How does anxiety harm us?
July 31 - August 4, 2023 | Always Peachy Devotionals | Managing Anxiety Week 1
Worry is a mild form of atheism.
You ever heard that? I grew up hearing that. And it’s not exactly that I disagree. I think it’s true, because when you choose to worry you’re choosing to place your faith in your own ability to fix things rather than in what God can do. But platitudes like that one aren’t helpful when you’re facing a situation you can’t change.
There is something about being stuck that generates a sense of panic in me. I know I’m a control freak. It’s something I’m working on. But the older I get and the more plates I have to keep spinning in my life, the more I struggle with anxiety.
I didn’t used to. Or if I did, it was mild enough that I could pretend it wasn’t a problem. But not so much anymore.
To be fair, life has changed a lot from when I was younger. The world is darker and more dangerous, more conflicted. My life is more complicated than it used to be. So are my relationships. It’s a lot to carry. I’m sure you are in a similar boat.
Life feels so simple when you’re younger. And then you hit high school, and you have so many expectations from the people around you. College makes it worse. Joining the work force only increases the never-ending pressure to perform. And before you know it, you’re 30 years old with gray hair and on the other side of a case of shingles.
Stress. Anxiety. Fear. They all come at you in panic attacks like tidal waves, and you keep trying to hide them because if anybody knew how much you were struggling, you’d lose your job or your relationship or your reputation.
But that’s just how life works, right? That’s the best we can expect if you want to have a career, make a living, etc.
Or is it? Is anxiety honestly something we have to live with? Is it really okay when it brings us to our knees?
Now, granted, there are anxiety disorders in the world. I know many people who have them, and there are specialized methods to deal with anxiety as a disorder. But I want to talk to those of us who don’t have an anxiety disorder. I want to talk to those of us who are just overwhelmed with life.
Does our anxiety really mean we don’t trust God? Or are we just so worn out and exhausted by all the hits life keeps throwing at us that we don’t know how else to interact with the world?
This month we are going to talk about anxiety and how to manage it. Again, if you have an anxiety disorder, there are certainly other methods that may be more effective in your case. That being said, Jesus is usually a good idea no matter what is ailing you.
Throughout the month of August, we’re going to talk about how anxiety can harm us, Bible examples of anxious people, how God helps us through our anxiety, which of His promises we can lean on, and how we can stay focused on Jesus when we feel anxious.
As much as I have been struggling with anxiety in the last several months, this is something I’ve been needing so desperately, and I pray it will be beneficial to you as well.
For this week, we need to get really honest about how God says anxiety harms us. We know that anxiety is something we should try not to let control our lives, honestly, but do you know why?
July 31 - Anxiety makes you disobedient
Aug 1 - Anxiety exhausts you
Aug 2 - Anxiety weighs you down
Aug 3 - Anxiety keeps you in mourning
Aug 4 - Anxiety forgets about today
Anxiety is an insidious problem for all of us, and I’m not convinced we actually understand the damage it does in our hearts and in our relationships. Part of the reason we oftentimes don’t fight to keep a negative element out of our lives is that we don’t understand the harm it causes. So that’s where we’re going to start.
And for our Bible verse to memorize this week, the Lord led me to a simple question Jesus asked in the Sermon on the Mount. I believe this verse is also in Matthew, but I picked the one out of Luke 12:25.
Worry feels like a constructive thing, but it’s not. Worry deceives you into thinking you’re accomplishing something or at least demonstrating solidarity for the person or cause you’re worrying about. It doesn’t work that way. Worry doesn’t do anything. So let’s not give in to it. And when we realize we have, let’s take steps to turn that worry over to the Lord. He’s the only one who can change a situation anyway.
Praying for each of you this week, that God will strengthen you and comfort you and give you the focus you need to do the wonderful things He has planned for you to do.
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