6 Verses to Combat Worry

I think it is my best kept secret that genuinely I get really worried sometimes.  I like to be the one person that stays cool when everyone else loses their heads, but I have certainly have my moments of gripping panic.  In the midst of a normal day, I will suddenly get suffocating thoughts about who-knows-what.  Can you relate?

-managing money

-time budgeting

-keeping my grades up

-reputation and success in general

-friends and family

-am I good enough?

In these moments, it’s important to turn to God.  That’s what he asks us to do actually, it’s a huge exercise in faith, but it is such a relief to know that the creator of the universe wants to take care of our problems.

worry

 

Some of these are a bit longer than a single verse, but that’s because they’re important!  They are also all out of the NIV.  Let’s dive in!

Proverbs 3:5-6

“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 your path straight.”

I love this.  This verse straight-up tells us that we don’t have all the answers to solve our problems.  So don’t put that pressure on yourself!  As long as you follow God, he will take care of the things you worry about.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow.  “Peace that transcends all understanding.”  Can you even imagine what that’s like?  And of course, our hearts and minds are where most of our worries lie.  Do you ever worry about something and then realize you were just over thinking it?  (#me)  Well, that peace of God will guard our hearts and minds from exactly that.

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

There are a lot of things in this world that claim to offer us comfort.  Money, health, relationships- and even though these things aren’t bad, they cannot give us the peace that God is offering.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that reaching you next worldly goal is the key to being happy, and drop the worry that comes with it.

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

This is something I clung to when I was searching for the right college.  Talk about worry there!  In truth, it doesn’t matter so much what you do and where you go as long as you commit yourself to God.  You will surely be a success to Him.

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall.”

This is definitely the source of Finding Favour‘s song “Cast my Cares”, which I love!  If you haven’t heard it, listen to it!  Both this verse and that song give us a strong message about how we should handle our worries.  Actually, God wants us to give Him our worries, that’s how he sustains us.  It is not always easy to let God handle your worries, but if worry is something you struggle with, use it as a tool to draw closer to God rather than letting it drag you down.

Matthew 6:25-34

Ok, this one is obviously a lot more than a verse or two, but it’s honestly so good!  Please pick up your Bible and read it right now.  This passage contains my favorite verse of all time, which I thought need a bit more of a presentation.

Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more important than they? -Matthew 6:26

Are you not more important than they?

My friends, there is an all-powerful God that cares enough about the insignificant little birds to feed them.  Do you really think he would neglect those who He’s created in His own image?  This passage does a great job of putting that into perspective, I’d even say it makes whatever worry we have look silly and small.

Worry is not fun.  It’s not.  I’d say it is one of the most miserable things we can experience as humans.  So why hang on to it?  Here we have the all-powerful God asking us to surrender our worry to him, won’t you take him up on this?  I’m not going to lie, it takes practice to surrender your worry, and there is always room for improvement.  But combating the worry in your life has long-lasting benefits.  No matter what, God always wants the best for you, so take a stand against worry.

Little Ways to Cut Negativity Out of Your Life

Little Ways To Cut Negativity Out Of Your Life

What people don’t typically realize is that we have a lot more control over our outlook on life than we may think.  We make decisions every day about how we look at and feel about things, in fact, this may be our own personal superpower that we sorely under use.  Sure, there may be things that get us down no matter what, but lingering in that negativity is completely our choice.  Getting into habits that help you let go of negativity can really help your outlook on life in the long run.

The inspiration for this post came to me at a moment when I was feeling especially sorry for myself, which I’m sure happens to everyone.  I was just unhappy with the whole first-year-of-college experience.  Dorm life, lack of personal space, the dining hall, and loud noises were just getting to me.  Then a thought suddenly struck me: what would I tell someone who was in the same situation as me?

Here are some little ways that you can cut negativity out of your life. 🙂

1)  Clean up your space

I hate looking at a mess, and organizing is actually pretty therapeutic for me.  Spending just a few minutes to make your bed or clear off your desk can do wonders to improve your mood.  After coming home from a long day, it’s nice to have a clean space to look at.

2)  Check what you watch, read, and listen to.

I have been in denial about this subject on several occasions, but the truth is that these things really do affect you.  You may not always realize the effects right away, but I promise they do happen.  There have been several times where I’ve finished a novel, or watched a movie that made me slightly more irritable for days after.  Other times, it just takes your mind to a dark place (example: the Twilight era, now do you believe me?).  Remember, just because you don’t notice a change in your demeanor, doesn’t mean others won’t.

3)  Check who you follow on social media

Omigosh!  This is a big one!  I’m sure we all have those friends on Facebook that drag everyone into their issues, and your energy is better spent elsewhere!  I often go through and unfollow people that have nothing good to say, or even those who I’ve fallen apart from.  The same goes for other platforms of social media.  I’m sure we all like a good joke now and then, but that’s a prime way that negativity seeps into newsfeeds: through humor.  When going through your feed, ask yourself if those who you are following are really uplifting, or if your life would be just as complete without them.

4)  Don’t invest in friends that don’t really care for you

Do you relate to this?  You hang out with the people you happen to be around, even though they may not be your genuine friends.  I certainly do.  I’m not saying to cut these people out of your life completely, after all, we should treat everyone with the type of love that Christ extends to us.  Just don’t invest in a relationship that brings you down.  I listen to people complain about their lives and bash about other people everyday, and acting like that may seem like an easy way to fit in, but participating in this type of attitude is a choice.

5)  Be kind to strangers

Typically, being kind isn’t exactly the priority of most people when they are out and about.  In fact, I’m sure most of us have encountered some very rude people in public.  Nevermind that, just make it your goal to be kind to everyone when you are out.  I like to think of this as a little shield of positivity you can take with you everywhere you go. 🙂  This way, you can guard yourself against negativity and brighten someone else’s day at the same time.

6)  Practice letting things go

This is something you can do all hours of the day.  Of the thousands and thousands of thoughts we have in a day, roughly 80% are negative ones.  When you catch a negative thought entering your head, just let it go.  You won’t gain anything by hanging on to these thoughts, so move on with your life.  Sometimes, my life is just moving too fast for me to manage my thoughts like this, but when I’m in the shower, trying to sleep, on car rides, or even in class I can practice letting go of the negative thoughts that are occupying my brain.  Honestly, this is such a good way to relieve stress and concentrate on the tasks ahead of you.  Sure it takes practice, but it’s worth it!

Did you know that people, actually everybody, is automatically drawn towards negativity?  In fact, that’s what most of the media is built off of.  (Why do you think the Kardashians and Donald Trump are so famous?  Negativity)  Even you love to think negative thoughts, though you may not realize it.  The good news is that you have more control over the negativity in you life than you may realize.  I hope these tips were helpful to you!  Best of luck!

Can Reading the Bible Help You Become a Better Student?

can reading the bible help you become a better student?

College is of course stressful and time-consuming, it may not always seem convenient to get into the Word, however this might be exactly what you need to make it through the semester.  Let me tell you a little story…

At the beginning of this year, I really started to take reading my Bible seriously.  I’m sure we’re all aware that there is a difference between just reading a passage from the Bible, and actually READING it.  I suddenly found myself getting a lot more out of my daily devotions, and I was searching for more ways to get the most out of reading the Bible.  I had a complete change of heart on this matter, and I found that it began to affect my not only my heart, but my mind too.  As it turns out, a lot of the skills you learn while reading the Bible can help you become a better reader overall!

I first noticed that something had changed when I had to read a segment of The Poetics by Aristotle for a class.  ( I actually didn’t realize that I only had to read a segment and I started reading the whole thing, oops.)  I don’t know if you’ve ever had to read any Aristotle before, but let me tell you, it is boring.  Talk about a long-winded old man!  However, I realized that my mind was alert and I was actually taking in the text I was reading!  This is something I know would have been very difficult for me to read only a couple of months ago, but I was actually have a pretty easy time with it.  Ever since then, I’ve noticed my increased reading skills with other textbooks, articles, and class materials.  I’ve even had more enjoyment my reading personal books and blogs.

So what changed?  I knew that I had been making an effort get more out of reading my Bible, but I had no idea I would be getting more out of everything I read!  This semester I have found that I am an overall better student, and preparing for my classes takes less effort.  This is one advantage to reading the Bible that I never expected, but I guess that just shows how God is looking out for us!

Here are some of the things that really helped me when I decided to study the Bible more in-depth:

1)  Reading a study Bible

The Bible that I read every day has a sample of commentary of nearly every verse, which I almost always read for the assigned text in my daily devotions.  Understanding the meaning behind what the author wrote can be just as important as the actual text.  It gives you further grounding knowledge that helps keep the information in your brain.  The study-commentary also helps you out when you’re really confused by a passage, which happens to everybody now and then!

2)  Take your time

Reading the Bible more about quality that quantity, meaning, your goal shouldn’t be to read as many verses as you can.  It’s certainly not a race either.  When you find something you don’t understand (and you absolutely will) slow down and really make an effort to connect with the passage before you move on.  Try to find a way that this passage connects with your life- there is always something to learn from the Bible!

3)  Pray before you begin reading

Actually, this one should be the first one you do.  If reading the Bible is something you’re doing to get closer to God, it’s important to invite him into your personal study time.  Ask that your heart would be opened to His Word, and that your mind would be cleared of all the days worries.  This is especially important to maintaining concentration while you are reading.

I hope that this was helpful to you, and that you will share the same benefits that I am experiencing, and much more!  I’d also love to hear about any other tips you have for reading the Bible.  Remember, even though you will graduate from college, as Christians we will always be students. 🙂