THE CURE FOR ANXIETY

When we feel anxious, it’s  usually because we have gone into problem solving mode apart from God.  In fact, anxiety is rooted in self-sufficiency.  When God is left out of the equation, and we begin to try to solve our own problems apart from Him, anxiety is certain to follow.  We were not meant to solve our problems apart from God.  We were meant to cast our care on Him (I Peter 5:7). 

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) reads, ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Therefore, the question is if we are anxious, why? Philippians 4:6-7 can be used as a diagnostic tool.  Therefore, we must ask ourselves the following questions:

1)  Have we prayed?  In other words, are we in constant communication with God when things are good, and are we maintaining our relationship with Him?  That is really the main purpose of prayer, not to bombard heaven with our personal “wish list.”  The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17)

2)  Have we brought the petition before God? Have we asked Him directly to intervene on our behalf? Or are we trying to work the situation out on our own, having not even consulted God about it?  Are we being self-sufficient and prideful by trying to work everything out on our own which is indicative of an inflated ego?  I once read that ego stands for “Edging God Out.”  Thus, we must be willing to ask for God’s help and believe that He can and will make a difference.

3)  Are we thankful after we pray and give Him our petitions to enlist His help?  If we ask for His help and believe that it’s already done, then we should be thankful.  Thankfulness communicates to God that we have truly left the matter in His capable hands.   Thankfulness indicates a confident trust in His ability and power to work on our behalf.  If we fail to thank Him, that is the indication of a lack of trust and faith.  When our faith and trust in God is non-existent, we can be sure that anxiety will be the result.  In Isaiah 26:3, the prophet relays, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.”  Thus, trust in God is the bedrock of peace.  Thankfulness should flow out of that trust because it is simply a by-product of having confidence in the Almighty God of the Universe.

So the next time we feel anxious, let us use the diagnostic tool of Philippians 4:6-7 to find out why. Once we know what the problem is, we can take steps to correct it. We can cultivate our relationship with God through prayer, ask for His help, and thank Him for the positive outcome based on our faith and trust in Him. When we avoid self-sufficiency and pride at all costs, then we will truly be able to walk in freedom from anxiety as God intended.

JESUS’ INVESTMENT

In his book, Put Your Dream to the Test, John Maxwell writes that “putting a stake in the game” is important for any endeavor that we will ever attempt.  That means something of value must be invested. He relays, “Anytime that happens, a person’s level of commitment goes way up.  Why? Because if you own something, you must give it energy, money, time and commitment.  When you have a stake in the game, you no longer have an easy come, easy go, attitude about it.  You are invested in it.”  (p. 9)

Jesus definitely has a “stake in the game” when it comes to our lives. He gave up His very life to save us, and He has made the ultimate investment.  Therefore, we can be assured that He will take care of what’s His.  He will invest time and resources to make His dream come true.  That dream is that we become like Him.  Thus, because His stake is so huge in the game, He will not give up on us.  He will do whatever is necessary to get us to the place we need to be in Him.   “He who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion:  (Philippians 1:6 (NIV))

Since Jesus has made such an expensive investment in us, that should motivate us to want to become all that we can be.  We should thank Him for the price that He paid by giving Him our best effort.   We owe HIm our life and our love. Thus, the sacrifice of His life should cause us to desire in our hearts to avoid disappointing Him at all costs and do everything that we can to make our Savior proud.  He deserves no less.

GOD WON’T LET YOU DROWN!

Debra Pegues Smith, author of 30 Days to Taming Your Fears, relays in her book her account of a time where she thought that she was drowning in “chest high” water, and all she needed to do was stand up. (p.58)  Sometimes, life becomes so overwhelming that we feel that we are drowning. We may feel as if we are going under, but if we would simply “stand up” by speaking the Word, claim the promises of God, and take our God-given authority over the enemy and situations around us, we would find that we are in water that is only chest high.  It’s simply our perception of the situation that makes us think that we are drowning.  As long as our Heavenly Father is with us, we may feel as if we are drowning, but we are never in over our heads. He says in I Corinthians 10:13 (KJV), “There hath no temptation taken you but such as common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  Therefore, because God is with us and He has promised to never leave us or forsake us, or give us more than we can handle, we will NOT go under. We can depend on God to do just what He says He will do in His Word.

In Isaiah 43:1-3, The Almighty promises us that we will not drown in our circumstances.  The prophet relays, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not over flow thee… For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour….” In other words, God says that He will not stand by and  allow His children to be overcome by situations that He allows them to encounter. When it looks like we are going to go under, that is simply an illusion that is conjured up by the devil in an attempt to make us doubt the One Who loves us most. God has promised to help us to triumph over the situations that we face in life if we will only believe.

We must trust God to be faithful to His Word or we will surely “drown.”  In the natural, when we are in deep ocean waters, even if we can swim, the sea can get so rough that we can become exhausted and can’t swim any further. Then we begin to panic and fight to stay above water, and ultimately we will sink like a rock. God is like the life guard who is trying to rescue us, but we are fighting Him. However, if we would simply relax, we would float on top of that which overwhelms and threatens to drown us. When we relax in God’s presence, then our Holy Life Guard can then pull us to safety.

So when you feel overwhelmed and feel like you’re going down for the third time, remember to focus on God and His promises.  He is faithful and will keep you from drowning in your circumstances.  He is with you and promises that He will always rescue His own.

Hello, world!

Hello God Chaser,

Welcome! My purpose in writing these blog entries is to give you some spiritual food for thought. I hope that you will be able to gain spiritual insight and that you will be inspired to grow in the Lord. If the blog blesses you in any way, please tell your friends. Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your feedback.

By the way, I have two books published at this time, Oasis for My Soul:  Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great Relationships. If you like the blogs, I hope that you will like the poems and devotional pieces in my books as well. In my literary works, you will also find journaling exercises and pertinent prayers that will help you to grow closer to God. Click here to look inside Oasis for My Soul. Click here to look inside The Exceptional Man. 

Thanks for stopping by. May God quench your spiritual thirst and bless you abundantly! Please visit again!

Sincerely,

Tracey L. Moore (a.k.a. The Purposeful Poet)