Updated: May 5, 2020
If, perhaps, you are struggling with anxiety today, I want you to know you are not alone. Anxiety is an emotion that can creep up on even the most prepared and strike when least expected. The virus situation we find ourselves in is causing all kinds of emotions to flood us all. The Bible has the antidote to these kinds of feelings.
How do we respond when we read verses like Philippians 4:6-7, and are still feeling anxious?
“...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4:6-7
Does this mean that we are doing something wrong to not receive God’s promise of peace?
Emotions are not buttons that we can turn on or off. Even when we believe God and obey him, it often takes some time for our emotions to get the message and change. Like all promises from God, they require faith to activate and patience to receive. Don’t give up, keep pressing further into God and his promises to us.
In the meantime, here are some action steps you can take to interact with your anxiety to understand your emotions a little better. Sit down with a pen and paper and go through the following.
Talk to the Lord about your anxiety. (He won’t grow tired of hearing it. Even write it out.)
Identify your fear or anxiety by asking yourself (& journaling) these questions: What am I really afraid will happen? Which of these items can I control, and which are out of my control? If things were different, which of these items would stop being an anxiety? Write down each item that is causing anxiety.
Next, write down the worst-case-scenario for each item. Ask yourself, which of these is bigger than God?
Now write down the best-case-scenario for each item. What good could come out of this?
Talk to someone you know and trust about your anxiety. Share what you have learned and listen humbly for advice. (Vitally important, don’t skip this.)
Do whatever is in your power to handle each item causing the anxiety and give the rest to God through prayer. Keep doing this whenever that item comes to mind.
Accept that it will take time to experience less anxiety and more peace; it may not happen overnight. Stay with the process and have faith that God will provide in his timing.
Limit social media and the news. They are not telling us anything new and a steady diet of bad news is harmful to us. Instead focus on good things.
"Finally, 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."
- Philippians 4:8-9
Blog by Franz Martens of CrossWay International Baptist Church.
Published on 13. April 2020 from Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash.