Drum Roll … The winner of the drawing to receive an autographed copy of Marriage: Make It or Break It by Andrea Merrell is…
Wait for it…
Congratulations, Nicci! I’ll contact you.
Now, let’s talk about a common temptation: worry.

At times, life offers every reason and opportunity to have more worry and less joy. It’s something that plagues every single person.

One woman once told me, “Of course worry works. What I worry about never happens.” I’m sure she was teasing… I think. But she may have been actually expressing the heart belief of many about worry–including myself. It seems effective and somehow it feels like our endless wondering will solve the problem.
But worry never prevents anything bad and never solves anything. Worry doesn’t usually offer ideas of help and for sure worry steals our joy and trust in God. It’s like a cow chewing its cud: the fear just keeps ruminating in our minds over and over again, creating physical tension and often unhealthy reactions toward others. Then we start worrying about how we hurt others or what they are thinking of us. The rotten fruit just keeps on going.
Would you like to diminish worry and have more joy? You can, not because you’re gritting your teeth and saying, “I will not worry,” but because your peace is based in trust in God.
Here are three ideas for diminishing worry and increasing joy. (Tweet that!)
  • Go through the alphabet and think of God’s qualities starting with that letter. A: awesome; B: bountiful; C: caring; etc. Since worry is telling lies about God’s character, think of who He really is.
  • Put a rubber band on your wrist and let it remind you to evaluate your thinking: “Am I trusting God right now or am I thinking fearfully?”
  • On a file card write in big letters on one side: STOP! On the other side write out Proverbs 3:5-6. Carry the card with you and whenever you start to worry, look at the card. Tell yourself “Stop!” and then turn the card over. Repeat Proverbs 3:5-6 out loud: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.”
Diminishing worry isn’t always easy because it is often an engrained habit we don’t even realize we’ve established. But by following these three ideas, you may find your worry diminishing and your joy increasing. And your joy will be based on trust in a loving God who is worthy to be trusted. (Tweet that!)