Struggle with anxiety?
You’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults every year. That’s 18% of the population. America dishes out more than $42B annually to treat anxious patients.
I wish anxiety was uncommon. But it’s not.
I’ve had the battles myself. As a Type-A, ambitious person, I try to accomplish a million things a day. Sometimes this is to my downfall, creates anxiety, keeps me up at night, and makes me miserable.
So I can empathize with you if your struggle is the same.
Good news: Scripture has much comfort to offer anxious Christians.
While medical attention and counseling are sometimes needed, and with the understanding that this is not always a black and white issue, here’s at least 5 reasons why Christians shouldn’t get anxious:
1)Anxiety won’t help your situation.
Anxious for Nothing, by John MacArthur. That’s the first book I ever got. I was thirteen years old. To this day, I have no idea how I got it. I must have accidentally signed up for Grace to You’s newsletter, or something, and they sent it to me as a free gift. Nevertheless, I was grateful for the present.
Sadly, I never read the book. But I kept it by my bed all throughout my teenage years, and the title alone was enough to convince me that anxiety is worthless.
Anxious for Nothing.
It’s true: Anxiety never helps. Ever. It just gives the illusion of forward progress. It gives you something to do, but doesn’t help your situation.
2) Anxiety forgets you’ve been rescued from the worst.
I know life is hard. I know sin and the curse are real. I know you don’t understand all the trials in your life. But if you are in Christ, you’ve been rescued from the worst possible pain — you’ve been rescued from eternal punishment.
That means that, for the Christian, this life is as close to hell as you’ll ever experience. And even if all else fails, you’re eternal security with Christ is sufficient to give you enough joy to last until eternity.
3) All things work out for good.
Romans 8:28 is a coffee cup verse, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” A beautiful verse indeed. But Romans 8:28 makes little sense without Romans 8:29: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son…”
To the image of Jesus.
Yes, God is working all things out for good. But that also means he’s making you more like Jesus, the suffering servant. So when trials hit, you need not be anxious, but entrust yourself to God who, somehow, is working this out for your good.
4) One day it will be over.
You and I don’t think about heaven enough.
Life is but a midst. Here for a moment — then gone. Heaven will include a lot of things, but sin, sorrow, or anxiety won’t be one of them. Intentional meditation on eternity (later) will help alleviate your anxieties (now).
5) God will take care of you.
God takes care of the birds (Matthew 6:26). Two sparrows can’t fall to the ground without divine permission. If seemingly insignificant creatures are cared for, won’t you be okay?
In the verse right before Matthew 6:26, Jesus says, “Do not be anxious about your life.” LIFE. In other words, don’t be anxious about ANYTHING. Point is simple: You don’t have to be anxious about anything, because in everything, God will take care of you.
This is just a start. By God’s grace, your anxiety can be treated. And he is ready to help you. Stop and pray and ask him to help. He will. And remember that anxiety won’t help your current need. As Charles Spurgeon says, “Anxiety doesn’t empty tomorrow of it’s sorrows, only today of it’s strength.”
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