Anxiety is an inappropriate fear. Now before you completely check out on me, give me a minute and follow me through the full argument. The dictionary definition of anxiety is as follows: "Anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome."
You see, anxiety is simply fear of an outcome that we cannot control. Because we cannot control the situation, we are gripped by the fear of what may or may not come to pass. Fear in and of itself is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, we see in scripture that it is a good thing when put in its proper place.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!" -Psalm 111:10
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction." -Proverbs 1:7
There is no worry or unease when we fear God. God is perfect and just, forgiving our sins and giving us new mercies every day. When we fear him we actually become wise and have true incorruptible knowledge. There is an “equation” that will help us understand this better.
God’s Sovereignty + God’s Purposes = Our Good and His Glory
When we understand that God is sovereign and that He has a purpose in all He does, we can truly trust that is it for our good and for his glory, and there is nothing to fear in what we cannot control!
Philippians 4:4-9 says:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 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. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Secret to True Peace: Prayerfully Trust in God.
Our action -our call to duty- is to reject the worry caused by dwelling on our own wants and desires, but instead to constantly think on the true and life-giving properties of God’s nature. We have to trust Him, and we will have peace!
We don’t often seek God in our troubles. We look to fix them ourselveS…
Where are the places that we seek to escape our inappropriate fear? How do we manifest our anxiety? We chase lustful desires and turn to pornography. We escape the world and turn to the virtual world of video games where we can control everything. We lose ourselves in TV and movies that only reinforce our fears and anxieties. Perhaps we even self medicate with alcohol and drugs looking to forget the anxiety for a time...
Do NOT seek refuge or peace in the world. There are no actions and habits that you cultivate today that will not affect you in the future. Becoming a person of prayer and seeking refuge in God when you have crushing fear is the only true peace giving habit and escape. You see, peace is a fruit that is born out of trust. We must stare straight into our doubt and worry and remind ourselves that God is on his throne. He loves us and His peace will guard our hearts when we trust in Him.
Prayer Guide for You Today:
- Praise God for the peace that he provides. Praise Him for the things He has done and will do in your life.
- Confess the things that you worry about. Spend time telling God about the weights that hold you down and thoughts that plague your mind.
- Ask God to forgive our nation and heal our land. Pray for revival in our hearts and the hearts of the people of Newnan. Thank God for the good in your life. What can you praise Him for?
- Pray for members of your small group and their daily needs. If you don’t have a group or know their concerns, pray for yours.