Fear and Anxiety

October 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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With the constant threat of a government shutdown, a default on payments, or any other crisis the U.S. government can manufacture lurking around every corner, it is really easy to be concerned, fearful, or anxious about the future. Even without the manufactured crises, the state of the economy, the lack of jobs, the growing debt, and the rise of crime are just as scary. It seems that there are no end to the number of new (and existing) pills and medications coming out to combat stress.

In the midst of all of the articles, blog posts, and news segments Christians have something greater and more profound to draw from: scripture. The scriptures are our source of truth, encouragement, and solace. It is to the scriptures we should turn for every event and aspect of our life, good or bad. Does the Bible say anything about fear and anxiety in the face of troubles? Yes. Yes it does.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phi 4:6-9 NAU)

There are some things that we need to look at in this passage from Philippians. First, we need to look at the word “anxious”:

Anxious – merimnao – G3309 – To be anxious; to be troubled with cares: in an absolute sense.

The word anxious brings the understanding of being troubled with everything. You’re afraid of what might happen. You’re afraid of what might not happen. You’re afraid of what people think or don’t think about you. You’re afraid what they might think about you. Anxiety is crippling and it is rampant in the church. It affects our relationships, our marriages, our jobs, our families, our witness, and our health.

The scriptures say to be anxious for NOTHING. But why is this? Why can Christians go through life without anxiety? Paul tells us. They pray and make requests of a God who not only hears them but loves them. He is the God of peace that surpasses all comprehension. He will guard the hearts and minds of Christians. Where? IN CHRIST JESUS! We are to rest in our Lord even in the midst of trials and tribulations. Then Paul says that we should focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute. What could we possibly focus on? Should we focus on our worries or what might happen? Nope. We should focus on Christ Jesus! It is Christ that is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute. It is He that is excellent and worthy of praise.  It is He that is the author of everything good in our lives. It is He that we should fix our eyes on. Paul then puts forth himself as an example. When we look at Paul, we see a man who was beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked three times, and surrounded by dangers on his journeys. And yet, Paul never stopped preaching the gospel or traveling to tell others the good news. We should have the same heart and the same focus. To live our lives in a way that glorifies God in all that we do regardless of the trials or circumstances.

This is in no way an endorsement for the Word of Faith (WoF) idea that we shouldn’t think, speak, or focus on our troubles. The WoF’ers won’t acknowledge sickness or financial troubles or other negative things. That’s not what I’m advocating here. As born again believers who are kept in Christ, we should acknowledge the issues that we face. Denying them won’t make them go away and it will only make it harder for us to see them gone. Instead, we should understand that while we are going through a trial or tribulation, God is with us. He’s there and He sees. He is not far off. We should accept our trials and tribulations and then bring our prayers and supplications to God believing that He hears us and will do what glorifies Him the most. This is what we want anyway right?

There are many who are hurting for various reasons. Some are hurting because of sins they’ve committed. Others are hurting because of the sins of others. Still others are hurting because they aren’t born again. Those who are born again can rest in Christ and trust that He will help us. Those who are not saved have an unknown amount of time left. One day, this time will come to an end and they will stand before God to be judged for their sins. They will be sent to hell for eternity. If we’re going to worry about anything, we should be worried that millions are dying and going to hell every year.

If you’re reading this and you’re going through a trial, then my prayers are with you. My hope is that you will trust in the Lord and know that He will comfort you through this. Search the scriptures. Listen to what the Word says and then look at your life. If you are in sin, then repent and trust God. If you are having other issues, then please ask for help. There are brethren out there who will help you.

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