How to Turn Negative Thoughts Around and Combat Worry with One Question


Are you worried about something right now? Most of us are. It seems to be in our DNA. We lay in bed at night unable to sleep as worry steals our peace. We work every possible scenario for a solution, but none seems viable. Or we can’t stop thinking of the very worst end to the problem.

But have you realized that worry always involves the future–events that haven’t happened yet?

Something from the present sparks the worry. Hard facts that can’t be denied. A scary diagnosis, an eviction notice, a cut in pay. These truths merit the worry, but they don’t control the future. Our worry, however, can control our present which can affect the future.

The definition for worry is very interesting. Webster explains that its root word is wirwen which means to strangle or injure. It is related to the German word wurgen which means to twist or choke.

I found these definitions very interesting because the root of worry does indeed:

  • strangle our peace. Worry can literally physically
  • injure us and cause illness. Worry often
  • twists truth and
  • chokes out hope.

So, what do we do? How do we combat this nemesis called worry?

We counter it with a very simple question.

“What if?”

What if this really bad or scary thing could be a good thing in disguise? What if God does have the solution, healing, our future in His hands?

What if . . . this difficult situation is just a “bend in the road” that leads to a stronger, deeper you?

A dear woman I met recently told me that her incurable cancer diagnosis was simply a “bend in the road” that she trusted would lead to good things. Everyday she lives her life to bless others and to make a difference on this earth before He calls her home.

“I could live to be 85!” she exclaimed.

She’s right. The odds don’t look that way, but we never know what tomorrow will bring. She’s found peace, hope, and purpose in the midst of the battle.

[tweetability]Don’t let worry steal your purpose. . . the purpose beyond today that will leave a legacy and follow you to eternity.[/tweetability]

Life is a mental battle. Worry crosses  racial, economic, and religious boundaries. But so does the goodness of God.

The power of the “what if” question lies in the glimmer of hope it brings.

And it opens a door to trusting the One who holds our tomorrow.

Grab my hand.

“Lord, I’m so thankful that you hold the future. No doctor, no bank, no employer, no illness holds our futures. I pray the “what if” question will usher in light into the darkest places of worry and negativity. I pray the “what if” question will help us entertain hope helping us trust you and releasing your goodness in our lives. How many times do our fears become reality because we did not trust you? Thank you Jesus. Amen.”

What are you worrying about today? Can you counter it with “what if”?

With purpose beyond today,





















  1. You’re right. This question is also a very important one to ask ourselves when we’re faced with a situation that causes us to worry. God does have a plan for us, and he does always take everything and use it for the good.

    Thank you for these gentle reminders. It came at the perfect time.

    1. Hey Crystal! So blessed that these words “came at the right time” for you. Several other readers said the same thing. I love when Holy Spirit does that!

  2. Carol Ramirez

    You’re so right, Ande. I can run in circles worrying. Your point about worry always being a future event is a thought I must remember, too. It’s enough that God knows, and as long as I hold on to Him, I can breathe out stress.

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Carol. Keep on holding onto His goodness.

  3. Jan Doke

    Yes, Andy, yes! Exactly! Good words! Most of our problems come when we put our “buts” in the wrong place ( not our butts but our buts). We shouldn’t say ” I trust God, BUT then it’s hard because my daughter has cancer.” Instead we should say, ” My daughter has cancer, and that is hard, BUT I trust God. “

    1. Thanks Jan! Yep. The trust factor brings the peace.

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