Anxiety is distressing, time consuming and destructive to health. We know we shouldn’t let it grip us, but it just does. Is it just a miserable fact of life or, in the midst of the ups and downs of life, is there truly a way of finding the inner peace that we all long for? For followers of Jesus, there’s both a huge challenge and the offer of a solution. The Bible very clearly tells us not to be anxious, but it also says that we can cast our cares on God. How is this possible?
Jesus offers us a very radical solution to anxiety by inviting us into a new family; an entirely different spiritual Kingdom from the rest of the world. In this family, He says that anxiety doesn’t actually need to be a part of our lives because we can completely trust Him with all the uncertainty of our future. This must be worth exploring.
we need to seek God for healing from the unresolved issues
There are two issues that we need to address in order to move on from anxiety having control over our lives. Firstly, we need to be willing to make new choices each day about where we are going to put our trust for our needs. Will it be in human or divine ability? Secondly, we need to seek God for healing from the unresolved issues of the past that have left a grip of anxiety affecting our choices today.
Before encouraging His followers not to be anxious, Jesus makes a radical statement:
‘You cannot serve both God and Mammon’ (Matthew 6:24).
Mammon represents every human security that we might put our trust in: money, education, friends, health etc. The problem is that all man-made security can fail and, because of this, we have every reason to be anxious. When we trust God, however, His loving purposes for our lives cannot fail, even through tough times, so our hearts can truly be at peace.
The problem is that it’s difficult to make such choices to trust Him for the future if we’re still carrying the stress of anxieties from the past. This is where the healing ministry of Jesus can make a dramatic difference to our lives. We can ask God where the anxious places still exist within us (Psalm 139:23), deal with any need to forgive others, repent of ways we tried to cope on our own, and receive God’s restoration.
Here’s a way to make a start on dealing with anxiety right now, taking in Paul’s instructions in Philippians 4:6-7:
Leaving behind a lifestyle of anxiety is a challenging journey but, with the Lord’s help, we can walk into a new way of looking at life that is completely different from the ways of the world. God cannot fail us if we trust Him, so Jesus tells us that there really is no need to be anxious. Let’s take Him at His word.
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