SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Dealing with Anxiety
There is an over abundance of anxiety in our world today. Each person has his own problems. It may be personal concerns, family matters, financial needs, health issues, government rules or global conditions. We all have reasons to worry and fret. Sometimes critical situations strike instant fear in our hearts, which is only natural. Much of our anxiety comes with everyday problems. We take our worries to bed with us, wake up with them, and carry them around with us all day.
This is NOT how God wants us to live. The Lord can settle our hearts in such a way that we can live with the stresses of life, yet still experience His awesome peace and joy.
Anxiety is not just a modern-day problem.
It has been around a L-O-N-G time! It was also a concern for those who lived in Old Testament times. Psalm 37:7-8 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. (KJV)
By the time the Roman Empire ruled the world, there were plenty of reasons for anxiety. When Jesus came to Earth, He addressed the issue of worry in His sermon. Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (KJV) . . . His solutions sound so simple, yet today we still struggle to apply them. Anxiety is a condition in which the mind is being pulled in two directions. Anxiety is: concern, discontent, disquiet, edgy, fretful, jittery, jumpy, skittish, nervous, troubled, uneasy, unrest, worry, etc. Anxiety results in an emotional state of distress which dominates our thoughts and disrupts our sleep. It could be empowered by present circumstances, or fear of what could happen in the future. Anxiety is basically a reaction to our circumstances, BUT . . . it is also a choice. Instead of giving in to worry, we can cast all our anxiety on the Lord because He cares for us. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (KJV)
Causes of Anxiety
In Jesus’ sermon in Matthew 6, He points out WHY we so often give in to worry and what we can do to change our reaction.
#1. Feelings of inadequacy. Problems can so overwhelm us that we feel weak and incapable of doing anything about them. But Jesus advises us to look at the birds (verse 26). They seem so small and unimportant, yet God takes care of them. He feeds them. We never see birds planting seeds or harvesting crops. They are totally unable to plant r harvest crops, so God feed them. If God cares so much for them, we can be sure that He will be faithful to meet our needs as well.
#2. Trying to change things we cannot control. Jesus reminds us that MANY situations are far beyond our ability to change. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? (verse 27). Any time we run into a situation we cannot change, the only wise thing to do is to turn them over to the only One who can handle them, God. IF we try to control them, we reveal unbelief and we multiply the intensity of our pain and frustration.
#3. Failing to trust God to provide our needs. After explaining how the Lord clothes the lilies of the field with more glory than even Solomon, Jesus urgently warns us not to worry about clothing because He will provide whatever we need (verses 28-30). Each time that we worry that our needs will not be met, we show a lack of faith in God. We must always remember that God knows our problem, better than we do. Sometimes we may think that our situation may look like the Lord has let us down, but my friend, He will NOT let us down! When we think that God is letting us down, He may in actually be supplying a need that we may not even know we have. When the apostle Paul suffered so much mistreatment and hardship (2 Cor.11:22-33), the Bible never tells us that he complained about his circumstances. Shipwrecks and beatings were not happy times for Paul, but he endured them with inner peace and confidence because he knew and trusted the Lord.
#4. Misplaced priorities. Instead of focusing on obtaining the necessities of life, Jesus tells us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (verses 32-33). God’s Kingdom is His rule and authority over our lives, and His righteousness is Christ’s character worked out in us in such a way that we reflect Him. When we make it our top priority to acknowledge Him as our Lord and Savior, seeking to walk obediently in His ways, God promises to supply whatever else we need. God knows exactly what is best for us, as well as how and when to provide it.
#5. Trying to live tomorrow today. Planning ahead is good, but there are times that we all plan too far out in the future. This can lead to great anxiety. Jesus tells us, Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (verse 34). Instead of worrying about our problems, we should turn it over to the Lord. If we commit ourselves to do whatever He says, we will be able to go through the day with peace and joy as we watch Him work out everything in His own time. Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians from a cold, damp Roman prison cell, yet he continually spoke about rejoicing. Instead of being anxious, and worrying, he advised the Philippians to pray about everything with thanksgiving. Phil. 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (KJV) Let us take the life of Paul as an example to avoid anxiety in our life!
There are so many things that we can thank God for. He walks with us through hard times, He protects and provides and He always keeps His Promises. If we would just focus on these things, we would be wise! The awesome peace of God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, no matter how difficult our circumstances are.
We must always remember that God will NEVER take us where His grace cannot sustain us. We have His Promise to meet all our needs and to guard us with His peace and joy. God CANNOT lie (Tit.1:2), so we can believe Him!
The choice is ours! We can either live with no faith in God and anxiety, OR we can trust the Lord to take care of us and watch over us, as He has promised! My dear friend, He has abundant power to meet our needs and He knows what is best for us (Rom.8:28). It may not be what we would prefer, but His ways are ALWAYS right, and His motive is ALWAYS love.
Anxieties, Hardships, Pain and Troubles,
Plague us in This Life on Earth
Trials in this Life on Earth
A Heart for God
Adversity, A Bridge to Paul
Adversity, A Bridge or a Burden
All People Are Called, Few Respond
Can I Win Over Drugs and Alcohol?
Causes of Hardships
Dealing With Anxiety
Describing a Heart For God
Faith, Different Stages
Faith, Progressing In
Follow God With Your Heart
God's Promises to the Persecuted
God Is Well Able
God of Promise
Hold Fast to the Bible
How to Maintain Hope In Adversity
Listening to God
Living Godly In An Ungodly World
Persecution of Christians
Reason For Persecution
Renewing of the Mind
Riches of God's Grace, A Treasure
Seeking God's Guidance
Seeking God, When He Cannot be Found
Seeking God, Today's Heresy
Seeking God, WHY Should I Seek God?
Temptation, God's Promise
Temptation, Guarding Against
Temptation, Preventing Backsliding
Temptation, Resisting Sin
Temptation, Responding To
Temptation, Satan's Goal
Testing the Faith
The Christian Life
Three Commands to the Wicked
Universalism and the World to Come
Waiting on God
Waiting on God, WHY Is It Wise?
Warnings in Romans Chapter 1