ANXIETY AND WORRY
DEFINITION: Anxiety is the state of being troubled with fearful, distressing thoughts and worrying about real or imagined problems.
FACTS ABOUT ANXIETY AND WORRY:
Anxiety and worry express unbelief. Anxiety and worry are manifestations of a carnal nature expressing doubts in the ability of God to handle situations.
Anxiety and worry do not change anything. Through fretful thoughts you cannot add one hour to your life, so why worry? (Luke 12:25-26).
Anxiety and worry affect your health. Anxious, worried people may suffer nervousness, sleeplessness, headaches, and panic attacks–the long-term effects of which can affect vital organs.
Anxiety causes you to lose spiritual focus. Anxiety changes your focus from the eternal to the temporal. Your focus is to be on the Kingdom of God, not the things of the world (Matthew 6:28-34). The Bible warns, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap” (Luke 21:34). “That day” is speaking of end-time events and return of the Lord.
DEALING WITH ANXIETY AND WORRY:
Ask God for forgiveness. Anxiety and worry reflect unbelief that God is able to handle the situations in your life. Ask forgiveness for unbelief.
Address why you are anxious and worried. Like David, question yourself: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” Then, whatever the reason for your concern, tell yourself by faith: “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you …” (Psalm 42:5-6)
Boldly declare that the Lord will help in any situation causing worry. He is your source of strength (Philippians 4:13). “So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be seized with alarm-I will not fear or dread or be terrified. What can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:6, TAB).
Cast your cares on God. The Bible says to cast your cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22). The word “cast” implies a continuous action. You may cast your cares on God, yet anxious thoughts return. When they do, cast again!
Pray and praise God instead of thinking anxious thoughts. The Word says: “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). Turn every anxious thought into a prayer, then praise God for the answer.
Do not worry. This is a command, not an option (Luke 12:22-23). Worry is focused on the future, and Jesus said not to think about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). God designed the world to run on a 24 hour schedule. Don’t violate this principle by worrying about the future.
Replace worry with the Word. The Word of God is effective in dealing with worry and anxiety. Following are some excerpts to get you started. In addition, go through your Bible and mark all of the promises of God and His faithfulness. Review these when you are tempted to worry.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT ANXIETY AND WORRY:
Do not fret–it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8)
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you … (Psalm 42:5-6)
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Psalm 94:19)
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. (Proverbs 12:25)
The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.(Proverbs 28:1)
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:28-34)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. (Luke 12:22-23)
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:25-26)
Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. (Luke 21:34)
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)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)