Anxiety sucks, to put it bluntly. It sucks the life out of you, which is the very opposite of the abundant life Jesus promised you. People spend too much time worrying about things they can’t control or worse, things that might not even happen. Have you ever been guilty of that? Have you ever found yourself worried about something that didn’t turn out as you thought it would? Usually, the worry is worse than the circumstance itself! There are a number of reasons for experiencing anxiety, but at the root of them all is this… a lack of trust in God’s character towards us! When Jesus promised to give you abundant life, anxiety was never intended to be a part of the package. Yet so many of us live with anxiety every day. It doesn’t have to be this way though. You can overcome anxiety and discover the abundant life Jesus promised you.
What Makes You Anxious and Why?
So let me ask you, what keeps you awake at night? What fills you with worry and anxiety, causing you to break into a cold sweat when you think about it?
Is it finances? Fear you won’t be able to pay bills or buy groceries?
What about relationship turmoil? Is your marriage struggling? Your kid rebelling?
How about your health? Do you fear cancer or premature death?
Maybe it’s the threat of natural disasters like Hurricanes?
You see, one of the reasons we deal with anxiety is because of “control”. As humans, we are wired to want to control our lives and circumstances. We want to be able to make everything work out ok, according to our plans. You see this strong urge for control early on in the life of children… at least I did in my kids!
Then God comes along and asks us to SURRENDER control of our lives to Him. This is a terrifying request for anyone who still thinks they have life figured out. After all, “what if God’s plans for my life are not as good as my plans for my life?” It’s not usually until someone makes a massive mess of their life that they are willing to wave the white flag of surrender and let God step in.
But overcoming anxiety isn’t about controlling your life and circumstances. It’s about trusting God’s goodness in the midst of your circumstances and allowing Him to have full control.
Overcoming Anxiety Begins With Believing God Is Good and Trustworthy!
The first key to overcoming anxiety is choosing to trust that God is good and His plans are better than yours.
When you’re filled with fear and anxiety it’s because you are trusting in yourself and you feel powerless to do anything about your circumstances. But you aren’t called to trust in yourself! You’re called to Trust in God.
I’m not saying you need to believe in God. That’s not enough. Many people believe in God and are still filled with anxiety because they don’t trust God.
“Believing in God” is consenting to His existence and power.
“Trusting in God” is believing He exists and is working on your behalf, bringing about your good.
Let me ask you: Do you trust God’s character? Do you truly believe He is good?
If you want to be freed from anxiety, you must be convinced that God is GOOD and that He is for you!
This means that you must believe that the problems you face ARE NOT his doing.
Too often, we blame the troubles of life on God. But if God is sending the troubles upon you, how can you trust Him to rescue you from them? To believe God creates your problems only to rescue you out of them neglects the realities of sin and Satan. It is also inconsistent with who Jesus revealed God to be. God does not slap you with His left hand just so that He can comfort you with His right hand!
If your sickness is from God, then why does He tell you to pray for healing? That would be praying against His will. If your financial lack is from God, why does He promise to meet all your needs? That would be lying.
If you are not convinced of God’s goodness, you will struggle to trust Him when you face the dificulties of life.
This is why God wants to teach you to trust Him. To trust that His character is good towards you! Once you can do this, you will begin overcoming anxiety. If you want to see just how good God is, look at Jesus! The Bible teaches that Jesus is the complete and perfect representation of the Father’s character.
Believing God’s Character Is Good, Empowers Your Worship In The Midst Of Difficulties
When you think God is causing your problems, it’s hard to worship Him. This is human nature. People can’t worship their oppressors. But when you become convinced of God’s goodness you become free to worship Him in all circumstances because you know God is your Savior and vindicator!
Anxiety and worry are an attack on the character of God from Satan. They are his attempt to undermine your faith in God.
Satan wants you to doubt God’s character and start trusting in things other than God. This is how he ensnares you, causing you to waste precious time consumed with things Jesus said not to worry about 1.
To overcome these thoughts of worry and anxiety you must choose to worship God! When you worship Him you are declaring out loud that you Trust His character, no matter the outcome!
If you are struggling to trust God, that’s all the more reason to worship Him!!
Worshiping activates your faith and transforms your heart and mind. It chases out the evil thoughts of worry and anxiety, reminding you that God is FAITHFUL! He always has been and He always will be!
Finances, relationships, health, and storms can come and go, but the faithfulness of God endures forever!
Do you believe that?
Remember, The Great “I AM” Is For You!
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end! He always has been and He always will be, even when this very earth passes away, He will still be the great I AM!
Trust Him! Don’t entertain thoughts of Him abandoning you! He has said He will “never leave you or forsake you”2! He has inscribed you upon the palms of His hands, how could he ever forget you 3? He has borne your sins upon the cross and He bears the scars upon His body!
You don’t need to live in anxiety for another second. It is not part of God’s plan for your life! Christ has defeated that vile enemy upon His cross, nullifying even death itself! Like Paul said, “O death where is your sting?”4 Christ has made us more than conquerors, He has given us the victory! You no longer need to be anxious for anything… not even death!
Brothers and sisters, can’t you see what Satan is trying to do to you? He fills you with thoughts of worry and doom, believing you will be undone by your current circumstances. This causes you to forget you are already given the victory in Jesus!
I know this all too well from personal experience!
When You Trust God’s Character, You Can Find Refuge In His Presence!
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:1-2 ESV
Once you become convinced of His character and choose to worship Him no matter what, you are able to abide in His Presence at all times.
To Abide means to remain, to rest, to dwell. Abiding in His presence means you are choosing to remain near to Him. You are intentionally keeping your mind and heart focused on His presence with you at all times!
One of the ways to do this is to embrace His promises by faith! Jesus said, “Fear not, little flock, it is His Good pleasure to give you the kingdom”5. He wants you to set your focus on Him and His Kingdom. The kingdom where Jesus is seated upon its throne, forever our Great God and King!
Forever the Great “I AM”.
Because Jesus IS the Great I AM, you and I don’t ever need to worry again… This is the reality, the Abundant Life, we have been invited into!
Jesus is here, in your circumstances.
He is behind you, forgiving your mistakes.
He is ahead, preparing the way for you.
He has already gone wherever life, finances, relationships, or storms may take you. Jesus has already walked there and He bids you to follow Him and to trust Him as you step into the unknown!
Overcome Anxiety By Seeing The Difficulties Of Life From God’s Perspective
Satan tries to use the difficulties of life to cause us to lose trust in God. Too often, we cry out to God desiring for Him to calm the storm. But it isn’t the storm that God is focused on calming. He wants to teach you to control your thoughts and emotions by focusing on Him in the midst of your storm.
While you are concerned with storms, It is YOU He is concerned with. It is your heart that He desires to calm. So He stands with you in the midst of the storms, not calming them immediately, in order to teach your anxious heart to focus on Him and TRUST HIM!
Don’t look at the storm swirling around. Don’t fear the death and destruction it can bring. Stuff is replaceable and Death is defeated. What else is there to fear?
It is your trust He wants! Because when you learn to trust Him, you will receive the Peace He promised you all along. You will step into an abundant life in ways you never thought possible!
His peace surpasses understanding. It is a peace that stands in the midst of trouble and says “I will trust, I will not be shaken. My God is faithful. If He is for me, who or what can be against me?”
Do not be anxious about anything! You were created for more. You are called to more! You’ve been promised an abundant life, free from anxiety! Believing God’s character is good and that He is not the cause of your problems is the key to overcoming anxiety once and for all.
He has already given you His peace. Today, choose to rest in it. When you do, abundant living will become your reality, regardless of your circumstances.
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- See: Matthew 6:25-34 ↩
- “for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5(b)-6 ESV ↩
- ““Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” – Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV ↩
- ““Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:54(b)-57 ↩
- See: Luke 12:32 ↩