‘Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything, [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.’ – Philippians 4:6 AMP
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, anxiety is an overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.
But according to the mind of God, anxiety is a [spiritual] state of mind which makes us worry and doubt God’s power, His goodness, and His ability to help us through a situation, answer our prayers and supply all that we need – especially in an emergency!
God hates anxiety because it steals our faith and hinders us from receiving His blessings – whether answered prayers or some provision for our needs – and also makes it difficult for us to fully trust in Him. On the other hand, the devil likes it when we are anxious and worrisome, because it helps foster unbelief and fear which are some of the primary tools he uses to keep people from experiencing God.
What anxiety does
Are you given to anxiety? Do you usually worry over issues – whether small or great? If you are, then you need to know that God wants you to stop worrying. He wants to deliver you from the anxiety that often takes control of your emotions and help you to begin to really trust Him.
Here are two biblical reasons why you must get rid of anxiety in your life:
- It steals your faith
‘Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good (encouraging) word makes it glad.’ – Proverbs 12:25 AMP
When you tolerate anxiety in your life, it makes you lose faith in God easily and deprives you of the ability to see the invisible as Moses did (See Hebrews 11:27). When you don’t see the invisible, then you will be unable to receive the healing that you need for your body, and many other supernatural manifestations of God’s Kingdom would not be happening in your life as they are supposed to. We are God’s people, and we have been predestined to walk in the supernatural on a daily basis as Jesus demonstrated in the days of His earthly ministry.
Experiencing the realities of heaven while living on the earth is God’s plan for every single Christian, unfortunately we have only a few who are actually walking in this realm. God wants you to be one of them, He wants you to enjoy all the blessings – first the spiritual and then the material – that heaven has made available to you. He has so much for you than you can ever imagine but needs you to be decisive about dropping the habit of anxiety and put on the garments of faith and trust!
- It causes depression
‘Distress and anxiety terrify him, they overpower him like a king ready for battle.’ – Job 15:24 AMP
Anxiety – when left unchecked – could open the door to depression, which is marked by sadness, feelings of rejection and hopelessness, inability to concentrate and think productively, and a whole lot of harmful tendencies. This is exactly why the Bible verse (quoted above) describes the ability of anxiety to overpower its victim like a battle-ready king. It actually implies that anxiety is powerful enough to imprison and torment you if you allow it in your life.
Anxiety could also trigger health problems in the body such as dizziness, muscle aches, twitching and trembling, rapid breathing, irritability, and many others. However, you have the God-given right to choose or to reject anxiety. It is noticeably clear in God’s word that He wants you to have peace and not anxiety, He wants you to be healthy in your whole being and not depressed. He has made His peace available to all His children and desires that you enjoy that peace.
‘And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].’ – Philippians 4:7 AMP
How to stop being anxious
You need to make up your mind that worry is not good for you and agree with yourself that you need to change. Once you make a decision for change, the rest of the process becomes easy for you.
Here are three keys you need to use in stopping anxiety:
‘Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ – Matthew 6:31 AMP
Many people do not realize that worry is a sin much like lust or hatred, and it keeps us away from the presence of God. Christ taught His people extensively [from the sixth chapter of the book of Matthew] about the sin of worry and how it weakens or belittles your faith. So, you start by humbling yourself and repenting before God. Ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you inside and out. Tell Him of your desire to live a worry–free life and to experience His peace. If you feel you should pray about this more than once, please go ahead. And do expect results when you pray!
- Seek the Comforter and refuse to bear your burdens alone
‘When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your comforts delight me.’ – Psalm 94:19 AMP
For all the problems in this world that cause anxiety, God has many comforts for His people. However, these comforts are in the Comforter – the Person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus introduced us to the Holy Spirit and showed us that He is the Comforter (See John 14:16-18). If you’re open to seeking His presence habitually, the Holy Spirit knows just how to comfort you and remove anxiety when it comes knocking.
You also need to learn the habit of casting all your cares upon Him. Talk to Him with all openness of heart as you would a best friend. He understands you more than any other person can, because He was there when you were created! Trust Him and give Him room to work in your life, and you will find peace and joy in your heart and life.
‘Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].’ – 1 Peter 5:7 AMP
- Meditate of the truths of God’s word.
‘Meditate on these things.’ – 1 Timothy 4:15 NKJV
The word of God is a treasure trove of endless and powerful truths that can liberate you from any unwanted situation. Develop a habit of searching out Bible verses in the areas of your need and meditate on it – in it you will find healing, you will find supernatural peace, you will find direction and you will hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit as He seeks to counsel you and show you what you need to do.
Getting your prayers answered
‘When I am afraid, I will put my trust and faith in You.’ – Psalm 56:3
One of the areas where God’s people are usually tempted to become anxious is when we are praying over certain issues and waiting for God to answer our prayers. We wish that the answers would come instantly as soon as we have prayed and made our needs known to God. But God is sovereign and He alone knows when and how the answers to our prayers will be granted. Besides, God did not promise us in any Bible passage that He will answer every prayer and grant every request. I know most people think this way, but the Scriptures give us the truth and we are expected to guide our lives by it. He gives us the condition on which our prayers are answered.
‘This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us.’ – 1 John 5:14 AMP
I pray this helps you: God is only committed to answer prayers that are either in line with His sovereign will or His personal will and purpose for your life. So, make sure your desires are in line with His plans and purposes when you pray, that way you will experience tremendous answers and experiences in your prayer life. While I’m not promising you that your prayers will be instantly answered, you will learn a lot of things about God in the process of waiting for answers.
This also helps you in developing a strong trust in God – and the more you trust Him, the less anxious or worrisome you will be.