Breaking the Chains: Escape the Prison of Worry

by Ginger Harrington

Am I going crazy?

For the first time in my life, sanity and peace seemed like a question instead of a given.

Years ago, I battled a hyperthyroid disorder. Plunging into the chaos of a thyroid-induced storm, adrenaline flooded my system and I lived on the edge of panic.

It was an agony of slow months before my hands stopped shaking. And longer before I slept more than an hour or two at night.

Anxiety marched in with a take-all vengeance, and worry held me captive in my own home—

  • Afraid to go out.
  • Afraid to stay in.
  • Afraid of being afraid.
  • Afraid of nothing specific.
  • Afraid of everything.

Anxiety wears many faces: apprehension, nervousness, worry, fear, and panic. It robs us of peace, making it hard to concentrate on simple tasks, make decisions, and stand firm in faith. Regardless of the cause, worry will become a prison if we do not learn powerful strategies to break the chains of toxic thinking.

You are Not Alone in the Struggle

When worry batters our soul, God is our source of strength. We discover the reality of God’s might in the midst of the hard things. Power to stand against fear is grounded in a present focus on God. Be still and know that He is God.

He is with us in the storm. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you” (Isaiah 43:2 NASB). He will not forsake, even when we lack faith or strength to overcome worry.

We may not be able to control our emotions, but we can choose how we will respond to worry. Rarely is there instant relief from the discomfort of anxiety, but feelings will eventually follow faith.

If there is a medical cause to your anxiety, be sure to talk to your doctor.  Christian counseling for serious and persistent anxiety can be very helpful. Whether you face minor or major bouts of anxiety, these Biblical strategies will help you overcome the bondage of worry.

7 Powerful Strategies to Break the Chains of Anxiety

1.       Don’t condemn yourself. Accept your struggle but try not to dwell on it. Don't add to the burden of fear with self-condemnation. Turn your attention to recognize the cause. Anxiety has a root fear or unmet need.

2.      Dig beneath your feelings to discover what you believe in the moment. Many of our emotional beliefs relate meeting core needs for love, value, security, and acceptance. Feelings harden into beliefs when we allow emotions to become bearers of truth.  Identify the root of fear rather than try to beat the symptoms. As with many emotions, worry can reveal what we believe in the moment.

3.     Surrender the right to have things work out according to your plan. As long as you insist on your desires, you will resist what God is doing through your challenge. Surrender is a test of faith that holds the keys to freedom. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB).

4.      Choose to trust God in spite of your feelings. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NASB).

5.      Pursue comfort and strength in Scripture. Meditate on Bible verses to encourage your heart. “If I should say, ‘My foot has slipped,’ your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul” (Psalm 94:18-20 NASB).

6.      Understand God sometimes allows us to face challenges we cannot overcome on our own. Trials often bring us to the end of our ability to solve our problems on our own. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4 NASB).

7.      Rely on Christ to help. Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:1 NASB). Ask Jesus give you strength and peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NASB).

Worry can hold our hearts captive with an iron grip of fear. Though we may experience fear, we can learn to break the chains of powerful emotions. Faith is for living out of the shadows of fear in the vibrancy of God.

How have you found freedom from worry?

For a complete list of scriptures referenced in this post click here and here.

© Copyright 2016 by Ginger Harrington

 

   A popular speaker and an award-winning blogger, Ginger encourages women to find soul strength in loving God, embracing truth, enjoying life, and discovering where the spiritual meets the practical in a busy day. Read more from Ginger at GingerHarrington.com and Planting Roots.

   Connect with Ginger on her blogFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

 

 

 

worry, anxiety, Ginger Harrington, Breaking the Chains: Escape the Prison of Worry, Ginger’s Corner: Where the Spiritual Meets the Practical

Comments (13)

  • anon

    Thank-you for your transparency Ginger. Love this verse too --> “If I should say, ‘My foot has slipped,’ your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul” (Psalm 94:18-19 NASB) Thanks Katy too for sharing Ginger's words!

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    This verse has settled my soul many times. I'm grateful God understands our struggles. Thanks for joining me here at Katy's.

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    I also love that verse, and I was grateful for her words as well! Thank you for visiting and commenting, Jessica!
     

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    It is so scary when we don't know how to trust our own ideas, but we are so lucky for our good, good Father's love and presence in our lives.
     

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Anxiety and worry feed off of fear. Yet God hasn't given us a spirit built for fear. How wonderful to know He has a better plan. Thanks for joining the conversation, Jennifer!

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you for sharing what anxiety feels like. It is so hard to describe. And your suggestions are truly helpful because it can be so rough.
     

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Anxiety is a miserable, miserable mental state. These things have helped me so much and I hope they will help you as well. Praying for you right this moment, Maria.

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    I mean, to learn not to condemn myself

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Andrea, that can be a hard habit of toxic thinking to overcome. We are sometimes kinder to others than we are to ourselves. May God bless you with confidence that you are completely loved just as you are.

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Ginger, this is such a great post. I slide so easily into worry, and I have to really watch my thoughts to keep myself from getting trapped in the worry cycle. Love your tips and thoughts!

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Ginger, thank you for sharing your personal story so openly so that others might find hope. You are truly an inspiration!
    Blessings!

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Thanks so much for inviting me to participate in your series on Breaking the Chains! It was a good challenge to revisit some difficult days, pulling together some truths I've learned in the process of breaking the chains. Jesus is the one who breaks through when I give into worry.

    Apr 12, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you for this post, Ginger! It has helped me. Trusting in God's plan is a significant thing to remember. When I let go of what I want and trust Him to come through and do His will - which is so much better than what I can dream up - the peace returns and I can enjoy the journey with Him. Thank you for sharing your story and for the encouragement you gave!
     

    Apr 12, 2016

Leave a comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
2 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

The Scrapbooked Bible Study: A Blog by Katy Kauffman

Award-Winning Author, Editor, Bible Teacher

An editor for Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Katy Kauffman is also a Bible study author who loves to write about the treasures of Scripture. Her Bible studies focus on winning life's spiritual battles, and her blog shares snippets of "scrapbooked" encouragement. Learn more about The Scrapbooked Bible Study, and follow Katy's blog to receive weekly posts. 

 

Follow by Email

Subscribe to Katy&#039;s Blog feed