Kick the Worrying Habit, Live Longer, Find God

By Dianne Neal Matthews:

 “Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying?”

Matthew 6:25-34
peace like a river

Remember the old hymn, “When Peace Like a River”?

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s worrying. I worry about everything from the noise that my washing machine makes to global terrorism.

I worry when I watch news reports about crime and when I read articles about cancer rates.

I worry about how I handled things in the past and what might happen in the future.

And I worry about how all this worrying affects me.

Jesus pointed out that God knows exactly what we need. He promises to provide for us as long as we focus on loving Him and doing His will. If He feeds the birds, how can we doubt that He will take care of us?

Although this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be concerned or plan for the future, it does remind us that a child of God has no reason to be eaten up by worry when we know that a loving God is in control.

According to current research linking stress and anxiety to many diseases, worrying is in this list: “Top Ten Best Ways to Shorten Your Life”.

God understands our tendency to worry and shares the antidote in Philippians 4:6-7. He wants us to talk to Him about everything that concerns us—not with wimpy, hurried, or memorized prayers that we sometimes shoot up, but with an ongoing, honest heart-to-heart conversation.

What a comfort to know that God desires to hear about everything that worries me. What security to know that He promises to meet all my needs if I give Him first priority. When I’m spending my time in Philippians 4:6 prayer, then I won’t have time to worry about things that I can’t control anyway. And I just may live longer if I kick the worry habit.

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.  Philippians 4:6

Ask yourself: Do I spend more time worrying or praying?

Enjoy this upbeat version of the classic hymn, “When Peace Like a River” (lyrics included–sing along gustily!)

© Dianne Neal Matthews. Dianne is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books ( This material is adapted from Drawing Closer to God: 365 Daily Meditations on Questions from Scripture (Baker Books).




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