Help for the Anxious – Part 2 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Help for the Anxious – Part 2 — Morning Devotions

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

By Chris WittsTuesday 22 Aug 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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It’s a normal reaction to feel anxious, and you probably know what I’m talking about. You may be facing a difficulty right now that’s creating some anxiety for you. You might have trouble sleeping or concentrating. How anxiety affects us is very personal to us.

Help for the Anxious – Part 1 — Morning Devotions

And if you asked 100 people what it means to them, you’d get 100 different answers. And sometimes with anxiety, there are no obvious triggers that can be upsetting in itself. And everyone’s anxiety levels are different. Many of us think we can’t control the anxiety. We get anxiety or we get panic attacks. Do we have to live with this for the rest of our lives?

No, because there are some people who continue to struggle with that tendency towards anxiety, and others can and do, pass the symptoms of anxiety disorders and improve their quality of life. And that’s when you can get help and advice from the health professionals. Now here are a few interesting facts. An average person’s anxiety is focused on 40 per cent of things that will never happen. 30 per cent. That’s things in the past that that can’t be changed – 12 per cent, they’re things about criticism by others which are mostly untrue. And 10 per cent of our worries are about health, which gets worse with stress and eight per cent, they’re about real problems that we do need to face.

So when you look at it in that way, it may not be as bad as you think. Are you an anxious person? Anxiety is a very real part of many people’s lives today. It can be difficult to live with. So what can we do about it? I think sometimes we have to be more realistic and focus on today and take one day at a time. Talk to someone you respect. Tell them how you’re feeling and don’t hold all your anxious thoughts inside.

It can be a big relief to share your fears and worries with someone else. But there is something more to help you overcome anxiety with prayer and right thinking in the Bible, we read these terrific words from Philippians four verse 6 to 7. Don’t worry about anything but pray about everything with grateful hearts. Offer up your prayers and requests to God and then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

So do you want peace in your life? Hand over your worries and anxiety to God in prayer. We’re told from the new estimate time that the peace of God will guard your hearts. Now that word – guard – was a military term. Actually, it described soldier holding his weapon, walking back and forth in front of an open gate so no one could enter.

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And the apostle Paul, who wrote those words in Philippians, is saying This is how God will guard your hearts and give you peace. Notice, we’re told to think about things that are true and good, noble and things that are right, and the trouble with anxiety is that it is irrational, and we think all these negative things, and we convince ourselves that the worst is going to happen.

And although I know it’s very hard to not allow your mind to dwell on anxious thoughts, God says, focus on the positive and the good things, not the negative. It’s about a sense of self discipline, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s about being intentional. And ask Jesus Christ to fill your mind with good thoughts. You do need to be careful where you park your mind. Deal with each day’s problems when they occur. And don’t be obsessed with the future and know that Jesus has dealt with your anxiety. The prophet Isaiah said he suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was punishment from God. He was wounded and crushed because of our sins. By taking our punishment, he made us completely well. That’s Isaiah, Chapter 53.

How amazing is that that Jesus has carried our anxieties for us? He’s voluntarily carried the weights that weigh us down, and he’s released us from those burdens. Why, then, do we take them back and still carry them with us? So here’s the challenge for today. Give your anxieties over to God and stop trying to fix the problems yourself, because God can release us from anxiety and fear and then help us to deal with daily life in a realistic way. Psalm 94 Verse 19, says – ‘When I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure.’

So why is it that we don’t realise anxiety really doesn’t change situations or outcomes? God’s word, the Bible says in one Peter five, Verse seven cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. God’s work is to take our care. And the idea of the word ‘cast’ is something to get rid of it. So often we take our burdens to God and then pick them up again. Instead, we are to leave them with God and to trust that he does care about them and us.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, this morning, why do I let the anxieties and the cares of today overwhelm me when I have a God who is more than able to take these problems? Jesus has said I will be your shepherd. And I will be your friend, Lord, with words like that, how can I be bowed down with anxiety? Thank you for your peace. And I accept it in full measure today. Amen.