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Give Up Worry for Good Week 7, Day 3

But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” (Matthew 17:7)

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to give up worry, break free from a habitual sin or remain faithful to your prayer life, at some point you’re going to mess up and find yourself in the same place as Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

Now that you’ve been on this journey for several weeks, there is a good chance you have fallen by giving way to worry. If that’s the case, you are in the same place as Peter, James, and John—lying down and staring at the ground. If you continue to look downward, all you see is your failure. Doing this for any length of time could cause you to plunge into despair.

Today, Jesus comes to you and invites you to rise. He will help you to continue moving forward, but you have to surrender and accept His help. Doing so moves us closer to the goal of giving up worry.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 7, Day 2

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

John the Baptist had the right idea. He understood the importance of surrendering to Jesus. We’re going to be working on that for the rest of this week. Today, let’s concentrate on surrendering our time to the Lord.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

In order to surrender your life (and your worrying) to Jesus, you first need to surrender your time to him. Are you willing to give Jesus some of your “me” time today? I suggest that you start with ten minutes. Don’t use family time or time that you are on the job. Instead, give him ten minutes from your social media, television, or radio time. Converse with him in prayer or spend time reading the Bible. You may even want to consider doing this for the remaining few weeks of this program. I guarantee it will be time well spent.

Giving up some of our “me” time can be challenging, but it will definitely pay off. As evidenced in the way He multiplied the loaves and the fish, Jesus can work wonders with the time you surrender to Him.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 7, Day 1

“Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

I have never found it easy to give up control of my life, my family or my future. Yet, that’s exactly what Jesus asks me to do. He wants me to trust Him in the same way that He trusted the Father. He wants me to surrender my life to Him.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

If asked, many of us will insist that we have surrendered our lives to Christ, but our actions tell a different story. Jesus gives us the perfect example of someone who has truly surrendered to the will of God. Observing and imitating his actions is the best way to ensure that we are truly doing what God wants. It’s also the safest and surest way to find peace.

When we worry, we attempt to control the uncontrollable. In order to break free from worry, we have to learn to surrender to the One who is ultimately in control. All this week, we’ll work on surrendering our lives to the Lord.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 7

“I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

This week has been all about shifting our focus from our problems to God. And, personally speaking, I’ve had to do it a lot this week. How about you? Some days are worse than others, but this is a fairly common occurrence for those of us who live in this imperfect world.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

Initially, it takes a great deal of effort to keep focused on the Lord, but it gets easier over time. I have found the Bible to be a great resource in helping me to shift my focus. We are not the only ones to struggle with this problem. It has been happening since the beginning of time. You may not realize it, but all three persons of the Trinity are with you right now. You may not be able to see them, but you can’t see the air that you’re breathing either!

Now that we’ve learned to recognize the Lord’s presence, the next logical step is to surrender control of our lives to Him. We’ll be working on that next week.

Let not your heart be troubled!

~Gary

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 6

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

I spent many years searching for peace and happiness, never realizing that I was actually looking for God.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

What were you looking for when you decided to pick up this book? I would expect that “peace” would be the most popular answer. You may have worded it differently (desire to stop worrying, freedom from anxiety, etc.), but the overall goal is the same. Would you be surprised to learn that your desire for peace is actually a quest for something much larger? When we seek peace, we are in reality seeking God. It’s such a basic need that we often don’t realize it. As our relationship with the Lord grows, so does our peace.

Jesus walks with us every day, ready and willing to lead us to a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father. Not only He the only way to the Father, but He’s the only way to the peace we seek. That’s what Give Up Worry For Good is all about. I’m grateful to have you on the journey with me. The finish line is coming into view. Keep your eye on the prize. We’re almost there.

Let not your heart be troubled!

~Gary

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 5

Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Throughout the pages of the Bible, the Lord repeatedly urges us to have no fear. Why? The reason He gives is always the same – I am with you.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

For the Chosen People, Moses was like that older brother, guiding the Hebrews out of bondage and toward freedom. Just before they entered the Promised Land, the mantle of leadership passed from Moses to Joshua, who had the unenviable task of taking over for Moses. Talk about having big shoes to fill! After appointing Joshua to this important mission, the Lord assured the young leader that he would not be alone. That same promise is extended to each of us through this Bible verse. No matter what challenge we face in life, the Lord is standing next to us. Call on him every day. Tell him you’re afraid. Ask for his help. He is with you—and that is enough!

God is with you, He is all-powerful and He loves you. Make the decision to believe it today. Choose to believe it even if you don’t feel it. Keep trying. It gets easier. God is in control of your life. He wants to help you. It might not feel like it, but we really do have nothing to fear.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 4

“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.” (John 6:27)

How do you seek relief when you’re feeling anxious? As I mentioned in the book, I have spent countless hours watching TV, pursuing wealth, collecting sports memorabilia, and consuming junk food and alcoholic beverages—in an attempt to escape from anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, these things did bring me some degree of relief – but it didn’t last.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

The pursuit of material goods as a source of happiness is not a new problem. There was a reason that Jesus first spoke these words two thousand years ago. The desire for instant gratification and freedom from suffering is a result of our fallen human nature. But while it may not be a new problem in the twenty-first century, it is a bigger temptation than it has been at any point in history. We live in an extremely distracting and noisy world. Technology has made it possible to be bombarded with the same message wherever we go: the more things you have, the happier you will be.

Turning to Jesus and surrendering my life to Him is the only thing that has brought me lasting peace. That’s why I’ve dedicated the remainder of my life to sharing Him with others. I’m so glad you decided to take this journey with me. It’s really going to pay off BIG TIME.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 3

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41–42)

There’s just something about this story that doesn’t seem fair. Martha is working hard attending to the needs of Jesus and Mary is just sitting there doing nothing. As is often the case, however, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

The key to understanding this story can be found by looking carefully at the scripture passage. St. Luke describes Martha as being “distracted with much serving,” and Jesus refers to her as “anxious and troubled.” It wasn’t so much Martha’s hospitality that drew the Lord’s reprimand but her state of mind. Martha focused more on the act of serving than the person whom she was serving.

Martha was so busy that she wasn’t about to stop for anything – including spending quality time with Jesus. As a result, she became stressed out and even accused Jesus of “not caring”. Yes, the work needed to get done, but what if Martha took some time to sit with Jesus first? I can’t say for sure, but I suspect she might have been more peaceful while she worked.

This is something I struggle with every day, but I’m starting to see a clear pattern. Time spent with Jesus is never wasted. Not only does it make me more peaceful, but it generally makes me more productive. Are you feeling stressed out and overworked? Maybe now would be a good time to take a break and sit with Him for a few minutes.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 2

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

No matter what kind of problem you’re facing, you don’t have to face it alone. Even though you can’t see Him with your eyes, God is with you and ready to help you with your problems.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

Think of it. Not only is the Lord with you as you read this, but also he is holding you by the hand and assuring you of his assistance. What kind of help does he offer? Whatever you need! If you’re struggling with forgiveness, worry, lust, apathy, anger, job performance, marital issues, loneliness, or anything else, God wants to help. No wonder he told Isaiah to “Fear not”! He wants to “roll up his sleeves” and get involved in your life. How involved? Consider this: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14).

What are you struggling with today? Turn to the Lord and ask Him to help. You can be confident that He will hear you and respond in the best way possible.

 

Give Up Worry for Good Week 6, Day 1

I can do all things in him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

All things? Well, yes and no.

Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good

There is some good news here, however: with God’s help, you will be able to do anything he calls you to do. When you’re looking at an unexpected tragedy or apparently hopeless dilemma, that’s exactly the kind of news you need to hear. (This is a great example of the relevance and practicality of the Bible.) As mentioned previously, St. Paul wrote these words while in captivity, chained to a Roman guard 24/7. He had just finished explaining how he learned to be content in any situation because he discovered the source of all happiness—Jesus Christ. His relationship with the Lord was all that mattered. Because of the presence of Christ in his life, Paul didn’t worry about what was happening to him. Instead, he believed he could handle anything that came his way. The better you know Jesus, the less you will worry.

God will never allow something to happen in your life unless, with His help, you can handle it. The secret, which we will work on this week, is to keep focused on Him. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.