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When you feel anxious (Part 2 and 3)

August 14th, 2009 Comments off

Philippians 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything”

As we looked at anxiety two days ago, these next two devotionals focused yet again on anxiety.  Tomorrow’s devotion is also on anxiety.  I think they spend so much time on anxiety for good reason, because it has such an enormous impact on many of our lives, and simply put, we can live a better life without anxiety.  That is much easier said than done, but the fact is we must choose to have anxiety, or to have faith. 

All situations can be viewed two ways, we can or we cannot.  Sometimes we feel we cannot because we don’t have faith that we can, or more importantly – God can!  Here’s what the Bible says: “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).  That tells us that courage has a lot to do with facing anxiety.  Courage doesn’t eliminate anxiety, it rises above it!  I took a quote from the “Do Hard Things” book I read recently and it was: “True courage is not the absence of fear.  It is refusing to allow fear to control your actions.”  It has been on my AOL Instant Messenger profile since I read it, and the reason why I was so drawn to that quote is because sometimes we believe that courage wipes out all fear and anxiety, but the truth is, courage actually only overshadows them.  Fear and anxiety that we cannot do it are still there, but they seem insignificant compared to our courage.

So if we take up courage and not let our actions be controlled by fear, we won’t ever retreat to this “safe zone” that we always go to when we fee anxiety and fear, but we take steps forward and begin to “Do Hard Things” (Shameless plug…).  Sometimes all you can do is leave it in the capable and loving hands of God!

Anxiety also affects our health.  John writes: “I pray that…you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2 NAS).  It’s interesting how there is a correlation to what John said about our physical and soul.  Studies even show that when you are anxious, you immune system drops, blood pressure rises, and cholesterol levels begin to build up and block arteries.  No wonder we are most vulnerable when we are super stress because of work, school, etc.  I can pin point exact moments when I became ill, and they were always times of high stress because of school.  Thankfully, my job has not stressed me out and I’ve been prospering in good health the past year.  I can credit not stressing over anything for my good health!

Are you anxious about your health?  Here are four verses that will guide you

  1. “Worship the Lord your God and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you…I will give you a full life span” (Exodus 23:25-26 NIV)
  2. “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17 NIV)
  3. “Listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body” (Proverbs 4:20-22 NIV)
  4. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NIV)

There is no reason to be anxious about anything.  There is no reason to stress over situations in your life.  There is no reason to fear.  The bottom line is God can, and “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27)

BTW – This is really only for my personal gain and God’s glory:  Henry, I know you are out there!  Be ready to be touched by the finger of God!  He wants to show you how much He loves you and there is nothing he wouldn’t do for His child. :wink:

When you feel anxious (Part 1)

August 12th, 2009 Comments off

Philippians 4:6 – ” Do not be anxious about anything.”

Anxiety consumes pretty much everyone.  We can’t help but feel nervous and worry about stuff.  Why are we anxious?  It can fall into three different categories: (1) About things we all face: Like aging, disability, retirement, loneliness, financial uncertainty, accidents, illness, losing a loved one, and death. (2) About things we all must do: like making decisions, starting and ending relationships, losing weight, changing careers, making a mistake. (3) Reflecting our inner state of mind: These anxieties reveal how we feel about our ability to handle things. For example, fear of rejection can affect every relationship in your life. In order to avoid being hurt you shut others out, your world grows smaller and your opportunities for personal growth are more limited.  That was taken straight out of the devotional, and I couldn’t have categorized it any better.  So what do your anxieties fall under?

If we really get down to it, the bottom line is that we have anxiety because we don’t feel we CAN do it.  Once we have that thought, floods of negativity enters and feeds our anxiety.  So if you knew that you CAN handle anything, would you still be anxious?  NO.  And that might sound too easy, but the fact is that once you bring God into the picture, you’ll have joy in knowing that you’ll overcome anything that comes your way and be anxiety-free…  Philippians 4:13 says: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength,”  and Philippians 4:6-7 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Let those verses be of encouragement to you as they have to me.

I guess I want to challenge those who read this…not sure who you are, but someone told me of a new type of fast (giving up something to see our dependance on God) that is MUCH harder than fasting on food.  Try and fast from ANY negative thoughts, actions, or sayings…  The actions and sayings might be doable, but not thinking anything negative is actually a big challenge…  And negative thoughts feed into anxiety, so why should we be thinking negative thoughts anyways…  I already tried this a couple times, and failed within like 10 minutes, but today’s devotional encouraged me to try it again today, but this time, know that I can do it with God’s help!  Alright, so starting now….no negative thoughts….you can do it! :lol:

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