saying that you trust God and have faith in him. You’re humbly admitting that you’re dependent on him.

The Bible says in Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways” (NIV).

One of the biggest reasons we get stressed out is because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others. Instead of focusing on God’s love and what he’s done for us, we look at other people, focusing on what they have that we don’t.

Comparing yourself to others isn’t a wise choice, because you’re one of a kind. God has a plan for your life that’s different from his plan for anyone else. If you’re wishing for another person’s plan, then you’re going to miss the plan for your life! Comparing leads to fretting. When you compare, you start worrying.

But worry is totally worthless. Any second you spend worrying is wasted, because worry can’t accomplish anything. Worry can’t change the past. It can’t control the future. It’s only going to make you miserable today. It’s like sitting in a rocking chair, going back and forth, back and forth. You don’t make any progress, and you use a lot of energy.

Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers” (The Message).

Worry will never change anything, but prayer can change things. So don’t fret this Christmas season. Just pray!

Talk It Over

Why does worry produce such negative emotions?
How can you tell from watching other people if they are worrying or choosing to trust God?
Do you truly believe that prayer changes things? Why or why not?

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