Do Not Be Anxious

Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Phil. 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

The bible tells us not to be anxious about anything.

What is anxiety? Anxiety is distress about future uncertainties. It is characterized by mental agitation and uneasiness. It primarily has to do with what may happen in the future, whether near or distant, whether real or imagined.

What causes anxiety? Anxiety is caused by real or imagined threats to our well-being. We feel vulnerable and inadequately protected against these threats. Threats such as social rejection, physical injury or disease, COVID-19, poverty, job insecurity, death, and a wide range of other threats.

Examples of anxiety provoking situations. 

  • You wake up face down on the pavement.
  • You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.
  • You see a “60 Minutes” news team waiting in your office.
  • Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
  • You turn on the news and they’re showing emergency routes out of the city.
  • Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the freeway.                                                                                 
  • Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.
  • Your income tax check bounces.
  • Your wife says, “Good morning, Bill”, and your name is George.

John 16:33  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

This was taken from Our Daily Bread.

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. George Muller Massena, one of Napoleon’s generals, suddenly appeared with 18,000 soldiers before an Austrian town which had no means of defending itself. The town council met, certain that capitulation was the only answer. The old dean of the church reminded the council that it was Easter, and begged them to hold services as usual and to leave the trouble in God’s hands. They followed his advice. The dean went to the church and rang the bells to announce the service. The French soldiers heard the church bells ring and concluded that the Austrian army had come to rescue the town. They broke camp, and before the bells had ceased ringing, vanished.

Anxiety has 3 main elements.

Insecurity: something bad is going to happen

Helplessness: There is nothing I can do

Isolation: There is no one to help me

For a Christian, anxiety and worry are doubting God’s power and goodness. Anxiety handicaps us. It gives us something to think about but gets us nowhere.

“You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life.” Deuteronomy 28:66

How can we overcome problems of anxiety?

Some say that we need to get away, go on vacation more often. Get a less stressful job. Get a less stressful family.

Instead, trust in God. We must put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. While a Christian may feel insecure, the reality is that we are very secure. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

While a Christian may feel helpless, the reality is that we have great help available. “So, we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”” Hebrews 13:6.

While we may feel isolated, the reality is that God is always at our side. “God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”” Hebrews 13:5.

We need to put complete trust and confidence in God’s ability to deal with anything that threatens us. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.

Prayer is open to us to request God’s help. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14.

God has promised peace of mind to those who are willing to commit their anxieties to Him. “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.” Philippians 4:6, 7.

National Institute of Mental Health

An estimated 31.9% of adolescents have some form of anxiety disorder.

The prevalence of any anxiety disorder among adolescents was higher for females (38.0%) than for males (26.1%).

An estimated 19.1% of U.S. adults had some anxiety disorder in the past year.

Past year prevalence of any anxiety disorder was higher for females (23.4%) than for males (14.3%).

Before praying, consider these 4 steps for praying over anxiety, as suggested by well-known author and speaker Max Lucado: 

1.   Pray immediately.
“Don’t stew over the problems that are besetting you or your neighbor. Ask God for help as soon as you identify a need.”

2.   Pray specifically.
“When we boil our concerns down to a specific request, they become right-sized. Vague threats loom larger than concrete challenges.”

3.   Pray for and with others.
“When we consider the problems of others and enlist their help with ours, our concerns become more manageable.”

4.   Pray with thanksgiving.
“Anxiety and gratitude cannot occupy the same space. When we list what we are thankful for, our list of challenges grows less powerful.”

 

Leaning on the everlasting arms

What a fellowship, what a joy divine
Leaning on the everlasting arms
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Leaning, leaning
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning, leaning
Leaning on the everlasting arms

What have I to dread, what have I to fear
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near
Leaning on the everlasting arms

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