Giving Up Anxiety
Anxiety is a problem we all will deal with at one time or another. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:
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? 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? (Matt. 6:25-26)
The Greek word for “anxious” in this passage means “distracted.” It’s a word that refers to uncertainty. That’s what anxiety produces in us. It gives us a feeling of, What next? It’s a feeling that the rug has been pulled out from underneath us and we have no idea if we’re going to fall, how hard, in what direction, or onto what.
The word “anxious” is also translated as “worry” in the Bible. For many people, worry has become a way of life. If that describes you, I encourage you to read again the words of Jesus. His words are not a suggestion—they’re a command.
You may say, “I can’t help feeling anxious, I’ve always been a worrier.” I’ve heard that from many people through the years. My response is, “Yes you can.”
There’s nothing about a circumstance that automatically creates anxiety. Anxiety occurs because of the way we respond to a problem or troubling situation. Your ability to choose is part of God’s gift of free will to every human being. You can choose how you feel. You can choose what you think about, and you can choose how you will respond to a circumstance. It certainly isn’t God’s purpose for you to feel anxious—He doesn’t allow situations in your life so you’ll have anxiety. The Father may allow a situation in your life to develop stronger faith, grow and mature, or change a bad habit or negative attitude. But God doesn’t set you up for anxiety. He’s always at work to bring you to a place where you’ll trust Him more, obey Him more fully, and receive more of His blessings.
You can fall into a downward spiral of anxiety. Or you can say, “Father, I bring this to You. It’s beyond my control. I feel helpless in this situation, but You have the power to change what I’m facing. You love me perfectly, and I’m trusting You to handle what concerns me in the way You see fit. I know whatever You’ve planned for me is for my good. I look forward to seeing the way You choose to express Your love, wisdom, and power.”
Friend, this is the way of peace—the road out of anxiety and worry.