Taking Our Worries Captive
I've been taking your burdens (shared in yesterday's comments) to the Cross praying that that Christ’ power will resurrect, renew and restore the pain and suffering you are facing. Jesus is faithful and able to bring beauty from the ashes. I am praying that when we can't see His hand or understand His plans, we will always trust His heart.

We're living in troubled times. One of my good friends’ moms is battling aggressive cancer. Another good friend and mom of three young children found out her cancer has spread to her liver. Another friend found out her daughter has an eating disorder. Another one’s husband loss his job. Yet in the midst of it all, I am hearing amazing stories of God making a way where there was no way.

In the midst of troubled times, God never wants our concerns to take us captive and hold us in a prison of worry and fear. Fear and worry go together. When something happens that frightens us, we'll often start thinking about the worst thing that could possibly happen next What if this happens? What if that happens?

“What if” - an oh so familiar phrase that cracks the door open in our thoughts, letting worry creep in quietly by creating scenarios that may or may not happen. And if we're not careful, “what if” will hold us hostage to tomorrow’s troubles. So what do we do with worries that wage war in our minds, and become weapons the enemy uses to steal, kill and destroy our peace?

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

The truth is, we will either take our thoughts captive or be held captive by them!

Please read that again. I know what it’s like to be held captive. I lived in a prison of fear and worry for over 20 years and didn’t even know it. I thought being worried and afraid was normal. Now I know I told you yesterday it must be normal since God tells us not to be afraid so many times, but hear me now, being held hostage by fear is not! Fear will hold you as prisoner of war, and you'll become MIA (missing in action)! But there is a key to unlock the door of prisons built by fear and worry - that key is TRUTH - truth will set us free!

“You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32

The first step towards finding freedom for me was getting to know Jesus, God’s living Truth. Not just knowing about Him, but really knowing Him and letting Him know me. I spent time with Him reading God’s written Truth. I wrote down my thoughts and compared them to His. I prayed that God would change the way I thought and make me able to recognize Satan’s lies. I became familiar with God’s voice so I could know if my thoughts (or worries) matched His. I reminded myself again and again that Jesus came to give me life to the full but there was an enemy who wanted to steal, kill and destroy my life. He liked me better as a prisoner.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”Galatians 5:1

It's time for us to decide that we will no longer be held captive, but with God’s truth we will take our thoughts captive and break free from worry! Let's use the sword of the Spirit (God's Word) and fight for the freedom that is ours in Christ! Let's hold our thoughts up to Truth and make them obedient to Christ, then toss in any false evidence that appears real into the outfield (see yesterday's post) when trials and troubles come our way.

Are you with me friends? Here are some truths to start with:

  • "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:1-2

  • “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

  • God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

  • “The LORD will surely comfort (you) and will look with compassion on all (your) ruins; he will make (your) deserts like Eden, (your) wastelands like the garden of the LORD.” Isaiah 51:3

  • “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8

  • “I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

  • Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. Psalm 107:28
My friend Micca's new book was just released so I'm giving a copy away to tie in with this week's posts. It's called, "An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Greater than all My Fears" an d it's really powerful! For a chance to win, leave a comment under today's post and for extra chances leave one under any of this week's posts. Be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win.

UPDATE: Happy Birthday Micca! To wish her a happy birthday and for more chances to win her book, hop over to Micca's blog where she is giving away four copies this weekend!

Copyright 2009, Renee Swope - All rights reserved.


Blogger Shauna said...

I just want to let you know how much your blog is helping my heart. I first saw you speak in Houston at the Girl's Night Out. As you were giving your testimony it was like you were telling my story to a certain degree. I then found your blog and have been reading since then. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a worry wart! I worry about everything. I am trying very hard to overcome this because I don't want my girls to be that way. We have been displaced due to hurrican Ike and I have been tested so many times in the past 6 months. I have to remind myself who is in control and things will work out in his timing. I just want you to know how much of a blessing you have been in my life. I will forever be grateful.

Blogger Shauna said...

I forgot to leave my email address

Blogger Angie said...

Ok...so worrying is something I guess I have been doing and not even realizing it. Worry..coming from an 18 year burden that has almost destroyed my marriage. Never knowing if we were going to make it.
Well,I will let you know I'm carring that burden no more. I know God forgave me a long time ago, I just needed to forgive myself.
I am work in progress, but I am not going through this alone.
Thanks for all the verses. I think I will take someones advise and write them on index cards to keep in my purse.

OpenID Lehrerin said...

I am going to add those verses to my list of ones to memorize. Thanks for sharing!


Blogger tiggerdaisy said...

Thanks for the post and the verses! Oh how many beautiful moments in my life have been disfigured by worry and fear. I'm learning daily to put on God's Armor and wield the sword of the Spirit against satan and his lies!

Prayers and blessings,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such an issue with me, that God has been working on in my heart for years (since I had my first little one). Thanks for the encouragement.

Blogger Jenny said...

Such a wonderful post. I struggle with this a lot. I used to have panic attacks and was always worried and scared about every little thing, even going to the store. Now I am a lot better, but I still have to remind myself to let go of fears and anxiety. I am going to print this and put it in my bible so when I feel fearful I can read these verses:) Thanks.


Blogger Mari said...

Wonderful wonderful post Renee. I am a worrywart. I know I am supposed to trust God. It's something I pray about now with regularity. God sits on the throne and is in control of it all. What is my worrying going to do to change that? Nothing! Thanks for the reminder.

Mari Taylor

Blogger Joyful said...

Oh my friend...I'm trying...I'm trying.

"They cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress." Psalm 107:28

Wanting to believe that right now. Just left the bedside of my Dad who became so aggresive he had to be restrained just minutes ago again today...all due to reaction of medication administered at the hospital. Renee....this isn't a 'what if'...it's happening now. The distress is real.

I KNOW I shouldn't worry, but I'm concerned for Dad, Mom...all our family. I so desperately want to be obedient to God's Word and bring "every thought captive"...but I can't...


Anonymous Mary Lynn said...

Worry and fear have been a part of my life since I was very young- I was held captive by it. I struggle daily, especially now with little ones, and uncertain fiancial times ahead with worries and fears of all sorts. I appreciate your thoughts and especially the verses. They are added to my scripture cards for daily reading.

Blogger Alexis said...

Thank you for including verese we can use to combat worry and fear!!!


Blogger Stacey said...

You nailed it. I tell myself, "the more scripture you memorize, the less room for c-r-a-p there is"...I spelled it 'cause I don't like that word... but that's what satan's lies are. I also visualize a sign that reads "NO VACANCY." There is no room for satan when I have the WORD/TRUTH in my heart and mind.

Blogger Stacey said...

oops, sorry, email address: thepadens@cox.net

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for such an encouraging word, it was what i needed to hear today!!

Blogger Melissa said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read you blog today. It seems that my life has been in constant chaos for over a month now and I'm at the end of my emotional rope. I've written down the verses and plan on keeping them with me for the times I seem to forget that I'm not doing this alone. you can contact me through mu blog or email me @ xmasbaby6@charter.net

Anonymous jennyj2boys said...

Thank you! I praise God that he has given people like you to speak to us with words of encouragement to help and guide us. We need to run to the foot of the cross and lay our fears/anxieties down. What a burden we carry when we allow Satan to have a foothold on us. It's true, fear can really captivate you, and the first thing I think of is "Freedom in Christ". That's what we need to focus on as we each battle our fears/concerns/worries. Hearing songs of worship during the day has helped me to stay focused on the Lord, otherwise, I do let my mind wander. I need to remind myself the verse: "Whatever is lovely and pure, whatever is noble and true, anything excellent and worthy of praise, think upon these things". It's so peaceful to read these passages that give us God's promise, especially before I fall asleep at night. What a way to end the day. And what a way to start the morning. Thank you for sharing and providing the light that God has for us.


Blogger LuvtheWord said...

Such timeless truths and so very timely for our day. So glad to see Micca's book ready for reading. ~ Julie @ jeffjulmission@yahoo.com

Blogger JD said...

Renee, I am so glad I found your page. Who would have thought we would "meet" again like this? Anyway, this post is like one of those "HELLO?! I'm trying to tell you something here!" moments. GOD is trying to get me, first, to realize that I am living in a state of worry and fear - so much that it is consuming me. Secondly, I believe HE's trying to confirm to me that HE has indeed called me to where I am. This is where the fear/insecurity starts again. How do I know I have heard the LORD and it's not just my thoughts? The issue isn't one directly answered in the Bible. My feelings about it are not very sturdy. It's like I read in Exodus this morning - where GOD calls Moses and Moses goes, "Who, me?" I know I can get headstrong in what I want, so...

Thanks for your post. I'm saving it so I can keep going back to it.

Julie Wetmore

Blogger Meadow66 said...

Thank you for your words. Worry has been at the top of my list for the past 2 weeks. My eighteen year old daughter decided she didn't like our rules and wanted to make her own decisions so she packed her things and moved out. I can't tell you how many times thoughts of what if this happens or what if that happens pop into my head. I have had more disturbed sleep in the past few weeks than I care to count. I am really trying to take all these thoughts to the cross. I know God can take better care of her than I or even she can. So, I am trusting in the Lord to work in her and through her. I know she loves Him and is just being a teen, but it is still a hard road, for her and for us. Thank you again for your words, for the reminder to not be a captive and to let God do the renewing and the restoring!


Blogger Renee Swope said...

Oh my sweet friend Joy, you are right. You are not living in what if's - you are living in what is and "what now?"

Lord, please show Joy your "what now." Please help her find rest and peace in this time of turmoil. Give her space in her thoughts to talk to you and pour out the hurt and frustration in her heart. Guard her mind from Satan's whispers of despair and doubt. I pray that you would surround her with your peace and presence, and give her many "Aarons and Hurs" to hold her up in prayer during this battle. Please be with her father and her family and restore his body back to health.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Blogger Cazandra said...

Fear and anxiety have been a battle of mine for so many years. Right when I think I've dealt with both issues, something comes up and I am a mess again. This all happened yesterday.

I have to surrender to God. He has a perfect plan for me and I have to trust in Him.

Thank you, so much, Renee. I don't feel alone anymore.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an inspiration your blog is and continues to be! I think as women... we let worry get to us... and try to hide it. We need to hide it in God's word... just as you said... give our burdens to the Lord and He will give us rest!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God used today's post to speak to me. I've been stressing and fearful lately but while reading today's blog, I realized that I'm worried about the future instead of focusing on what God has in store for me today. That thought quickly cast the fear away. I can't do anything about tomorrow but with Christ, I can thrive today. Thank you.


Blogger Mickey said...

This week's posts have really hit home. Thank you for reminding us that God is in control.

Blogger angel said...

Thanks for the verses. I know what its like to be held captive. I was held captive by drug abuse for many years. I have been free from that for 3 yrs. I am a mom of 3 and sometimes it seems worry just comes natural. I'm gonna memorize these verses.
My e-mail is angelpayton19@yahoo.com

Blogger Wendi said...

Thank you so much for these verses. It isn't fear that envelopes me but anger. I can be sitting at my desk doing my Bible study and the dog scratching at the door will set me off. All of a sudden I feel anger start boiling inside of me like a pot on the stove boiling over. It's as if Satan slipped in and took over. I feel I have no control. I have been searching for Scripture that I can call out and tame this icky, evil feeling.

Your blog has been such a blessing to me. The truths that I have learned from you and the other ladies has been amazing. I can not wait to see you at the D6 Conference in Dallas.

Blogger Renee and Cullen said...

Today I have seen the verse from Jeremiah 29:11 twice already. I was so worried about what's happening to this country and what it can mean for us as a family, that I had forgotten to keep my eyes on the One really in control! Thank you for reminding us that God is our Father and Protector... we mortals need to hear it every day. Thank you!! jrhoward@livingston.net

Blogger Ashley said...

I want to let you know that Wednesday I started reading your blog, because of the devotional that was mentioned in Encouragement for Today. I can relate to this blog a lot. I usually worry about everything and now that I have just graduated from college it seems there are so many more things for me to worry about, but going to God in prayer and relying on his word has really helped me not to worry and to be a stronger person. I know that in God's time I will find out what he wants and his plan for my life. Thank you again for your words of encouragement.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those are some powerful verses.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the word. I need this i have been worrying and stressing major.

Blogger Chef Diane said...

Thanks Renee needed to hear them today.

Blogger MP said...

Thank you for your words of truth on your blog. Since the birth of my first child 23yrs ago I have lived in worry. Just within the last few months I have very much focused my prayer time and study time on leaning on the Lord for ALL things. Things seen and unseen. I homeschool 2 of my children and our current study is 'The Joy of the Lord is your strength.' I desire for my family and myself to be released from any worry, fear, or sadness. "The JOY of the LORD is our Strengh." I choose to focus on Joy. I choose to focus on him and be free. We will be using the scriptures you referenced on your blog, for nexts week schooling. Thank you the encouragment and the reminders. Blessings

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom in these devotions the past three days. I am late reading them but soooo glad I was able to take the time to do so tonight. I have had a tough day and felt that satan had a grip on me that couldn't be broken. I have cried many times as I have looked at my daughter with no hair. She is home for Spring break and though she would like so very much to do something special, she got chemotherapy last Wednesday and she was back at the hospital for a shot Thursday and a blood check Friday. She must go back to the hospital Monday to get her blood checked, go again for chemotherapy Wednesday, and then back Friday to get her blood checked again. She has been getting treatment for three years. BUT PRAISE GOD.....she is living on campus, going to classes, and getting her coursework done!
I travel 2 hours to be with her during every treatment and blood transfusion. Prayer, bible study,devotions like yours, taped sermons, praise songs and God's mercy and grace keep me going!
Thank you and God bless you!

Blogger Bianca said...

I just wanted to say that your blog was very meaningful to me. I tend to worry/think alot about things that are out of my control. I am 28 and have three kids 7, 5, and 3. And I stay home with them and my marriage is at trouble, I am very lonely, I am new at knowing Christ and I am learning and trying to trust him with everything, including my three year old son who was diagnosed with leukimia and is now going through 2 years of chemo treatments. God is all I have and without him I would have nothing to hold onto. Thank you for all the devotions from all Proverbs31. It is hard not knowing what will ever happen, so thank you for the advice on worrying. It has been a blessing. Bianca

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Renee,

You are in my thoughts and prayers!

I saw Micca's new book at Life Way a couple days ago. How exciting!

Hope you are well!


Anonymous Rachel B said...

Thank you so much for your recent posts. I have a long history in my family of doubt, worry and fear. I have seen it overtake many of my female relatives in such a way that it has made them unprosperous and devestated. I don't want that for myself and I certainly know that's not what God has for me! Thank you for speaking truth into my heart and mind today. I know that the Lord is calling me into a new place of obedience. It's exciting, but scary as well...it will take me way out of my comfort zone! I know that if I allow fear and worry to overtake me that I will not fulfill His calling. Thank you for your prayers.
God bless you and your ministry!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder to take every thought captive. I appreciate your honesty and sharing your heart all to help me and others thru the trials God gives us. ttcox@juno.com

Blogger gallerhea said...

"I am praying that when we can't see His hand or understand His plans, we will always trust His heart."

I read these words from your post, and was struck by the plealike quality to it. I don't understand why a lot of things happen, but I know that God has a heart of Fatherly Love toward each of his children.

That said, I am facing the ache of losing a loved one, just 2 days ago. The diagnosis of the cancer that took her life was confirmed just two short weeks ago.

In that short of time, (which feels like the blink of an eye), she went from sitting at her table visiting her family, to completely incapacitated in the hospital. Breathing was an effort, and getting out of bed was impossible. Her words were ever so difficult to understand, but it was unmistakable when she told her husband and son, "I don't want to die."

So heartbreaking--and in that I do not "See His hand, or understand His plans." I just choose to trust in and rest in his love--at least that is what I want to do. Right now, I am just staying busy and getting through the day.

Please pray for me, and for the entire family of this beautiful lady, whose life touched so many.


Blogger valerie said...

I began my first tranquilizer at age 7. I over the years have been on numerous meds and have has ulcers, hernias and now at 45 my hair falls out in patches. I am a recovering heroin addict of 12 years and I am not acceoted by 4 of my 5 sisters. I have 5 kids ages 26,18,16,7 and2. Finances are bad and I have hep c. I am attending college and hanging in there trying to be a christian woman and that is what keeps me together. I try so hard to trust God and my issue is if I mess up I feel unforgivable. I know this is not so. I find comfort and hope in Proverbs 31 website as well as crosswalk. My 82 yr old mom with memory issues was taken away 300 miles by a sister who wants to keep her away from us here, and I am giving it all to Him. thanks

Blogger valerie said...

I have been a worrier since I was a kid. I began my first dose of tranquilizers at age 7. I dont even understand the basis of my fear, as I got older I have had ulcers, hernia issues and now at age 45 my hair falls out in largr spots when I get upset. I have been a recovering heroin addict for 12 years and I have 5 kids ages 26,18,16,7 and 2. I have hep.C and I am the family outcast even though I am trying to follow God's word and be a christian mom, wife daughter and friend. I attend college. I have lost myself somewhat in the opinion of others of me and I constantly second guess myself. Finances are bad and my mom is 82 with memory issues and has been moved away by a sister who wants her all to herself I especially right now am a bundle of nerves. I find comfort and hope when I come to this website as well as crosswalk. Thanks Valerie

Anonymous Monica said...

Your post on "Taking our Worries Captive" was like a Band-Aid on my hurting heart today. My husband and I are currently separated. However, I am praying that God move His mighty hand in repairing this mariiage that through our selfishness, we tore apart. (I also ask that you pray for healing in my marriage.) These past couple of nights have been tremondously hard on my heart and I have been at the point of giving up and saying I can't do this anymore. When praying last night I asked God to please give me those words to lift my spirit back up again, to trust Him. Thank you for those precious insights and for your Proverbs 31 daily devotionals. God Bless You and Yours!

Anonymous Monica said...

I forgot to add my email address. It is mbernalm@hotmail.com

Post a Comment