Anxiety is a form of spiritual satanic attack to try to disrupt our peace and to divert us from our God-ordained purpose by getting us to pursue self-reliance. Satan wants you to believe that your safety, satisfaction and success are yours to work out.
Satan wants to foster personal anxiety that causes people to check out of life, to check out of relationships, to check out of experiences that would enhance their life, add value to their life and would enable them to grow as people in order to grow into the purposes for which God created them. Satan doesn’t want you living with the confidence that could cause you to positively impact someone else for the Kingdom of God.
As I read up on anxiety, I took note of one author’s premise (Davon Huss) of three root causes, three main elements that create a sense of anxiety:
- Insecurity: The constant mindset that something bad is going to happen.
- Helplessness: There is nothing I can do about what is going to happen.
- Isolation: There is no one to help me deal with it.
Let’s examine these and see what God’s Word has to say about them.
- Insecurity: The constant mindset that something bad is going to happen. Anyone who lives beyond a few minutes is subject to and will be the recipient of bad things. Bad things do happen. They are unavoidable. They happen sometimes in succession.
In John 16:33 Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.”
Our security does not come from attempting to avoid trouble. We cannot have a perfect record when it comes to escaping pain, side-stepping conflict, and having everyone like us. There will be years of plenty and there will be lean years that we will have to deal with. Sickness comes to every family. Life is hard.
“But” might be my favorite biblical word! Jesus didn’t stop in John 16:33 with “In this world you will have trouble,” did He? No, He put a conjunction after that, that moves us from insecurity to security. He said, “In this world you will have trouble, BUT take heart. I have overcome the world!”
You might have to take a class two or three times before you pass it. It will be OK. You might have to work two or three jobs during a season in your life. God will give you strength. You might need to seek outside help for relationship or personal issues. Part of God’s plan is that we support each other during difficult times. You might have to deal with health concerns that add extra stress to your life and require you to alter the way you do some things. You might. Pray for resilience and a spirit of flexibility. But what you DON’T have to do is live anxiously and insecurely because you have tied your sense of security to a trouble-free life. You will go from insecure to insane if your expectation is that you never have to deal with trouble. Someone needs to accept what Jesus has said. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart because I have overcome the world! So, while you do have to live with the reality of trouble, you don’t have to do so insecurely. You don’t have to do so with anxiety. Satan wants you focused on your trouble. Jesus wants you to rest in His triumph!
- The second mindset that can cause insecurity is a sense of Helplessness: (where you adopt the mindset that) There is nothing I can do about what is going to happen.
Now listen; Trouble reminds us of our limitations. Trouble reminds us of our frailties. That is a positive thing in that it encourages our reach for God. If you are a Christ-follower, you are not helpless. God has given us tools to access and authority to exercise. We are not helpless against his attacks. We have an arsenal of weaponry at our disposal.
Ephesians 6:10ff details that we can stand against the devil’s schemes. Anything he tries to put on us, we can resist through wearing and utilizing the Full Armor of God. I’m not going to put up with anxious thoughts that distract me from my life’s purpose. I’m not going to accept that a negative circumstance is somehow a commentary on how God feels about me. I’m not going to adopt a worldly way of responding to the happenings around me, trying to fight fire with fire, but I’m going to fight fire with faith!
We have what we need to combat negative, anxious thoughts. II Corinthians 10:4-5 says, 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. God has given us the ability to have authority over our minds. We can know what truth is and we can know when we are being attacked. We can refute every evil dart, every anxious thought, and we can think on things that are helpful, peaceful and productive, Philippians 4:8.
We also have the mechanism of prayer which will extract anxiety out of us. Philippians 4:6 instructs us about this: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If you want the peace that passes understanding, if you want the guard for your heart that keeps you from being overtaken by anxiety, develop the habit of regular, daily prayer. IT WORKS! You are not helpless against anxieties, and you will realize it when you start utilizing the tools that are available to you. Watch anxiety lift off of your life when you develop the spiritual disciplines and when you wear your spiritual armor.
- The third thing that can open the door for anxiety to settle into your heart and mind is a feeling of Isolation: (When you adopt the false belief that) There is no one to help me when I am in trouble.
God is ever-present in times of trouble. He is with us in trouble. Isaiah 43:1-3-But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
We do not need to give anxiety a foothold in our lives in troubling times because God is present with us. God is never afraid. God is never perplexed. God is never worried that things won’t work out according to His plan. He isn’t trying to calculate what will happen if plan A doesn’t work. God is never out of options. God is never without the power needed to get you through something. He is always in charge.
Listen, God has made a personal commitment to His children. You will pass through the deep waters. You will walk through the fire. The rivers won’t consume you. The flames will not overtake you. God will strengthen you until He is ready for you to be with Him in your eternal home.
Here is what I know: God is always up to something. You can move from anxiety to anticipation if you will trust Him. Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
If you are living for perfect, trouble-free conditions to give you a sense of security, today, you need to ask God to help you accept that we live in a world where bad things do happen, and ask Him to help you transfer your focus from your trouble to His triumph. God is your security.
If you are living with a sense of helplessness, as a victim of your circumstances, you need to ask God to help you put on your armor, to be renewed in your mind and to teach you how to pray every day for His peace in your life.
If you are living with a feeling of isolation, you need to look up. God is with you. He is for you. He will see you through.
You don’t have to live with a mindset of fear, just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. You can live with a spirit of anticipation that God is up to something good. He may work quietly, seemingly behind the scenes of your life at times, but you can trust Him. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He makes all things beautiful in His time.” Just hold on. Beautiful is just down the road. Let Him take you there.