‘Be anxious for nothing’ is the command of scripture. Easier said than done, many Christians respond. Worrying has always been a part of man’s condition, ever since Adam and Eve left the garden. The question is: what should believers do when Christian anxiety takes the place of the peace God has promised?
Anxious thoughts are normal for human beings. However, God knows that stress is bad for us, both physically and mentally. After all, He made us. He gave us free will, we choose to sin, we then face consequences that trouble us, and we choose to worry. God has provided a way out. He forgives our sins and He promises to work all things for good for us who love Him.
Anxious thoughts are probably inevitable, except perhaps for the most mature of Christians. The key is the response to these thoughts. Do we dwell on them, allow them to dominate waking and sleeping hours, and thus lose serenity and joy? If so, we have a spiritual problem. Fortunately, God has told His children how to cope.
God made us. Therefore He knows our weaknesses, just as He knows that stress is bad for us. God asks us to turn our worries over to Him and to trust Him to bring all things to a good conclusion. Jesus defeated sin and death on the cross, and He promises to be with us as we live in this fallen world.
So we have to surrender all to Him. We meed to acknowledge that His will is supreme, that our expectations are not the framework for our lives, that we do not know best, and that we are not and cannot be in control. This is hard for human beings to accept, but surrender is the first step to peace. We give up so God can and does step into our circumstances.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way. These words from a popular hymn tell the truth. Faith is really trusting the Lord to know all and provide all, working always to our best advantage. Our part is offering praise and thanksgiving, bringing our petitions and burdens to Him, and knowing that His grace is sufficient. We do not need to see more than the next step as we follow our God.
None of this is easy. People tend to cling to their worries, thinking they are simply human nature and therefore inescapable. The fact is that we have no right to worry. We need to believe – and we can pray for belief – and have faith – and we can pray for more of this gift – and give up all our own ambitions. We must take control of our thoughts, asking for His help in doing so. He promises to support us every step of the way.
If you suffer from Christian anxiety, use it as a signal that you need to spend time with Jesus. Read the Word, praise and pray, and listen to His voice. Godly counsel can help as well, so fellowship with believers is important. Above all, don’t waste time and energy worrying when you could be full of joy and peace.
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