Wednesday, June 29, 2016

God's Cure For Anxiety

Anxieties, nervousness, fear, and worry is a big problem for many today. But guess what?  It is not a new problem, for Jesus addressed it in His teachings, indicating it was a big problem in His day as well as ours.

Jesus gives us a divine prescription for handling anxiety. It is found in Luke 12:22-31.  Three times he uses the word “anxiety” and one time He uses “worry. “ Here are the divine pills to take for anxiety, worry, and fear:
1.     Perspective:  God wants us to have an eternal perspective – “life is more than food and the body more than clothing” (v. 23).  Focus on what is really important and that is what is eternal vs. what is temporal.  This helps to put into perspective what is causing our anxiety.  Most of what we worry about are very trivial matters it the grand scheme of life.
2.     Promise:  God promises to provide – “consider the ravens … God feeds them.  of how much more value are you than the birds!” (v. 24).  God promises to meet all our needs if we trust and obey Him (Phil. 4:19).  Every need is an opportunity to experience God in a tangible way.  Hold tightly to His promises when you feel the threat of anxiety coming upon you.
3.     Power:  God’s power is greater than any challenge we face – “which of you …. can add a single hour to his life … then why are you anxious about the rest?” (v. 25-26).  Jesus is contrasting what we cannot do (add a single hour to our life) with what God can do (anything!).  When worried, it is important to focus on God’s unlimited power over the circumstances of life.  We serve the God who spoke the world into existence.  Nothing is too difficult for Him.
4.     Provision:  God’s provision is much better than our solutions – “Consider the lilies …. If God so clothes the grass … how much more will He clothe you!” (v. 27-28).  God has an inexhaustible number of resources to help with our every need and cause of worry.  He longs to send us provision, whether that be His presence, wisdom, encouragement, money, etc.  Just look around at how He provides provision for so much of His creation, and then remember that you are more important to God than the plants and animals.
5.     Priority:  God calls us to seek Him first – “Seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you” (v. 31).  The best defense against anxiety is a good offense of seeking God, His kingdom, His will, His character, His Word, etc.  Be so occupied with the things of God, that you have neither time nor energy to worry about other stuff.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).