By Rick Warren
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT).
It takes more than willpower to stop worrying. You already know that, because you’ve already tried it. You’ve thought, “I shouldn’t worry about this,” yet you just keep on worrying about it.
It’s going to take more than your willpower to stop worrying. It takes four things:
1. You have to get to know God.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:32, “People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things” (The Message). If you don’t have a relationship with God, you have every reason to worry. You’ve got to get to know God! As a believer, you have a heavenly Father who has promised to take care of you. You are God’s child, and children get special privileges. When you worry, God says, “You’re my child. Why are you acting like an orphan?”
2. You have to put God first in every area of your life.
Matthew 6:31-33 says, “Don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. . . . Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to” (TLB). Anytime you take God out of the center of your life and put anything else there — no matter how good it is — you’re going to worry.
3. You have to live one day at a time.
The Bible says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NCV). If you’re worrying about tomorrow, you can’t enjoy today. You miss today’s blessings. It’s okay to plan for tomorrow, but you have to live for today. Also, when you’re always worried about tomorrow, the future gets overwhelming. But God will give you the grace and strength you need when you get there. Right now, you only need enough power for today.
4. You have to trust God to care.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). How do you do that? One way is to memorize God’s promises in the Bible. They’re like an insurance policy for believers. When you know something’s covered, you don’t worry about it anymore. Another way is to pray. If you prayed as much as you worried, you’d have a lot less to worry about.
What’s the result of taking these four steps? Incredible peace of mind: “You will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand” (Philippians 4:7 TLB).
Pray this prayer today: “Dear Father, I admit that I often forget that you are with me. I often forget what you’re like. Would you please forgive me for doing that? I need to get to know you better. I need to get to know your Word and your promises better. Help me to put you first in every area of my life. Help me to live one day at a time. Help me to not worry about tomorrow but instead focus on what you’re doing in my life right now. I want to trust in your promise to take care of every one of my needs — financial, relational, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional. Help me to trust you more and worry less. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”