We live in a troubled world, trouble is all around us, but trouble is within us too -big trouble within, debilitating trouble, disabling trouble within. In fact, some of the ‘within’ trouble we face is crippling us.
I would like to speak on ANXIETY, yes ANXIETY.
Phil 4:8 Do not be anxious about anything.
Anxiety is a very difficult and deep subject to brooch but it is in the Bible and this internal storm plaques many. As I studied this week I soon found out that anxiety is a common problem.
At any one time 19.1% of Canadians are dealing with some type of anxiety disorder - that works out to 6.3 million Canadians- 31% of adolescents have measurable anxiety-
Some of you today are dealing with anxiety, some of you have dealt with it in the past
Covid 19 has exasperated the anxiety issue as we were often isolated, gripped with health fears and deep worries about our future. Before we go any further let me define anxiety, describe anxieties’symptoms and detail the different kinds of anxiety.
Definition of anxiety:
verb - give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
A state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about animminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.
Anxiety is worry on steroids, anxiety is worry to the extreme.
Worry is temporary. But anxiety is persistent, even when concerns areunrealistic. It often compromises your ability to function.
The following are the most common problems associated with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD for short):
Constant restlessness, irritation, edginess, or a feeling of being without control.
Fatigue, lethargy, or generally low energy levels (feeling drained).
Tense muscles, especially on the back, neck, and shoulders. Trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks or activities.
Obsessing over negative and anxiety causing thoughts – Disaster Thinking.
The key is persistent mental or physical anxiety. If it doesn't appearto go away, it may be GAD. GAD is the most common.
There are other anxiety types like:
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Anxiety Disorder
The Bible says in Phil 4:8 Do not be anxious about anything AND it tells us what to do and how to deal when anxiety comes.
Mindfulness experts recommend to not fight it, not judge it, allow it to run its course, and work on calming the body and quieting the mind.
Now listen to the 5 steps the Bible outlines in Philippians 4:4-8:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let yourgentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
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 yourminds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever isadmirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Rejoice is very similar to the words translated to “grace” and “joy.”
This puts a whole new meaning on the word rejoice. It's not just “showing great joy or delight” (dictionary definition) in something but to experience God's grace. Paul writes this line while he is in a Roman prison.-rejoice -get ready to experience God’s grace in this area of anxiety.
Let your gentleness be evident to all
When the storm of anxiety is raging within trust God because He is truly in control and get ready to experience His grace. So be calm, be contagiously calm - that will lead you into gentleness not panic. Vs. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (get ready to receive God’s grace) 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all (be calm God is in control Be gentle not panicked). The Lord is near (JehovahShammah -God is near you). 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and by petition
It is hard to pray when anxious but it is one of the very solutions to anxiety.
Like the mindfulness experts, don’t deny it, don’t judge it, it will run it’s course however take it to God in prayer, be disciplined to pray. Pray often. Request of God His grace, His touch upon you (Remember His grace is coming -rejoice). In fact throw your anxieties and cares to God.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on Him for He cares for you (hurl)
James wrote “Are any among you troubled? Let him pray.”
Are any among you troubled?
Pray with thanksgiving
This little phrase, with thanksgiving, is an integral part of the anxiety remedy -it is a spiritual discipline to be done by Christians in the storms of life. When it is stormy within, when you are anxious name 5 things you are thankful to God for, in fact name 10 and repeat this as often as needed.
This next Bible line is not a step you take but it is a promised step Godtakes toward you.
vs7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, willguard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s peace, wonderful peace, holding peace in your heart and in your mind.
The exact remedy for anxiety-God’s promise to you.
There are some people have a more anxious personality than others, and others still have chemical imbalances rendering anxiety a real issue in their lives.If you are being treated with prescription drugs for anxiety, continue and don’t forget to rejoice, be gentle, pray, be thankful and do this as well THINK ABOUT GOOD THINGS.
The 5 th step for all of us in this ‘living with a troubled self’
Guard your thoughts
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
If you constantly think about disastrous things, dwell on your problems, live in your fears & worries -then you become what you think about“as a man thinks in his heart so is he”
Think about good things, true and right things, think about the goodness of God to you.
The word anxious is used several times in the New Testament by Paul, Peter and by Jesus who recognized someone having a panic attack. She was edgy, fatigued, irritated, feelings of being out of control and most likely panicked. The Greek word – merimnao -mary^mna oo, can be understood as anxious or as distracted or, better yet distracted with anxiety.
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted (merimnao -Mary^ mna oo) by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried (distracted)and upset (In turmoil, tumultuous) about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus said Mary has chosen what is better. What way is better for us?
Do your part -rejoice, pursue a gentle spirit, pray and cling to gratitude and thankfulness.
God will do His part -He will give His peace to you.