Three Biblical Steps to overcoming your Anxiety
“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 guide your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Despite the incredible times that we are living in, in regards to world events and fears, God word still tells us that we do not have to be, “anxious about anything.”
How does this honestly work. Is it possible to have struggles all around you and even happening to you personally and still be worry free?
Well, I guess it’s all in how you define being, “anxious.” The dictionary defines anxiety as;
“Experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.”
There is problem right there. As believers and, “followers” of Jesus, we have to be just that…. “followers!” When we are anxious, we are in fact worrying about, “uncertain outcomes.” We’re trying to figure things out that really only Jesus has the answers to. Therefore if I live a life of worry, of anxiety, I am basically saying, “Jesus, I can’t trust that you will bring a positive outcome to this situation, therefore I have to try to figure it out on my own.”
In these two verses, Paul makes it very clear how we can overcome our unhealthy fears by following three distinct guidelines.
- Everything by prayer…….
- Everything with thanksgiving…..
- Everything to God…
1) Everything by Prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to; “pray without ceasing.” Never stop communicating with God. Never stop seeking his guidance and direction for your life. There is something about always talking with the Lord that gives us a sense of peace.
I remember a night during a thunderstorm when my youngest daughter was beside me watch the storm from the window. I remember that every time the thunder roared, she would quickly look up into my face for that reassurance that everything was alright. As long as I wasn’t scarred, she wasn’t either.
That’s exactly what, “Unceasing Prayer” does. It’s us continually looking into the eyes of our Savior, knowing that if everything is alright with him, then we have no reason to fear either.
2) Everything with Thanksgiving
It’s not always easy to be thankful. Especially when it hurts. When relationship are broken, money is tight and prayers seem to go unanswered. Yet as the saying goes, “The teacher is always quiet during the exam.” Our whole life is full of test from the Lord, but he question is, “are you going to pass them or not.”
When we learn to be thankful for the tests, we are literally saying, “Lord I know your word says it, and I choose to BELIEVE IT, and “that ALL things work together for good, for those who love God…” Romans 8:28
When we are thankful in the tests, we become so much more appreciative when that test is over and you passed. I remember leaving my high school for the last time after final examples. That incredible feeling of , “Wow…it’s over” came over me and I was so grateful that I chose to pass my grades rather than take the easy road and skip school.
Now, graduating from school just prepared me for the next tests of college and seminary, but when I wrestle through my struggles with a thankful attitude, I know that it will lead me to bigger and greater things.
Finally, in order for us to live an “anxious free life” we have to take that final step, and that is;
3) Everything to God
It says; “…let your requests be made known to God.” This is more than just praying as we spoke about in point 1, but this deals with the more intimate aspect of HONESTY.
When we are honest with the Lord about our fears and anxieties, there is something powerful that takes place. There were times when I was all by myself and as I began to tell the Lord how I really felt inside, there was an incredible sense of relief that took place in my spirit knowing that I was sharing with my savior my deepest fears and anxieties.
Be real with God. Just like when my daughter would look up in my eyes during that thunder storm and say, “daddy it’s really scary..” Her honesty warmed my heart and I hugged her even tighter.
Your daddy in heaven wants to hug you even tighter than you might be allowing him to do right now.
Trust him. Give him your fears, give him your worries and anxieties, and in the end you will find that it is the safest place in the world to be.