Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as fear or worry that can be mild or severe. Anxiety disorders have become a major health problem in many cultures yet few people will openly admit to their fears and anxieties, so they suffer in lonely isolation. Family, friends, workmates and even the Church do not understand. For some people it can begin to feel like there is no way out of the anxious cycle of thinking, feeling and behaving in which they find themselves.
Apparently an average person’s anxiety is focused 40% on things that will never happen, 30% on things about the past that can`t be changed, 12% on things about criticism by others, (mostly untrue) 10% about health, which gets worse with stress and 8% on real problems that will be faced.
Verses 3-7 of Psalm 37 are full of optimism, hope and guidance. They give four truths for an anxiety free life –
Trust in the Lord: God expects us to trust Him just as He expects us to love Him. To trust means to lean upon, reckon upon, depend upon. Expect from God because He will never ever fail to keep His word. He wants to do you good. He promises that ‘those who trust Him will lack no good thing’. (Psalm 34:10)
Delight yourself in the Lord: To delight in the Lord means to find pleasure in Him. It means that He is your source of joy and you live for Him alone. It means that your life has right priorities and is centred firstly upon His kingdom and you are not double-minded. The promise then is that ‘He will give you the desires of your heart’. This will always be the case because when you delight in the Lord your heart desires what He desires.
Commit your way to the Lord: Way has to do with lifestyle and order of life. It is something we choose. Here it has to do with living righteously. The promise is that when you stop trying to sort things yourself and allow God to be in charge He will act and intervene for you even when there is opposition and difficulty.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him: To be still means to stop fretting about what you cannot change, to stop striving and struggling and to be silent before the Lord. In this surrendered place, when your inner noise has calmed you then hear His still small voice speaking to you, answering your questions and stilling your doubts .
A cure for anxiety, then, is a life lived day by day in communion with God despite the turmoil and reality of the world in which we live. George Müller, a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England who cared for 10,024 orphans in his life, providing them with food, shelter and education said, ‘The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety’. God never once failed to meet his needs and He will never fail you.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your word. Thank You that through Jesus I can know You personally and intimately. Thank You that You care for me and that Your desire is for my good because I am Your child. Today, as an act of my will, I cast my anxiety upon You, knowing that You care for me. Amen.
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