Though nearly 1 in 5 people suffer from an anxiety disorder, I think all people can claim that anxiety sometimes rears its ugly head in every human life. And we really can’t be surprised because anxiety is a natural symptom of a world under the curse of sin.
No one is immune from it and it’s not going to go away any time soon, so, what might we do to deal with it. We are blessed that God, through His Word, gives us some sound advice.
First, in Isaiah 41:10, He gives us peace knowing that we do not have to face our battles with anxiety alone. He offers us these comforting words, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” In the depths of Israel’s anxiety, He promised to be with them and to be their strength. These same words He offers to us in our trials with anxiety and depression.
But this requires our surrender to Him and our trust in Him to do what He has promised. The more we try and treat out anxiety with worldliness, the more we shut Him out. The more we rely on our own abilities apart from God to overcome our obstacles, the less He will be able to do as He has promised for all who place their hope and trust in Him.
He will not force us to lean on Him and He will never take our freedoms away, because it needs to be a choice on our part and a commitment that follows. If you cry out to Him, He will be faithful. But if you relegate Him to an afterthought, then you may have to learn apart from His guidance.
Paul, in His Epistle to the Philippians said this in 4:6-7, “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.
God wants to be a part of your recovery from anxiety. He wants you to believe in Him and His ability to get you through even the tensest situations. He opens His ears to you and promises a faithful reply. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
Anxiety doesn’t have to destroy you because God has given us His Spirit and His Word to guide us through the darkness. Sometimes we don’t follow through on this because it seems too easy, but God assures us saying, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Does that mean that all your anxieties will disappear? No, it doesn’t. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world that has many things to keep us down. But God has promised you His strength to overcome the obstacles. He has given us His Son to show us the way. He has defeated the devil so that we no longer need to cower before him. “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we have let our anxieties overcome us apart from reaching out to You. Help us to rely on Your strength, even when it seems that life is becoming overwhelming. Help us to find our shelter in You and to trust in all Your promises to us. Amen.