These are three words we all could do without! I think most of us wrestle with them daily on some level. One definition for worry is "to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts." When cancer enters our lives, these feelings can overwhelm us and take us to the depths of despair.
God understands we are only human. Because it is a daily challenge to face these emotions, it requires us to go to God on a daily basis and tell Him what is on our mind. Sometimes this is hard to do, when the day is filled with appointments, treatments, transfusions, nausea or plain old fatigue, but by finding just a few quiet moments you can really make a choice about how you want to treat these emotions when they begin to try to take over your thoughts - you can feel defeated by them or you can hand them off to God.
Letting fear and worry take over comes from taking on responsibilities that belong to God. He has a plan for all of us, He is with us always. Corrie Ten Boom said it well when she explained, "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." For those days when you are struggling with worry, fear and anxiety look to these promises from God to give you strength and see you through...
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10
"Don't worry about anything instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7
"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not...Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't worry or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?... Your heavenly Father already knows your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." - Matthew 6: 27-30, 32-34
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." - Proverbs 3:5
"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." - John 16:33
"I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid." - John 14:27
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls." - Matthew 11:28-29
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you." - 1 Peter 5:7
"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea." - Psalm 46:1-2
"They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them." - Psalm 112:7
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us - they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation." - Romans 5:3-4
"Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." - Psalm 55:22
"The LORD is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger - so why should I tremble." - Psalm 27:1
"Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." Psalm 50:15
"So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold - and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." - 1 Peter 1:6-7
Someone once wrote, "Worry is an old man with a bent head, carrying a load of feathers he thinks is lead." This can become our reality if we try to tackle the challenges cancer brings ourselves. God is holding out his hand, just grab it and feel the load lighten.
Billy Graham explains worry well in Hope for Each Day as follows: "Worry about what might happen makes even the smallest trouble seem huge. Nervously anticipating troubles that may never happen can crush our spirit. Instead of 'borrowing trouble' by constantly worrying about the future, listen instead to Jesus' promise: 'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.' - John 14:27.
Whatever is worrying you right now, give it to Jesus and trust Him to take care of it. Let His peace replace your worry."
It has been said fear is the absence of faith. Choose faith over fear everyday when you open your eyes. Surrender your fears to God and live the day filled with the joy you can receive from knowing God's promises about worry, fear and anxiety.
Faith not fear, dear friends - Faith not fear.