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The War Against Worrying

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
We must believe God’s promise that, by His grace, we can win the war against worry and anxiety.


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God calls each of us, as Christians, to face various trials in order to teach us obedience and trust. If we live to please ourselves, however, we will view those difficult circumstances as reasons to worry and to fear, rather than as opportunities to grow in our faith. In this third article of a four-part series on anxiety, Dr. Don Dunlap explains that if we want to stop the sin of worrying, we must develop a strategy for success.

God calls us, as Christians, to face various trials in order to teach us obedience and trust. If we live to please ourselves, however, we will view those difficult circumstances as reasons to worry and to fear rather than as opportunities to grow spiritually.

If we want to stop the sin of worrying we must develop a plan for success.

The writer of Ephesians 4:22-24 reminds us,

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

This passage encourages every Christian to develop a specific plan to overcome the sins of anxiety, worry and fear.

 

The first suggested step in this plan is to express genuine repentance before God for any anxiety or fear that we have allowed to creep into our lives. We must not try to justify our reasons for being fretful or fearful. We should simply ask God to forgive us.

 

We must believe God’s promise that by His grace, we can win the war against anxiety.

Next, we begin a war that we expect to win against worry and fear. In Hebrews 12:3,4, we find the command to fight sin wholeheartedly:

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

If we truly desire to resist temptation and to attain victory over sin, we must yield our minds, our bodies and our hearts to Christ’s Lordship, whatever the personal cost may be.

As we grow stronger in this battle the Lord will use small defeats to show us our utter need for Him. These losses should serve to increase our determination to be victorious. We may lose some minor battles but we will win the war. If we do not expect to win, however, every small defeat will discourage us rather than point us on to God and to victory.

We should acknowledge the fact that we are engaged in spiritual warfare.

The battle against anxiety and fear is far more than a physical or mental struggle. It is spiritual warfare. Paul explains in Ephesians 6:12,

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

It is helpful to memorize key scripture passages that address the sins of worry and fear, such as Deuteronomy 6:13, Proverbs 1:7, 12:25, 22:4, Luke 21:34, Romans 8:15, Philippians 4:6,7 and 1 Peter 5:5,6.

 

God renews our minds as we memorize His life-giving Word. He wants us to win the battle against worry and fear and He lovingly uses the pressure of the battle to motivate us to seek Him. We are dependent upon God’s grace and strength every hour to overcome the sinful habit of worrying.

 

When we worry excessively we are focused on ourselves.

In 1 John 4:18 we find these words, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” When fear and worry begin to consume us we can be certain that our focus is turned inward. If we are committed to following Jesus’ example we will choose to focus our love, our concern and our attention on other people rather than focusing selfishly on ourselves.



  • Worrying Is a Sin
    Few Christians understand that the sin of worrying is a serious hindrance to their spiritual growth.
  • Anxiety and God’s Word
    God is in control of every detail of our lives and He has commanded us not to worry.
  • The Antidote for Worrying
    If we develop a plan for consistent prayer, we will have a weapon to fight the temptation to worry.

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