Counseling One Another

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Counseling One Another

More Thoughts on Anxiety

Dear fellow worrier,

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know that one of my ongoing battles with indwelling sin is in the area of anxiety. As I continue to seek the Lord for sanctifying help in this much-needed area there are a number of thoughts that are proving to be helpful, albeit the progress I make in application is usually slower than I desire.

The following thoughts come on the heels of a discussion I had yesterday with another pastor whom God is using to help me apply biblical truth in order to grow in trusting God rather than myself. I pass them on in simple list form and trust they will be of benefit to you as well.

  1. Anxiety is fear, which is the opposite of trusting God. I need the psalmist’s resolve (Psalm 56:3).
  2. Anxiety is the desire to know what we cannot know and to control what we cannot control. This is why it is accurate to say that anxiety is the opposite of faith (Matt 6:34).
  3. At the moment in which the emotion of anxiety seeks to take control of me I must rehearse trust-building truths about God. God has given me the ability to control my emotions.
  4. When I let anxiety control me then it hinders my obedience to God in other areas, such as Romans 12:10.
  5. God’s prescription for anxiety is thankful prayer (Phil 4:6-7). When I choose to be thankful to God—and look for, and name, specific reasons—my focus is directed to God and, therefore, away from myself.

Resources for Anxiety, Fear, and Panic

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  1. “Anxiety is the desire to know what we cannot know and to control what we cannot control. This is why it is accurate to say that anxiety is the opposite of faith.” I have definitely recognized this in my own life. It has been neat to learn about faith through situations out of my control this semester. It also reminds me of Hebrews 11-12.

  2. Trust. That is something I struggle with as well. Thankfully God never gives up on us, but keeps bringing circumstances into our lives that force us to rely on Him. These circumstances push our focus back to him and away from ourselves. I don’t like “re-taking” tests, but if it helps me learn than it is worth it.

  3. Point #3 about being in control of our emotions is a very important thing for me to remember. My emotions come from my heart and the heart is deceitful above all things. Instead I must focus on truth in each and every situation, knowing that God has it under control and it is not for me to HAVE to know. Anxiety is such a painful and difficult thing–thank the Lord He provides an escape from it if we truly seek His face and fight the battle.

  4. “God’s prescription for anxiety is thankful prayer” is such a true statement! When my attention is moved from things that I am unsure of to that of thankfulness for what God is doing, my anxiety is often removed. I can trust God that He is in control.

  5. One of the members of our church mentioned to me this morning that John MacArthur’s blog has been covering the topic of anxiety for the past week or ten days. Check it out.

  6. This post was exactly what I needed to hear. I am quite well-rounded in my anxiety, meaning, I do not worry about only one thing or a few things. I can apply the above truths to ALL of my areas of worry!