I didn’t used to think of myself as an anxious person. Recently, especially in this pregnancy, anxiety has been a HUGE issue for me. It might have something to do with my constant overthinking of things or the fact that I’m kind of a control freak and start to lose my mind when I have no control over certain situations, like in a season of a global pandemic major economic upheaval.
Whatever the case may be, the battle against worry and anxiety has been intense, especially in the last month. (Spring of 2020. Need I say more?) And I know I’m not alone. So I wanted to share a few of the tools that have helped me when faced with anxiety.
Nothing is better to combat feelings of worry and anxiety than the Bible. But before your skim passed this section thinking “yeah yeah, I shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. He knows each hair on my head and every sparrow. I’ve heard that before…”, allow me to approach this from a different angle. You see, growing up in church, I’ve hear the classic passages on worry (Matthew 6:25-27, 34; Philippians 4:6-8; 1 Peter 5:7). These are wonderful verses that very clearly tell us to take our worries to God. But in all honesty, often I still leave those prayer times feeling anxious. I’ve come to learn that this is because, I’ve gotten into the habit of relying on myself and have forgotten who God is.
So I’ve found that nothing helps relieve my anxiety better than taking my mind completely off of my circumstances and shifting my focus to who God is.
He is Faithful.
Psalm 111:7 “The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.”
1 Corinthians 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 5:24 “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.”
I could keep going but I think you get the point. As Sara Groves says in her song He’s Always Been Faithful, “God has been faithful, He will be again. God’s faithfulness can be seen all throughout Scripture and that is a huge blessing, because now, we can flip through the pages and see His faithfulness for ourselves.
His love never fails.
Psalm 13:5 “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”
Psalm 26:3 “For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
Psalm 33:22 “Let Your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.“
Psalm 36:5 “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”
Psalm 118:2 “Let Israel say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever.'”
Steadfast love. I’ve always found great comfort in that word, steadfast. To be steadfast means to be unwavering. Just think about that for a moment. In your most joyful times, God’s love is unwavering. In your moments of grief, His love is unwavering, In your most troubled and worrisome times, His love is unwavering.
David, the main author of the Psalms knew that, and he certainly had some times of trouble and cause to worry. Yet he continually wrote about the steadfast love of God. He didn’t just write about it. He hoped in it. And if David can trust in the love of God in the most trying times of his life, we certainly can find a way to do the same.
He always provides.
Matthew 6:26, 28-30 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather up into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And why are you so anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 4:11 “whoever speaks, as one who speaks the oracles of God, whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies…”
“God will supply every need..” It doesn’t say some need or most of you needs. It says every need. And we are reminded by Jesus Himself that God cares for the smallest things, even the birds and the grass, providing them food and “clothing”. And we know that we are of more value then they. Therefore, we can rest in the promise that God cares for us and will provide for every need we have, spoken and unspoken.
Music is so good for the soul, especially songs that point you to the character of God and his love for you. here are a couple of songs that I find particularly helpful when anxiety strikes:
Oh Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer – Sovereign Grace Music
Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me – CityAlight
Power of the Cross – Keith and Kristyn Getty
He’s Always Been Faithful – Sara Groves
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Sometimes, I need a modern day author to explain a concept in terms I can understand since they are more knowledgeable in theology than I am. So I thought I’d also share a couple of titles that I’ve recently started to help shift my focus from me to God.
Living Hope for the End of Days – Dr. John S. Barnett. I just started this for the first time this week and am only a couple of days into it, but I and LOVING it! You can find it on Amazon Kindle for $5 or get it free through Kindle Unlimited
None Like Him – Jen Wilkin. This is one I’ve listened through before and have started again. It’s okay as an audiobook, but I’d much rather get my hands on a hard copy.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Anxiety can be crippling and consuming. It can and usually does effect every aspect of your life. The trick to fighting it is to force it to release the hold it has on you by taking your focus off whatever you are worried about and looking to the One who hold the whole world in His hands.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen Howarth Lemmel