How can I overcome my tendency to worry and instead gain confidence about the future?

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We must learn to rely on God's promises. The following helps you know how to do that.

Joshua could have spent a lot of time worrying. With enemies to conquer, rivers to cross, in-house problems to solve, and land to divide fairly, many people depended on him for their safety and well-being. But before Joshua had embarked on the task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, God had spoken to him in the strongest possible way about ridding his life of fear and worry. He said, "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you … Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go" (1:5,9).

By the end of his life, Joshua was able to talk about overcoming worry by believing in God's faithfulness to his promises. Every time Joshua acted on faith rather than fear, God came through with everything Joshua needed to accomplish God's purposes.

God has made the same promise to you that he made to Joshua—and more (see Hebrews 13:5). As you familiarize yourself with the promises of God found in Scripture, allowing them to sink into your soul so they become your deepest reality, you'll increasingly respond to life circumstances with faith rather than fear. You'll begin to recognize more and more ways that God has come through for you—and your faith will grow. (See also Psalm 91; Micah 5:2-5; Habakkuk 3:16-19; Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-9.)

Joshua 23:14 says, "Not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you." To help you do this, write down five ways God has come through for you over the past year.

See God as your Savior, not as a saboteur.

How do you view God? Is he out to get you or out to save you?

Sometimes we develop wrong ideas about God. We see God as a sleeping giant (distant and inattentive), a grouch (ruining a good time), an occasional visitor (nice when he comes), a cosmic cop (walks around pouncing on people), or a dirty trickster (changing the rules all the time).

None of those images represent God. Instead, God can be compared to a powerful bird spreading his wings to shield us, a strong city wall, or a dispatcher of angels (91:4, 11). With this kind of God, you don't have to fear weapons, diseases, darkness, disasters, or wild animals. He offers protection. Your part is to understand who God is and to accept him as the guarantor of your safety. (See also Joshua 23:14-16; Micah 5:2-5; Habakkuk 3:16-19; Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-9.)

Psalm 91:1 says, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

Know what's been and watch for what's coming.

Worry isn't always bad; you simply have to let it lead you to action. If you don't spend time thinking about what bothers you, you won't find out what God wants you to do about it.

Perhaps you worry about insignificance. You wonder if your actions in your little corner of the world make any difference. Remember, Jesus was born in a humanly insignificant town named Bethlehem. But by God's standards, it was very significant because he chose to be born there. And one day, this same Jesus will come again to personally take you to heaven!

Let Micah 5:2 remind you that your smallest action frequently carries eternal significance. Your care for your family members, students, or coworkers will impact the way they treat others, which impacts the way those others treat their families, students, and coworkers. You can change this world for or against Jesus through small-by-this-world actions that carry eternal-by-God's-Word significance. (See also Joshua 23:14-16; Psalm 91; Habakkuk 3:16-19; Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-9.)

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