Overcoming Anxiety 05

Anxiety Free Living

We desperately want our battle with anxiety to be like losing unwanted pounds or “getting in shape.” (The cynic in me always wants to ask ‘which shape?’) You know what I mean. We want to pop a pill, or go through a five step to-do list. But I have learned that getting to the root of this prolific weed that chokes our spiritual vitality and saps us of piece requires understanding anew who we are, and not just ‘what should I do.’ We have to become rooted, if you would, in a new garden!

One of the earlier heroes of the faith was a missionary named Hudson Taylor. This man, whose life impacted literally hundreds of thousands through his ministry and life story, struggled with anxiety. This is what he learned, in his own words:

“The sweetest part … is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient. …So, if God should place me in serious perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure and trials, much strength? No fear that His resources will prove unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me.”

Taylor learned that the battle with anxiety is not won on the battlefield but in hiding in the shelter of the Almighty. (Psalm 91) This is not our battle to win, but a total surrender we must make to the only One who can win the battle!

If we can simply remember who our Father is, and keep reminding our thoughts and emotions of that reality, much of our anxiety will have no shadow in which to hide. And this will happen when WE learn to dwell in the shelter of the Most High God as our hiding place!

FOR REFLECTION

  1. Spend some time meditating on verses of Scripture that remind you of your new identity in Christ. These verses reprogram us in accepting our new reality of life in Christ.
  2. Identify “triggers” that cause your anxiety to rise up. Much of it, we will find, is concerned with the “what ifs” or “how will I” statements about the future. These are lies being implanted as seeds of the weed of worry. Don’t let them grow. Address them immediately before they grow into plants that choke your spiritual life.
  3. The Bible promises that God will provide all that we need WHEN we need it. Take your real problems to God now… He has promised to take care of them as you trust Him with them now.

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