September 17, 2015

Five Verses to Claim Today When You're Worried About Tomorrow

"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister, called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.' " (Luke 10:38-41)
I feel a deep affinity for Martha in this Biblical account.

I know she was a crazy mess, running around like a mad woman, trying to feed everyone, and muttering under her breath about how her sister wasn't pulling her weight. But I've been a guest in homes where there wasn't a Martha, and sometimes I felt like my hosts were not actually aware I was coming. Also, I felt hungry.

But that is a post for another time. (Working title: "This World Has Room for Both Mary and Martha" maybe?)
Today, I hear Jesus' tender, loving voice when He said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried about many things...but Mary has chosen what is better."

Today, as a worrier, I hear Him say to me, "Elizabeth, Elizabeth, you are worried about many things. But I want you to choose what is better."
What is the better way when we're worried? 

Mary showed the answer when she camped out at Jesus' feet, drawing close to Him, giving her attention and devotion. She focused on the Logos--the Word made flesh. Until we can do the same and camp out at Jesus' feet near His throne in heaven, we can focus on the Word.  

We can affirm the truth of it. We can claim it.

How do we "claim" God's Word and the truth it conveys? Here's one process to try out.

1. Read it silently to yourself.
2. Read it out loud. (This really gets the enemy, by the way. He can't read our minds, so he's not laid low by what we think. But the Word of God spoken out loud? That's slaying the dragon, sweet girl.)
3. Write it out.
4. Memorize it. (Need a way to do this? Click here for a printable plan.)
5. Repeat it.
6. Share it.
7. Act on it. Act like it. 

God's Word is rich with anti-worrying promises and precepts that lead us along the better way. Here are 5 to start with today if tomorrow is weighing heavily on your mind and soul.
Click here for a printable version of these cards.
1. Joshua 3:5 ~ "Then Joshua told the people, 'Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.' " When we "consecrate" ourselves, we set ourselves apart for God's use. Other versions of the Bible translate the original Hebrew word qadash as "make holy" or "sanctify." When the Bible talks about something or someone being holy, it means it or they are reserved, apart from the ordinary, for a special purpose. I need to dedicate myself today to being ready for what God will do with me and for me tomorrow.

2. Psalm 16:7-9 ~ "I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure." These were my favorite exam-anxiety defense verses in college. I loved the idea that God was working on me even while I slept. And many times, in my dorm room before the test, I'd be yelling, "God is at my right hand! I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN!" I also pictured Him sitting to my right during the exam, literally steadying me as I wrote. Okay, I was a total GPA-worshiping, neurotic freak. But this verse is powerful for any worry-worn situation. Seek God and His wisdom. Check His Word for guidance. Pray about "it." Ask faithful (and faith-full) friends for counsel. Do what you can. Then go to bed and "rest secure" and let God do His thing while you sleep. (He never does sleep, BTW...see Psalm 121:4.) You might also want to try yelling...er, "declaring," "God is at my right hand! I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN." If nothing else, the enemy will hate it. (See #2 in the "how to claim God's Word" list above.)

3. 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." I look at this verse as a path from worry to peace. Click here to print a road map for this path.

4. Psalm 27:13,14 ~ "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." I always thought "the land of the living" referred to heaven--the place of eternal life. I looked at this as a promise that no matter how bad now gets, I WILL see God's goodness then in my eternal home. But recently, I learned that "the land of the living" in the original Hebrew refers to life on this earth. In spite of the sin and destruction and evil and heartbreak we experience ourselves and see around us, God is still here. He has not abandoned us. And if we wait for Him, if we are strong and "take heart," we can confidently expect to see His goodness here and now, not just then.

5. Isaiah 43:2 ~ "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Whatever is worrying you is possibly--probably?--very real. I LOVE that this verse doesn't pretend we're never in deep waters or hot fires. When you pass and walk, God says, not if. The Great I AM knows about the floods and the flames. But He declares a couple truths here: 1)He's with us IN them; 2)they will not consume us. They will not destroy us. With God's help, we can and will come out on the other side. 

My mom's favorite quote about worrying is from Corrie ten Boom: "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." Claim the strength God offers you in His love letter today, sweet one! Then, expect His amazing things, His security, His peace, His goodness, and His protection tomorrow.


31 comments:

  1. beautiful post, and that's an interesting analogy on how sometimes we really do need a Martha, I feel a lot more affinity with her than Mary

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    1. I am with you, Lizzy! And I am thankful God loves both the Marys AND the Marthas among us. Meanwhile, I continue to try choose the better way. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

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  2. Thanks for the encouraging post. There have been times when I really needed these verses. Blessings.

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    1. You're welcome, Rebecca! Thank you so much for stopping by...blessings back to you, and may God's Word dwell richly in you and flow out of you!

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  3. Elizabeth, This post was just what I needed to see today!! I am so glad I stopped by!!

    There are so many aspects of this post that I could highlight!


    First of all, I know I've read Joshua 3:5, but it never struck me the way it did today after reading your insights. It made me have more of a God-focus about tomorrow rather than a me-worry-focus.

    The same with Psalm 16:7-9. I hadn't struck me when reading that verse that God is renewing us as we sleep. I really appreciated that insight.

    The very first verse I memorized as a new believer was Isaiah 43:2. :-)

    I LOVED your road map from worry to peace!!

    And finally, my life verse is Deuteronomy 31:8 "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” This verse has helped me through anxiety so many times. Like you, when I am anxious, I picture Jesus sitting right next to me. Oh what comfort that brings.

    I have been worrying about my annual check up next week (which there is no reason to as I am very healthy and this is just a routine visit), but because it is a new doctor and the fact that I have white coat syndrome, I am already ramping myself up, "emptying myself of today's strength". But this post refocused me and encouraged me so much!

    I'm so glad I stopped by!

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    1. Well, dear Karen, I am so glad you stopped by, too, because your thoughtful and sweet words have brought joy to my mind and heart! I'm so glad these verses resonated for you today. And I LOVE Deuteronomy 31:8...one of my favorites I could easily have included on this list. Isn't it funny: growing up in church, I never considered Deuteronomy to be a rich source of "New Testament faith" verses to cling to. Now, I have many treasures marked up there in one of my Bibles. I'll be praying about that check-up for you and asking God to make it quick and boring! :) Thank you again for pouring out a blessing onto me today.

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  4. As your neighbor on Deb's I got to come here to read just what I needed. I have such a hard time memorizing Scripture.
    Thank you so much, ~ linda

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    1. I know just what you mean! I never could get anything to stick beyond a few days or so. I'm grateful God showed mercy and gave me a method that works for me. I pray it will work for you, too, because there is nothing like having God's Word at the ready whenever and wherever you need it. Thank you for visiting, neighbor! ;)

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  5. These are great verses! I was just looking to add a few more to our Bible memory verse system and I'm going to do these next. Thanks for the recommendations! :)

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    1. I'm so glad they resonated, Kristi! And I'd love to know what your memory system is. I have mine, but it's always helpful to learn what works for someone else. Thanks so much for taking time to stop by! You are a blessing to me.

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  6. I just decided this summer to start memorizing scripture. I hadn't purposefully memorized any since college (10 years ago)! Sad, but true. I'm going to put Psalm 16:7-9 next on my list to memorize. I love that you visualized the Lord at your right hand steadying you. Sometimes it is easy to forget that He is right there next to us all the time. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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    1. Thank you for YOUR encouragement, Emily! I still love the idea of God being at my right hand, but I do enjoy that I no longer have to employ that imagery during exams! :) Thanks for taking time to stop by and leave me the gift of your thoughtful words. I am blessed by you and am so glad we recently "met"!

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  7. I love it. Thanks so much. There is so much to worry about in this old world. I wrote these down and plan to put them in my bible flap. I had a friend who once told me that every day when he got into his car, he would actually look over at the passenger seat and say, "Buckle up, Lord. Here we go." It gave him the sense that God was right there in the car, and by his side. When he got out, he would make sure he mentally took Christ into the office or on the job site. Made a huge difference in his life. Thanks again for all you have posted and for sharing today. Coming to you from Theocentric Thursdays.

    Blessings,
    Laura L. Padgett, Author, Speaker and Dancer

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    1. Thank you, Laura! Your friend has a great anti-worry plan of his own! Thank you for taking time to stop by and to share it!

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  8. I love Corrie ten Boom's quote as well and have enjoyed your little treasure of a blog here, Laura. You've offered good, practical suggestions, and I love the free printables. I linked this to my Pinterest page on Scripture memorization. #raralinkup #goGodgo

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    1. Aw, thank you, Kristi...that's so sweet of you! I look forward to reading your posts now that I've "found" you via the RaRa! Thank you for taking time to stop by and to comment!

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  9. Enjoyed your post today! I am glad I stopped by. I do believe there is a little Mary and Martha in all of us:)

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    1. I'm so glad, Lisa. And you are right about that Mary/Martha mix...which is probably the best balance! Thank you for taking time to stop by today!

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  10. Worry is so bad for us yet we usually keep falling prey to it. Thank you for the verses and ideas!

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    1. Right you are, Anastasia! I think it's my "martyr syndrome"--I'd rather worry about something (and let everyone know I'm worried about it) than respond in faith to it. Thank you for taking time to visit and comment!

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  11. Wise advice in this post. I am a big fan of index cards. They can be found scattered throughout my Bible, on the windowsill by my kitchen sink, in my wallet ... you get the point. We so need to remind ourselves of the truth of God's Word each day. Glad to have stopped here from Faith Along the Way. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much, Joanne! I, too, love the index card system. It sounds like you are covered in the Truth all day long! :) Thanks so much for taking time to stop by and to comment. May the Word of God dwell richly in you!

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  12. I forgot you had this site, Elizabeth! Jumped over from Faith Along the Way. My favorite of these verses is Psalm 27:13-14; it's gotten me through more than one tough spot.

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    1. Heehee, Abi... this is my second (and sometimes neglected) blog child! ;) Thanks for stopping by...praying you will, truly, see God's goodness in the land of the living today!

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  13. I have always, like you, felt an affinity for Martha -- because I freak out so much, the way she does! It took me awhile to realize that there is actually a bit of Mary in me as well -- she, too, had her doubts, but because they look more "acceptable," we play Mary over Martha. A good post, and most encouraging.

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    1. Thank you for sharing this, Carolyn! I'm glad I'm not the only woman who describes herself as sometimes "freaking out"! I like your take on the Mary-Martha comparison. In the end, we are all imperfect, needing to give our attention to the Perfect One, Jesus! Thank you so much for taking time to stop by and to leave your thoughtful and encouraging words!

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  14. I love the Mary and Martha story! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us at Grace and Truth last week. :)
    Jen @ Being Confident of This

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    1. Jen, thank you for HOSTING Grace and Truth along with your sisters in faith and blogging! Thanks for taking time to stop by...

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  15. Yes ma'am. Verses to claim- and proclaim! Neighbor at grace and truth linkup today. May I invite you to share at DanceWithJesus linkup each Friday to bless others there too?
    SusanBMead.com/blog

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    1. "Claim and proclaim." I LOVE that, Susan! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind party invitation. I'm headed there as soon as I get the carnage from dinner prep cleaned up! :)

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  16. http://zepma.blogspot.co.id/2017/12/short-straw-2018-movie-online.html

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I'd love to hear from you. What do you think? What's on your mind? Did you learn anything from this study that you didn't know to begin with? Did it make any sense? Tell me...I really want to know.