Anxiety is a modern epidemic. There are very few of us who haven’t experienced anxiety to some degree or another. So, how should we deal with an anxious thought?
The other day, Nicki and I were talking about negative and anxious thoughts. I used the illustration of a wasp to explain what I thought anxious thoughts are like. Let’s take our identity in Christ to be synonymous with a pleasant summers day. There we are enjoying ourselves,warmed by the sun, relaxed, and happy. Suddenly a wasp arrives. First we hear the noise, and then we see it. It buzzes annoyingly around and around our head. Unlike the honey bee, the wasp has no qualms in stinging us because it wont cost him his life. He’s aggressive and he’s persistent. Now a wasp in front of you is one thing. But you don’t want that wasp caught up in your clothing or your hair, and you especially don’t want it in your mouth!
Such are the anxious and negative thoughts that aggravate us. They steal our peace, and they can ruin the best moment. When we start to accept the attacks of these anxious thoughts and give voice to them, they begin to hurt us. We are in fact agreeing with them and giving them free reign over our lives (Proverbs 18:21).
How does God tell us to deal with anxious thoughts?
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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’. (Philippians 4:6-7)
1.We see a command ‘do not’
Now if you are struggling with anxiety, this can seem condemning, but it is not intended to be. This ‘do not’ is full of promise. God never gives us a command without providing the means to obey it. He is not saying ‘pull yourself together!’ He is saying ‘I have this one under control, just do what I say and you wont be stung
2.Do not be anxious about anything
This shows us the scope of God’s help. The ‘Do not be anxious‘ is about any situation! He’s saying that there is nothing that you need to be anxious about. No matter how bad it may seem, God can handle it.
Talk to God. Worship Him. Love Him.
Bring to Him the very thing which is causing you anxiety and ask Him to help.
Thanksgiving positions you in the place of expectation. Thank God for hearing, responding and helping.
As you obey Him in the previous three steps, you draw yourself into His presence. The holy place where impossibilities are made possible. When peace comes, we’re not looking for an absence of the anxious thoughts as such, but we are encountering the presence of God in whose presence the thoughts are defeated. He becomes a shield around our hearts and minds.
Anxiety is so prevalent in our modern society. We should not be ashamed if we have suffered with anxious thoughts. Jesus doesn’t condemn us, so we shouldn’t condemn ourselves. But He has given us instructions to follow which lead to freedom.
As always, all things begin and finish with Him.
Take those anxious thoughts to God today and He’ll take the sting out of their tails.
How have you found the presence of God has changed your situation? You can leave a comment below.
If you found this message helpful feel free to share it. You can post directly to other media using the buttons on this page. Don’t forget to sign up with your email if you wish to receive my latest articles direct to your inbox.