preach truth to yourself
Are you a worrier?
I would like to say that, generally, I don’t worry much—that is, until something goes wrong. Then I start to get all the feels of worry. I lose my appetite. I wake in the middle of night with thoughts I can’t turn off. I run out a mental list of what-if’s. Worst of all, I find myself out of touch with my Savior. My own thoughts and cares are so loud that I miss His still, small voice.
What is your first response when you fear the bottom is about to drop out?
Me? I find myself walking through the house in circles, noticing all the messes. I try to still my distracted thoughts with activity. Putting little things back in place. Straightening blankets. Washing and drying dirty dishes. Organizing the clutter in drawers. Folding, ironing, cleaning!
Even as I tell you this, I see what’s happening. I understand what’s really going on. I am trying to control whatever I can. But the things I can’t control are what is really troubling me.
I don’t know about you, but that silly mantra “don’t worry, be happy” simply won’t work for me. Neither does “shake it off” or “things are not as bad as you fear.” Truth be told, sometimes things are that bad. So, why not worry?
Worry reveals a sinful tendency to trust in ourselves.
But our mighty God sees right to the bottom of our heart where the things we love and serve are deeply rooted. Things like approval, pride, self-sufficiency, comfort, ease.
What is gripping you in fear and worry? Is it really too big for God to handle?
Here is where we must preach truth to ourselves. Listen to what a wise old preacher had to say about this.
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning…they bring back the problems of yesterday…your self is talking to you. We must learn what the psalmist learned [in Psalm 42]. This man was not content to just lie down and commiserate with himself. Instead of allowing self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. He asks, ‘Why are you cast down, O my soul?’ His soul has been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, ‘Self, listen for a moment and I will speak to you.'” – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
“Oh my soul, why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 42:5 ESV
You see, it’s not enough to get rid of unproductive thoughts and busy myself with distractions—it takes intention to fill our minds with Truth. Start this moment by weaving strong cords of God’s truth and promises found only in His Word.
Surrender that thing that looms like a specter in the dark folds of your mind. Identify the cause of your anxiety, whatever it is that you are clinging so tightly to. So often it is fear of losing people or possessions or position. Preach truth to yourself.
“God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence,
‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’”
Hebrews 13:5-6 NLT
Close your eyes and open your hands, palms out. Relinquish that situation, that relationship, that worry, to God. Everything in heaven and earth is under His control. Everything is His concern and in His care. You are His and you are in His care.
Now see Jesus holding His strong hands under yours. Release your grip and receive what He is offering you. Grace. Unmerited favor. Limitless love. Never failing. All yours.
You and I don’t need to spin out of control in fear. Instead we bind our hearts to the only One who can hold us fast.
The power over fear and worry is learning to respond by preaching truth to ourselves. Nothing else works for me. Not the assurance of my husband or friends. Not favor, or sunshine, good food, nor a new outfit. These may lighten the burden, but only the gospel will release the weight of my worries and attempts to control life and put my focus back where it belongs…upon Christ.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand…