You’re Not Alone
Anxiety and worry are very common. One website states, “It has been stated that anxiety has become the number one mental health issue in the North America. It is estimated that one- third of the North American adult population experiences anxiety unwellness issues (Folk & Folk, 2017).”
Billions are spent annually for anti-anxiety medications. Paxil is just one of many anti-anxiety drugs. It is reported as of July 2012 that sales for Paxil racked up $11.6 billion (Sifferlin, 2012). Obviously, anxiety and worry are not small problems. Many of us know people that struggle with worry and anxiety and, perhaps, you struggle with this yourself.
What Does God’s Word Say About Anxiety?
Let’s look at Philippians 4:4-9. From this short passage, we can draw four biblical remedies to deal with worry.
We need to have the Right Joy, Praying, Thinking, and Practice.
1. Right Joy [Heart]
“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I will say rejoice.”
-- Philippians 4:4
The Apostle Paul, held under Roman guard, found his joy in God, and that is ultimately where we need to find our joy, peace, and contentment. Circumstances in our lives will ever be changing, but if we have a relationship with God though faith in Jesus Christ, we can always rejoice in Him.
Challenge: If you have not received Christ as your Lord and Savior, confess that you are a sinner, repent of your sins, turn to God though faith in Jesus Christ, and live a life in obedience to God’s Word.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with t
hanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, that transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
-- Philippians 4:6-7
We need to go to God with a thankful heart, trusting Him, and depending on Him for everything. If we do, the promise is that our heart and mind will be guarded by God’s peace in Christ. God’s peace shields our hearts when we commit our lives and issues to God. Praying is crucial for dealing with anxiety. We are called upon and commanded to “cast our cares upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7)” and “present [y]our request to God (Philippians 4:6).” But we must also have a proper thought life.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”
-- Philippians 4:8
Godly thoughts should characterize our life. This can be accomplished by changing negative thought patterns and thinking about Jesus and His character. Think about things that please God. Think about God’s promises toward those who believe.
In Philippians 4:8 noted above, Paul provides us with a list of things to think about. Try making a list of 5-7 things in each of the categories above on a small piece of paper, fold it, and carry it with you. When you are tempted to worry or when anxiety begins to overcome you, pull out the think list, and begin to review it. This forces your mind to focus on the things of God.
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you.”
-- Philippians 4:9
Paul told the Philippians to put into practice what they saw, heard, and learned from him. In the book of Corinthians he tells them to follow him as he followed Christ: “Follow my example as I follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).”
Right practice when based on a right heart attitude will enable you to experience “the peace of God, which will guard [y]our hearts in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)” and “the God of peace will be with [you] (Philippians 4:9).”
Receive Christ as Lord and Savior
These precious promises are true for all who are believers in Jesus Christ – to those who have received Him as their Lord and Savior. If you have not received the gift of eternal life, confess that you are a sinner, repent of your sin, turn to Jesus, and trust Him as your Lord and Savior.
In closing, don’t let anxiety and worry overtake you. Instead live with God’s peace through peace with God. Rejoice in the Lord and rightly pray, think, and practice.
Folk, J., & Folk, M. (2017, 04 25). Anxiety Effects on Society Statistics. Retrieved from Anxiety Center: http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-statistics-information.shtml
Sifferlin, A. (2012, 07 05). Time. Retrieved from Breaking Down GlaxoSmithKline's Billion-Dollar Wrongdoing: http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/05/breaking-down-glaxosmithklines-billion-dollar-wrongdoing/
Keywords: Biblical Counseling