Seekers is a podcast focused on answering common life questions through the infinite wisdom of God’s living word – The Holy Bible.
What makes you nervous? What keeps you up at night? Ever felt like you couldn’t do something, and that it was going to happen, whether you liked it or not?
Anxiety is one of those emotions that can paralyze us. One that can come to rule our lives, and change the way we would normally act. Anxiety can literally make us sick, and keep us from enjoying life the way God intended us to.
What makes anxiety so tricky is how it shows up at seemingly a moment’s notice, and stays for equally unpredictable amounts of time. It’s like a ghost, one that can haunt us if we aren’t vigilant in fighting against it.
I personally have struggled with anxiety mightily since our second child was born some 10 months after his sister. The burden of making sure they are both doing well, along with the rest of life, has at times felt like too much to bare. So this is personal for me, and there’s only thing that’s really helped. Today on Seekers I share what the Holy Bible says about anxiety, and how I’ve personally dealt with the struggle, and give you three simple steps to follow to overcome anxiety in your life.
God, please bless this episode. Let the words spoken help the ears listening to conquer this affliction. Lord, help those that struggle with anxiety finally overcome it through Your great wisdom as exemplified in Your word. Let us understand Your will for our lives, and overcome all fear and anxiety in your name Lord. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Step 1 – Turn to Scripture for Comfort
When anxiety knocks on my door I go directly to my King James Bible. I do this because reading the scripture, and thinking about it, calms me. It takes the feelings of anxiety and puts them in a different perspective, from me feeling like things are unfixable, to having a peaceful understanding of what God says about His love for me, how broken the world is, and His unwavering care for me in this life and the next. I know this technique will help you too. Read your bible and it will calm you.
So what does the bible say about scripture? Let’s take a look.
2 Timothy 3:16 – 3:17
16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
And God tells us this is how He’d have us live. Listen to Matthew 4:4 – But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Some helpful pieces of scripture I’ve read that’s been a blessing to me in times of heartache-filled anxiety:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
If you are like me, you might learn differently than most. I’m a visual learner. So I started creating images to share online of scripture. This helped me both meditate on the word, and see it in front of me, as well as give me an opportunity to share it with others.
Another helpful technique is to memorize the verses so you can repeat them back later when the bible isn’t in arm’s reach.
And yet another one is to repeat the verses to yourself and others in times of great stress. Talk to people about them. What they mean. How they comfort you. What others think about the verses.
Once we understand just how in control God is, and how much He loves us, then we can put our worries away, knowing God is fully in control.
Step 2- Turn to Prayer for Relief
How much should we pray?
1 Thessalonians 5:17
17 Pray without ceasing.
And what happens when we pray?
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
And two more verses to hammer it home here-
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Man, how good is this? I mean c’mon. No ambiguity, no cloudy murkiness to the words, just plain ole fashion solid as a rock promises. Promises that if you are right with God your prayers will be heard. Promises that if you are right with God your prayers will be answered. Promises that He, the creator of all things, hears you loud and clear. Wow, that’s an awesome thought.
Sometimes in prayer I will recite scripture back to God, because it’s His word, and thus I know it to be true, and right. So what better way to pray than to tell Him you’re reading His word, and you’re hearing it, and you’re believing it, and you’re going to thank Him in advance for what he’s about to do in your life!
Step 3 – Get Out of the House
With scripture at the ready, and constant prayer occurring, you are well on your way to leaving little room for anxiety to creep in. The last thing that’s helped me, and I believe will help you, is to get out of the house. Staying home – wherever that is – can allow feelings of angst to take root, and grow. By getting out of the house and staying busy we are leaving less room for idle thoughts to overcome us. Being around people, having something to do, and allowing yourself to continuously be in prayer and thanksgiving to the Lord will be a huge step in dealing with anxiety.
Of course I don’t mean staying too busy, or ignoring your feelings altogether. But there are times when we are just idle, and we sit and stew on a thought, and that turns into something that makes us anxious. This is the time to get on out of the house.
Finally, the last bit of getting out of the house is getting plenty of sleep before you leave, and being active and eating right each day. Take care of yourself and your body will leave you better prepared to deal with battles, and you will in turn be better prepared to present to God time, thoughtfulness, and thanksgiving for all that He’s done for you.