Anxiety is one of those issues that we all struggle with at times, but some people find themselves burdened down with it. This week we want to take a Scriptural look at how we might be able to overcome feelings of anxiety, particularly those that can seriously affect our spiritual health. I want to be tender and understanding but clear about this matter. When Jesus tells us not to be anxious and we persist in our anxiety, there is only one word to describe it…sin. Anxiety is sin and the answer to all sin is repentance. However, if we really want to overcome this or any other sin we must let the Word of God saturate our minds and reshape our thinking, so consider these Scriptures.
First, Jesus instructs us not to worry about our temporal needs (Matthew 6:25-34)
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? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Second, the remedy for anxiety is prayer (Philippians 4:6-7)
Philippians 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. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Third, when we have feelings of anxiety, we are encouraged to cast them upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:6-7)
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Fourth, consider the effects anxiety has upon you (Proverbs 12:25; 14:30; 17:22)
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, But passion is rottenness to the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Finally, only trust in the greatness and glory of God can still an anxious spirit (1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Psalm 91:1-2)
1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
These are just a few Scriptures to meditate on, but my prayer is that the truth of God’s word would begin to triumph over the despair of anxiety for you. Stay tuned for more this week as we take an even deeper look at this prevalent problem.