Dealing with Anxiety and Worry
By Charlotte Barton
Will I have money to pay the house payment this month? How am I going to buy groceries this week? I don't know if I can pass this class at school. I'm afraid I am going to die from this disease. What if I lose my job? I am so worried about my children. And the list goes on and on.
The Choking and Suffocating Effect
Satan uses the cares of this world to cause anxiety and worry, which in turn affects us in many ways, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The Bible even shows how anxiety and worry will choke out and suffocate the Word of God in our life. Mark 4:19 says,
“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”
As you can also see from this portion of scripture that desires for the things of this world can end up causing you to be consumed with anxiety and worry. Buying that nice vehicle can cause you some anxiety and worry each month when it is time to make a payment. A less expensive vehicle would have been sufficient for your needs. God did not say, “I will supply all of your wants.” He said that He would supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
The Distraction Technique
All of the cares and anxieties are meant by Satan to be major distractions in our lives. He wants to distract us from focusing on God. We are distracted when our time is consumed with negative thinking about everything that is going on in our lives. And where there is negative thinking, faith is not present. When faith is not present, then doubt is taking the drivers seat in your thought life.
Many people, even in their prayer life, display anxiety and worry. They may say such things as, “Dear God, What am I going to do? I can't make my payment! I don't have the money for groceries or for gas!” Then, God would say in return, “Just hush and turn your focus back on Me and place your faith in Me. Quit doubting what I can do.” Anxiety and worry are actually types of doubt. When you are displaying anxiety and worry in a situation, then you are also displaying doubt.
The Bending and Breaking Point
Anxiety and worry are names to describe your state of mind. Since they are names then, you have a right to take authority over them through the name of Jesus. In Philippians 2:10, Jesus said that every name must bow at His feet. Actually it says, “That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Anxiety and worry have a bending or breaking point in which they must bow or be broken. That bending or breaking point is at the name of Jesus which is above every name (Philippians 2:9). So, friend, take your authority through the name of Jesus and tell Anxiety and Worry they must bend and break their hold on you.
Based on Mark 4:19, I feel that God would say to His children:
“My child, step back and look at what is going on in your life. All the the cares and anxieties of life that weigh heavy upon you have caused you to be greatly distracted from focusing on Me. You are consumed with constant worry and anxiety when you should be consumed with drawing nearer to Me. Give you burdens to Me, draw near to Me. Lay down all unnecessary cares and anxiety at My feet.
You seem to find all kinds of pleasure and delight in riches and things of life that is full of false glamour and deceitfulness. Those kinds of pleasures and delights are not true or lasting. I will give you eternal pleasure and delight if you will only receive My Gift, My Son Jesus and My Spirit. You have been craving things that are temporary and what can only give you a false happiness. These things are choking and suffocating Me out of your life. They are choking and suffocating My Word and time spent with Me out of your life. I desire that you crave and passionately desire My presence in your life. Please turn your focus back on Me and away from the cares and anxieties that are surrounding you. It has to be your choice to lay them down and turn away from them and look to Me who is the Great I Am. I am everything you need. I stand waiting for you, my child.”
Just Stop It!
Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?”
I can picture Jesus saying as a part of this verse: “Just stop it, stop it, stop it! Quit worrying!”
The following is a quote from Dake's Annotated Reference Bible (2001) which provides an awesome description of worry and why to quit worrying:
1 Sinful and produces fear
2 A disease causing other ills
3 Borrowing trouble that cannot be paid back
4 Brooding over what may not happen
5 Creating trouble, misery, death
6 A burden borrowed from tomorrow and others who should carry it
7 Weight that kills prematurely
8 Mental and physical suicide
9 A grave digger that has no sympathy
10 Needless and wastes time and effort that should be spent on worth while things.
11 A robber of faith, peace, and trust in a never-failing, heavenly Father.
12 A stumbling block for others
13 A disgrace to God and should never be indulged in by Christians
14 Anxiety over what is nothing today and less tomorrow, in view of faith
15 Anticipation troubles which seldom come to those who trust God
16 Torment over something that will likely be a blessing if it comes
17 Living like an orphan without a heavenly Father
18 A crime against God, man, nature, and better judgment
19 Mental cruelty to self and others
20 Foolish, for whatever is going to happen cannot be stopped by worry; and if it doesn't happen, there is nothing to worry about. Should adversities actually come, one may still be victorious by trusting in God.
There are some eye-opening and awakening statements in the above quote.
How do I keep victory over anxiety and worry?
There are many instructions within the Word of God on how to be victorious over anxiety and worry. There are five points based on various portions of scriptures I would like to share that will help you in your daily walk in this area that many people battle.
First, you can keep victory over anxiety and worry by being determined to have a glad heart regardless of circumstances. Proverbs 15:15 provides us this wise teaching, saying, “ All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].”
But it is a choice. You can grumble and complain, displaying an attitude of anxiety and worry which pulls you away from God or you can have a glad heart and display a positive-filled heart that is pleasing to God and glorifies Him which draws you closer to Him. What's your choice going to be?
The second way to overcome anxiety and worry is to seek God with all of your heart and seek Him first more than any other thing in your life. Then, you will find that you are not dealing with anxiety and worry. For when you are focused on the Great I Am, Who is everything you need, seeking Him and His will for your life, anxiety and worry has to fall by the way-side. And there is a bonus when you do this, what you need He will take care of it. If you trust Him, He will work all things out for your good. Matthew 6:33 shows us this,
"But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides."
But also do not forget the part that says, “But seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right)”. The original Greek dikaiosune, translates into the English word “righteousness”. This means “right-doing in all places.” So, as you seek His way at all times, His way of right-doing in all areas of your life, His will in all areas of your life, then, all these things will be added to you. Does your “right-doing” glorify Him and His will? It should.
The third way of crushing anxiety and worry in your life, according to Philippians 4:6-7, is done in several ways.
"6Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
God says that no matter what the situation or circumstance is, instead of fretting or having anxiety, take it to God in prayer and petition. Then, look at where the statement “with thanksgiving” sits. It sits right between where it says to take it to God in prayer and continue to make your wants known to God. That means to show thanksgiving before the prayer comes to pass! That is a hard one to do, but we must if we want our needs met. God expects us to shower Him with thanksgiving. It shows faith in action. Then, He says to keep on asking. He does not want us to give up on what we are praying for. If He always answered our prayers quickly, then our faith would not be strengthened. By continuing to pray and stand in faith expressing thanksgiving, we are strengthening our faith and trust in Him.
So, as a result of this God's peace will be yours and it will transcend all understanding. People who see you go through what you are going through, trusting God and not worrying or fretting, will definitely see that you have a peace that they cannot understand in the natural. It transcends, goes above and beyond our natural comprehension. And that peace will be a guard over your heart and mind. God's peace will protect you from the darts of the enemy that are thrown at you to discourage and distract you.
The fourth way to keep victory over anxiety and worry is to do as 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."
God cannot take care of your needs if you are still holding on to them. It is like a child who needs his father to fix his broken toy. He keeps crying, “Daddy, please fix this! I don't know how to fix it! What will I do with out it?” But he will not let go of it. If he would only let go of what is broken and place it in his father's hands, he would see that his worry and anxiety over it would cease and the broken toy would be fixed. But sometimes it takes a while for something broken to get fixed completely. If it has to be glued back together, it takes time for the glue to dry.
You get the spiritual picture? The same applies with us as God's children. Just let go of what worries you and place it (cast it) into the mighty hands of our Father. Just be patient while He “fixes” it according to His will.
The fifth way to remain victorious over worry and anxiety is to not fear. Fear is a close relative of anxiety and worry and will consume you if you let it. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.”
So, refuse to let fear torment you, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear [timidity, cowardice, intimidation], but of power and of love and of a sound mind [calm, well-balanced mind, discipline, self-control]" (2 Timothy 1:7).
Remain firm footed upon God's Word and His promises not letting the enemy cause your foot to slip. Be strong for your strength comes from the Lord. Psalm 119:28 says, “My life dissolves and weeps itself away for heaviness; raise me up and strengthen me according to [the promises of] Your word.”
Know that in what ever situation you have found yourself in, God is your answer. Do not try to fix it yourself. Quit fretting and worrying. Just call on God and stand in faith on His Word and fully trust Him. Psalm 86:7 says, “In the day of my trouble I will call on You, for You will answer me.” David knew ahead of time, as this portion of scripture shows, that when he would find himself in a difficult situation in which he did not have the answer or solution, he could call upon his heavenly Father and He would hear and answer him. He knew God was in control. Place all of your worries and concerns into God's hands as you trust Him completely.