Do you often deal with anxiety? Are you consumed with worry? You can learn to manage these emotions by understanding what the Bible says about them. In this excerpt from his book, Truth Seeker - Straight Talk From The Bible, Warren Mueller studies the keys in God's Word to overcoming your struggles with anxiety and worry.
Life is full of many concerns stemming from the absence of certainty and control over our future. While we can never be completely free from worry, the Bible shows us how to minimize worry and anxiety in our lives. Philippians 4:6-7 says do not worry about anything, but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known to God and then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Pray About Life's Worries
Believers are commanded to pray about life's worries. These prayers are to be more than requests for favorable answers. They are to include thanksgiving and praise along with the needs. Praying in this way reminds us of the many blessings God continually gives us whether we ask or not. This reminds us of God's great love for us and that He knows and does what is best for us.
A Sense of Security in Jesus
Worry is proportional to our sense of security. When life is going as planned and we feel safe in our life routines, then worries subside. Likewise, worry increases when we feel threatened, insecure or are overly focused on and committed to some result. 1 Peter 5:7 says cast your cares upon Jesus because He cares for you. The practice of believers is to take our worries to Jesus in prayer and leave them with Him. This reinforces our dependence on, and faith in Jesus.
Recognize a Wrong Focus
Worries increase when we become focused on the things of this world. Jesus said the treasures of this world are subject to decay and can be taken away but heavenly treasures are secure (Matthew 6:19). Therefore, set your priorities on God and not on money (Matthew 6:24). Man worries about such things as having food and clothes but is given life by God. God provides life, without which the concerns of life are meaningless.
Worry can cause ulcers and mental problems that can have destructive health effects that shorten life. No amount of worry will add even one hour to one's life (Matthew 6:27). Therefore, why worry? The Bible teaches that we should deal with each day's problems when they occur and not be obsessed with future concerns that may not happen (Matthew 6:34).
Focus on Jesus
In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visits the house of the sisters Martha and Mary. Martha was busy with many details regarding making Jesus and his disciples comfortable. Mary, on the other hand, was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what he said. Martha complained to Jesus that Mary should be busy helping but Jesus told Martha that "…you are worried and anxious about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)
What is this one thing that freed Mary from the business and worries experienced by her sister? Mary chose to focus on Jesus, listen to Him and ignore the immediate demands of hospitality. I do not believe that Mary was being irresponsible, rather she wanted to experience and learn from Jesus first and later, when He was done speaking, she would fulfill her duties. Mary had her priorities straight. Put God first and He will free us from worries and take care of the rest of our concerns.
Warren Mueller, a contributor for About.com, has written six books and over 20 articles since starting his writing endeavors on Christmas Eve of 2002. He believes there is no substitute for searching the Bible to better know God and walk in his ways. To contact him or for more information, visit Warren's Bio Page.