Friday, May 23, 2014

Dealing With Anxiety

Chuckle:  Why is it that when a door is open, it's ajar, but when a jar is open, it's not adoor?
Quote:  “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, But only empties today of its strength.” -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
   "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ" (Philippians 4:6 NIV).
The New Living Translation renders the first phrase of our passage as, "Don't worry about anything."  Worry has been defined as "a small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained."  Anxiety can literally incapacitate us and render us useless in life.  How high is your number on the "anxiety/worry meter?"  Does worry, anxiety, stress, and restlessness rule your life?  Does worry and anxiety keep you from being a happy and contented person?
In our society, worry contributes to stress which has been identified as a major cause of all sorts of physical and emotional disorders from coronary disease and strokes to obesity.  But God's children are instructed, and given the resources, not to be anxious or worry.  God is well aware of all the things in our lives that have the potential for causing anxiety, worry, and stress.  And, in our passage today, he uses the apostle Paul to teach us to react in a healthy way to these circumstances.
Paul was writing from prison.  He was separated from those he loved.  Some were attempting to undermine and discredit all he had accomplished in starting churches.  He was suffering physically and emotionally and was facing execution.  Even in the face of these hardships, Paul said there would never be a crisis so severe and overwhelming that God would not bring peace even in the midst of it.  Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27 NIV).
God has never promised to remove all the stresses of life, but he will always carry the load for you if only you will let him do so.  He wants each of us to experience the peace that surpasses all human understanding -- a supernatural peace.  This peace is for everyone that knows Christ as Savior and Lord.  But if we aren't careful, we will take the view that the troubles we are enduring are just too big and complicated to be accompanied by inner peace.  To have this view is to limit God's power to work in your life. We're saying God can't do what he says He will do!
We must take God at his word.  His Word clearly indicates there is nothing you can face that is to big, difficult, troubling, or fearful for Him.  In all circumstances, turn your worry, stress, and anxiety over to Him and have faith that His perfect peace will guard your heart.  Paul tells us to turn our worries into prayers.  Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.  Remember, "Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere!"

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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