53: Helping People Overcome Worry


Greetings, Students,


I just wanted to say hello and that I pray that you and your families are finding God’s special leading during the current global crisis. I was notified today that a former student’s Dad died of the virus last night (He was at home in Scotland). It just brought it all home a little bit more. Christians are not immune to crises, but we do have a relationship of trust with our Creator that gives us a different perspective.


As you all are studying biblical counseling, I have no doubt that God will give you special opportunities to apply what you are learning to real life situations whether in your own homes or through telephone or internet. I also pray that you will find creative ways to use the gifts the Spirit has given you. I know God will use you. Your hard work on the courses encourages me. I have found the students at CCU to be especially gifted in taking the knowledge of the Bible and using it as God intended. That thrills me. Thank you for your practical perseverance.


Yours for His Kingdom –

Bill Hines, D.Min.

ACBC IABC CABC

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  • Harry Innerst says:

    This is a great teaching, reminding us of practical steps to being prepared to be able to help others. The thought came to mind, you can’t help thirsty people if your canteen is empty. Renewing the mind by constantly being in the Word is essential to helping others thru ruff spots. Writing things down and planning to be prepared for what comes your way. Keeping short accounts with God will enable us to go boldly to His throne to ask for wisdom. The Holy Spirit will come along side of us , so that we can come along side of others. If our lives are cluttered up with all of the junk that exists around us, the Spirit will have to deal with us first. We need to make a plan to walk worthy of our calling, and to be ready to serve others in need.

    • Kim says:

      This is so true, we need to be filled to be able to give to others. Sometimes I think it’s ok I’ll just sit out right now, but then God reminds me that He has called me and equipped me for a purpose and I will live a more abundant life if I walk in these things, and that means I need to be ready to serve others.

    • Autumn Duncan says:

      I agree with you Henry about renewing our minds with God’s Word is essential to helping others during their challenging times and it also helps with anxiety. I have noticed that with the stress of today and the added component of the pandemic, staying in God’s Word has really helped me not worry, keeps my focus on the Lord and enables me to encourage others.

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      Thanks Harry! I agree we need to be filled up, to pour out. It isn’t that christ can’t use us even if we are not on top of it. Yet, I truly believe we need to be examples of walking in the lord and keeping as you say , “short accounts”. This will also keep us from burnout, and keep us in right priority. Loving God and then loving others. I love that we get to keep close relationship with the Lord and he gives us a heart to carry out that love into others lives. Praise God.

    • Ritter Savino says:

      I like what you said Harry “you can’t help thirsty people if your canteen is empty”. It is so true, we really need to take this very seriously, because is people’s lives we are talking about here. The Lord wants us to do things with excellence, and so we need to be equipped and prepared before we could do service to others, and only through His guidance we could do this.

  • James L Padilla says:

    Thank you Pastor Jeff and Bill…Great scriptures, biblical thoughts, and view-points on helping people overcome worry. I had a moment to briefly visit with a lady today who was overcome with worry and negativity. Every comment that she made was a fear based, anxious, comment. As opportunity provided, I did my best to respond with a positive believing that, every negative requires a positive. However, I’m not quite sure that the darkness was pushed back far enough for her to see some light. I very much am in agreement with what Bill said in regards to “applying to self first before applying to others” (Galatians 6:1,2). I think that this is very important, and something that we should be ever be mindful of. However, the part of this podcast that ministered to me most was the comment that was made at the very beginning by Pastor Jeff in regards to being ready and informed on how to serve others. It is true, as biblical counselors we need to be ready and informed on how to serve others, but it’s not so much the “being ready and informed” part that intrigues me (both very important)… it’s the servant part. As biblical counselors, we are first and foremost servants. Servants to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and servants to one another. Sadly enough, there have been so many times since this pandemic reached home that I have been tempted to put self first. Thankfully, the Spirit of the Lord has been quick to convict me of this. This is not His way. As born again believers, we are ambassadors for Christ, disciples, pilgrims just passing through, this is not our home…we are here and called to be about our Father’s business, to be Spirit led, to admonish, to comfort, to exhort, and to serve one another…not when we choose to, but when and where the need arises. I think we often choose to counsel and comfort in and at our own conveniences, but I’m learning that biblical counseling…at times…can be very inconvenient…especially if we are putting self-first. We are living in a period of time when we can make a great impact/difference in the lives of many people, but if we are worried about self first, we will miss the many divine appointments/opportunities that God may have for us. “Greater love hath no man that this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This is the role of a servant, this is the role of a biblical counselor…Thank you Jeff…for this reminder.

    • harry e innerst says:

      I like your idea of us being servants. If we are anything but servants we are making ourselves to be more than we are. We are servants and ambassadors to carry out the wishes and plans of the Master.

      • josh says:

        amen, because we know Jesus, as our ultimate earthly example, was the king of all servants and displayed this concept powerfully and beautifully for us to follow.

  • Stacy Wiggins says:

    Awesome podcast! I love the practicality of it. I love Dr. Hines’ outline of the R’s – wRite, Read, Recognize, Replace, Redeem for the issue of anxiety and worry. This is also a great outline for homework in other counseling issues.
    Write – The process of writing down the issue, thinking about it biblically, and making a plan to overcome is so good. Here is what I am anxious about. Here is what I can do about it. Here is a verse that applies.
    Read – Jay Adam’s book What to do When You Worry All the Time.
    Recognize – what God says He will take care of and what we are to take care of. We have to quit trying to do the things we can’t do. Matt 6:25-34.
    Replace – the thoughts of worry with God’s thoughts. Philippians 4:7. It is so true that anxiety, worry, stress have become habits in so many people’s lives. We must be intentional in our own lives and in guiding others to build new reflexes like praying about the issue and intentionally trusting the Lord to get us through the situation.
    Redeem – the situation from trouble to something positive for God. I loved the example of when you’re struggling with money – give some money away. Even if it’s just a dollar.
    It helps us trust Him for the right gift at the right time.
    Because the Lord has blessed us, we ought to bless others. So often, this statement gets turned around and we expect the Lord to bless us because we have blessed others

    • Alejandro Anchondo says:

      Honestly it feels like you wrote out the perfect outline to this podcast. You have great skills to organize the thoughts of our mentors.
      I would encourage you to do the same with your own thoughts as a way to stay prepared for when you counsel someone. This kind of organized format will be a gift to your counselee. They will come in worried, afraid, angry, hurt or lost and be met with a great organized plan pf action. It will bless them to see you know what you’re doing and calm their spirits.
      Often times, we will need to be organized for their sake more than our own.

      • Stacy Wiggins says:

        That’s a great point, Alejandro. I often make an outline for myself to stay on topic and keep the conversation from following too many rabbit trails. I never thought about it being something that would be more for their sake. One thing to keep in mind though about being so organized is to allow the Holy Spirit to interrupt the outline as He sees fit.

  • Sherra Krabbenhoft says:

    Thank you for the great reminder that we must first be prepared ourselves before helping others. Change is not a simple process, it often involves work, sometimes hard work. As counselors it is so important to do the work in our own lives, as it says in 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” God has called us to be prepared, which means we must do as Dr. Hines encourages, check in with ourselves frequently and deal immediately with the thoughts and worry when they come.

    • Alejandro Anchondo says:

      I totally agree. I think this is why it’s important for us to be active members of our own local churches, have daily devotionals and stay accountable to our trusted confidants.
      When we know we are actively growing and maturing in Christ we will be confident to step out and counsel. Even if we are growing in an area that is different than what our counselees need attention, we will still have a branch and vine connection to Christ from which we draw our strengrh and wisdom to counsel.

    • Stacy Wiggins says:

      So true isn’t it? I think of the instructions we all hear on an airplane – put the oxygen mask on yourself before trying to assist those next to you. If we are not checking ourselves and dealing with our own issues, we will not be in a place to help others.

  • Alejandro Anchondo says:

    Its good to liste to podcasts that fill us up with wisdom and love.
    Homework is key when it comes to discipleship and/or biblical counseling. I think when I was nee to counseling my greatest place of confusion was on what to assign for homework. But, now I have come to learn that it isn’t too complex. I was overthinking it. Homework get the counselee into bible study, scripture memorization and prayer. Its discipleship with a topical focus based on the need of the counselee. In addition to helping a counselee grow and develop, homework can also be a good test of the heart of the counselee. The way they approach it, level of dedication, and quality of the homework is a good indicator of whether the counselee is submitting wholeheartedly to the Word and the Lord or not.
    I have certainly seen both the power of assigned homework to help a counselee and to help the counselor discern what’s going on in the counselee.

  • Johan Alarcon says:

    Pastor Jeff Christianson and Pastor Bill’s podcast was very interesting and very intriguing. We need to come to a place where God comes first in our lives, and to mainly serve others.
    I thought of the saying “How can I give a person $20.00 dollars, if I personally don’t have it, to give”.I don’t like to relate our faith to money, but we can’t assist our neighbors when we don’t have nothing in our cup, to give.
    We all struggle in many ways as scriptures say, so it’s normal to struggle, but I believe It’s all about how we react and not allowing our current circumstance to dictate our faith.
    We can have anxiety in us and not know that we were going through it, and the point that he expounded on about first applying things to ourselves before assisting those around us is advice that I needed at the right time, so thank you. As biblical counselors we need to rise up and help others. I like how the pastor talks about journaling, writing things down and coming up with a plan of action, to overcome and work out that plan. The discussion led to speaking about utilizing our devices to take notes, which I strongly believe in, and for me, technology has had a positive effect on being helpful by taking notes and being responsible. He mentioned Hebrews 12 and talks about things that entangle us and to set it aside. I think of an analogy a friend said to the class when I attended YWAM. He said” life can be a struggle like untangling headphone wires, most of the time you need to untangle them before able to use them correctly. In the process it can be very testing and challenging, but when they are no longer tangled, you can then enjoy the music. We need to untangle our own worries from our lives before helping others.

    • harry e innerst says:

      Tangled wires are a great illustration. Sometimes we get so tangled up with the things of this world, that we have to stop, get untangled and then proceed on to the task at hand. This is all good practical discussion. Thanks Johan.

    • Kim says:

      I love that analogy. I worked in radio and can so relate to the frustration of tangled wires. If you keep them neat (or keep a short account with God, in regards to our own worry) it makes it easier to be equipped to help others.

    • James L Padilla says:

      Hi Johan…thank you for your comments. I appreciate you bringing up the idea of “journaling, writing things down and coming up with a plan of action, to overcome and work out that plan.” An excellent which hit home for me as well. Getting our thoughts down on paper is an excellent way to grow and mature in the Lord, as we can look back and see how the Lord has worked, led, and answered prayers in our life/ministry. Sometimes, we can even see where we are amiss and out of the Lords will, and therefore get back on track. So many ways, so many tools God has given us to “grow in grace and stature”…blessed be the name of the Lord.

    • Tom Zimbelman says:

      You make a very good point about giving when we seem to have nothing to give. I’ve heard many stories of a variety of ministries who are hurting desperately right now. In fact, I think most churches are in a very difficult place financially. So are the members of the congregation, many of whom are being laid off and find themselves hurting financially. In that instance, do we still give? That’s where faith right now for a lot of people comes in. Myself included. I need to ask myself some hard questions.

    • Ritter Savino says:

      The struggle is so real, and the way we react to struggles can absolutely show where we are in our faith. When struggles, or situations that are no pleasant come in, I take it as an opportunity that the Lord is putting for me to grow. God is so amazing! I also like when you said “that life can be a struggle like untangling headphone wires”. What a picture! Untangle our own worries from our lives before helping others. I love it! 🙂

  • Ritter Savino says:

    This was a really good podcast. Thank you, Pastor Jeff and Bill Hines, for your teachings. When my husband and I counsel, we give homework, and it is so effective. We actually learned to do this in a 30 hours seminar we did with ACBC about 3 years ago. I like Bill Hines suggestions about doing a journal ourselves. I know that giving the suggestion to people to write what they are going through in a journal will help them to sort things out, but I never thought that doing a journal myself to check my heart will be helpful when the time comes to help others. I like it and I think I’m going to start doing that. It is truth that we need to check our hearts and see where we are when we face situations that are not comfortable. Also, looking for a passage when a situation happens, and meditate on it is extremely helpful. You mentioned that some people like to speak with other people when face with situations and that is okay, but they will fail them because they are people, but God will never fail us. Personally, I love to reach out to my sisters in Christ, but scripture is what really does it for me. The Lord really comes through every time I reach out to Him.
    If we write our own journal, it will help realized that maybe we have some issues and worries that we have not seen before. Maybe about paying bills, or other issues that come up in our daily lives. I also like when it was said that we should be replacing our thoughts to God’s thoughts, and to not be anxious, but think about what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report and meditate on these things as Philippians 4:6-7 – 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. As you said, we should stop thinking about things we don’t have control of or our past, instead we should be reaffirming in our own heart that we trust Him. It really starts with us. We need to be in tune with what the Lord calls us to do, so that the people God put in front of us can be helped by us through Him. We need to make sure we are prepared at all time to help others in time of need no matter the time it comes.

    • James L Padilla says:

      Hi Ritter…”If we write our own journal, it will help realized that maybe we have some issues and worries that we have not seen before.” This is true and so important. this helps us remove the speck from our own eye before we try and remove the speck from our brothers eye. Being spiritually fit is so important for us as biblical counselors (as the podcast so graciously brought out). Could you imagine going to the gym and hiring a personal trainer who was over weight and terribly out of shape. It’s the same as when we try and give biblical counsel to others, and aren’t already applying and walking/living in that same counsel. It’s always just like God, to get us to take this journey from our minds… into our hearts, in hopes of causing spiritual humility and growth. Such a good discussion between Jeff and Bill in this latest podcast…looking forward to next week.

      • Ritter Savino says:

        Hi Jim, good example you used with the personal trainer who was overweight. It is so true! Who are we to counsel others God’s way, when we are not being spiritually fit? We really need to be prepared by walking and living God’s way; and writing things out for ourselves is something else we could use to prepare ourselves better.

  • Kim says:

    Sometimes we don’t recognize the fear and anxiety in our lives. However, we do need to do some work to overcome these. We were given some great practical advice here. Keep a journal of what you think, feel, act. It is good to walk through these practices on our own, before you use them to help those we counsel. But also, now is the time to help others. if taking care of own heart, then I am ready to give. As we do evaluate and journal, it is also good to find verses to combat each thing we are facing. “Put aside the things that entangle us and press on.”

    • Autumn Duncan says:

      Hi Kim. I have been through moments when don’t recognize the anxiety or fear but later understand why I was responding in a certain way or had moments when I feel anxious but I don’t understand why. I agree that there were some very practical steps Dr. Hines shared that are not only useful for us to use but also to share with others. I have noticed, the more I am in God’s Word, the less anxiety i feel and can encourage others through this challenging times.

    • Ritter Savino says:

      Hi Kim, I like this practical advice Mr. Hines gave. Practicing them first, so that I could understand what people are going through and be able to help them better. What better time than now!

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      Thanks Kim. Yes, I agree. What a beautiful balance to be able to love Jesus, (which I believe includes letting him love us) and then we also must be ready to share what we have received. For whoever has been forgiven much, loves much.

      I like how you said “if taking care of own heart, then I am ready to give. As we do evaluate and journal, it is also good to find verses to combat each thing we are facing.”

      This is a great way, to get real with God, expose and not hide, as well as receive the truth.
      “And the truth shall set you free.”

      • Bill Hines says:

        As so many are recognizing I realize my anxiety sets in when I am not actively focused on our God who is in control and has a plan. As I get on board with that plan I find Him working in my own heart and helps me help others.

        • josh says:

          Amen pastor Bill, that’s a great point. I strongly agree and often find the same to be true for myself as well.

  • Josiah Arceo says:

    What a nice podcast!

    I love the reminder that to overcome is to not just be sitting and waiting. Overcoming is praying to the Lord, leaning on His promises, and having a plan of action. When Pastor Jeff asked Dr. Hines to relate to us on keeping a journal, it reminded me of what Pastor John MacArthur said in his biblical counseling book about writing in a journal what to do during every trying circumstance and to read that every day. Since reading that book, I have started journaling every otero day or so and looking often at my plan of action for when the flesh wants to take over.

    As far as worrying. I also enjoyed what Dr. Hines said about positive thinking. In his words, it’s actually more than just that; it’s about meditating on truthful thinking! That was so good!

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Very true Josiah that “to overcome is to not just be sitting and waiting. Overcoming is praying to the Lord, leaning on His promises, and having a plan of action.”
      We can overcome our feelings as we lift our eyes to Christ and pray, I felt I prayed more intensely in the last few weeks than every before. A bit of suffering moves us away from ourselves and onto Christ and helping others praise the Lord!

    • JoAnn Eagle says:

      Hello Josiah,

      Positive thinking seems so simple doesn’t it? But our struggle with worry and anxiety has a very practical solution: put off worry and trust God. And when we make those practical shifts in our thoughts, we can be generous in serving others with our time, possessions, gifts, etc. Our thought life is critical. This is why Paul gave the Philippians such specific instructions regarding what to think on, followed by practicing his actions of service (Phil 4:4-9). God doesn’t call us to be idle while we wait on our own answers to prayer – he calls us to serve!

      • Bill Hines says:

        Wonderful comments! It does seem that the antidote to worry is trusting Him and His better way of dealing with the issue.

  • Tom Zimbelman says:

    I love this interview. Great podcast. Pastor Jeff asked Dr. Hines about relating his experience with journaling. It was profound when he explained how he discovered his own anxiety in his life, anxiety he was not even aware of until he began to probe a bit. What a great idea: to think about when you are anxious and then what caused that anxiety; which thoughts are producing worry within. This is a fight and using Scripture appropriately to battle our personal thoughts (for example paying a bill, as Jeff mentioned, can produce a lot of anxiety). But what does the Bible say? I love our focus on Matthew 6. It does take faith, it does take diligence in reading Scripture and meditating upon it, and it takes trust in the One who is above all else. Praise Jesus Christ.

  • Autumn Duncan says:

    Thank you, Pastor Jeff and Dr. Hines, for this great message that is not only encouraging for the students in Biblical Counseling but also for anyone who may listen to this podcast. With so many things happening in the world, the stress and anxiety is more prevalent than usual. The practical application Dr. Hines shared is something that we can use today but also during other situations when there isn’t a pandemic. The easy steps of identifying what I am anxious about, thinking about what I can do about it and read/pray about a verse that applies. I am looking forward to sharing this strategy with a few people I work with who are struggling with anxiety concerning all that is happening right now.

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Yes Autumn I found the message encouraging to and especially the practical ways to overcome worry. The jounalling idea was great recognizing the issue and setting a plan of action to overcome it by applying the bible to the worry. Remembering that we are Children of God, that we can come to Christ in prayer at any time of day or night. After all we have a high priest who “always lives to make intercession for them.”

  • Anne Marie Maguire says:

    Thanks so much Jeff and Bill for that uplifting message. I’m very interested in the addiction degree.
    Things have certainly been hard with dear friends being sick and not being able to actually go to church on Sunday. But after the shock of the crisis I just asked the Lord what can I do? Then he showed me how to help and encourage those around me and online via messages and virtual prayer groups.
    Praying for those who are sick. I am deeply encouraged by all this work. I feel he prepared me in advance for this.
    I like that idea of journaling but not just putting words on a page and forgetting about it but making a plan of action and thinking biblically about the worry.
    I have felt such peace from God in my studies these last few days.
    The Lord’s presence was in my room and I could sit and enjoy his company.
    I know God is with us all as we eagerly serve him together.

    “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20.

    • JoAnn Eagle says:

      Anne Marie,
      I am so encouraged to read about your desire to pursue the addiction degree. There are so many hurting all around us! How great that God prompted you to encourage others in unique ways while they cannot go to church. I was encouraged in this way also. I believe that biblical counseling is critical now. We can share the truths of God’s word and trust that He will tend to the soil of hearts as He sees fit. May we take advantage opportunities God gives us in the pandemic to minister to His glory!

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Thank you Pastor Jeff, and Dr. Hines for a great pod cast. So many people struggle with anxiety and try not address it or they might be in denial. I think the idea you say about keeping a journal to help yourself and others with anxiety is a good thing to do, to see whats going on your heart so others can help. and you can help yourself thru the stuff causing worry and anxiety using scripture and a plan of action to get passed it, and actually work the plan. In order to do any of this the first thing we need to do is seek God and put him above everything and everyone. I’m gonna try these things to deal with my anxiety and worry especially now with everything going on that is totally out of my control that I try to fix on my own. I totally agree the first thing we should do about any worry, fear or anything is to pray about everything above all else.

  • Hannah Somerville says:

    Great podcast!

    Matt 6:25 ” do not worry about your life.” Verse 30 indicates that worry is a lack of faith.
    Every believer walks through concerns and a troubled heart, but as we put God first and we desire to serve others. This includes assigning homework.

    Bill confesses he has times of worry, he used to try to mask it, or move past it, but we get to apply truths to ourselves. we can assign ourselves good homework. Head (to think) , heart ( what are you guilty of yourself) and hands ( how can I create a plan of action and change in my own life. )

    Keeping a journal or writing out my cares, has always been a great help. As Bill says, we want to do this for ourselves so that we can receive, and pour out. Keeping attention to our own hearts and having these disciplines with the Lord helps us to be ready to help.

  • JoAnn Eagle says:

    I appreciated Dr. Hines’ referencing a time in his life that he thought that he did not have worry or anxiety! I recall a time when a Christian sister was telling me I was anxious and I was arguing with her that I was not! Later, the Lord convicted me that she was right. God used that interaction in my life to humble myself and recognize where I struggle with worry and anxiety. I also accept the charge that Dr. Hines gave his students: prayerfully consider where God may be calling me to use my biblical counseling skills in a unique way during this time of global pandemic. This is a great call to be others-focused and serve the body of Christ as we trust God!

  • Jordan Chavez Matzel says:

    As counselors, we are to exemplify the character we teach others. This is how we are able to effectively help others. We’re not perfect, but we have the opportunity to share the truth and peace of God’s word as it has helped us through the hard times. We get to look for new opportunities to reach out to people and hold yourself accountable to God’s Word. You can’t give what you don’t have; if we’re not first seeking to be in God’s word and truth it will be very difficult to help others. This is what it means to be accountable to God.

    Right now we have a special opportunity to give our undivided attention to the Lord, and to be centered in His will and word. We also have a unique opportunity to share the hope of the Gospel with the world! We don’t have to be grand speakers and have millions of followers, but we all have neighbors, family and friends that we can encourage and reach out to. I love that God equips and enables us to help others through His word, and it is almost a fulfilling spiral as His word continues to minister to those who share it.

  • Josh says:

    Always be full of joy in the Lord. Let everyone see that we are considerate in all we do. We know and must remind others the Lord is coming soon. don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell the Lord your concerns for HE knows our need, and thank him for all he has done. This is how we will experience God’s peace, which we know exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard our hearts and minds as we live in blameless purity and obedience. So let’s fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about the things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all we have learned and received. We can be confident that the God of peace is with us and will continue to be.

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