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Anxiety: What God Says

10.26.17

Most people would admit they have some anxiety in their lives. They’re worried about finances, their children, their families, their friends, et cetera. But what is anxiety really? And what does God think about our anxiety?

I just finished listening to a fantastic message about Anxiety at Willow Creek Church, from Pastor Steven Ryan Carter (find it at https://willowcreek.tv, under the title “Game Changers,” dated 10/22/17). The whole service lasts about an hour and 20 minutes, but you can skip ahead to 42:38 to get the message portion only.

Anxiety comes from the Greek word “merman” which is actually a verb and a noun put together. Technically, it means “divided thoughts,” which can cause a division in our thoughts. It may be difficult to stay present, since we are divided and are thinking about the past, or worried about the future. (http://biblehub.com/greek/3308.htm)

Not only do we dwell on the past, which is history, which cannot be changed, we are tricked into thinking if we focus on the future, we can prevent some things from happening. But God is the great “I am,” not the great “I was” or “I will be.” He is present, right now, in this moment, on this day. We are to focus on Him, right here, right now.

When our thoughts are not on the present, we are being tricked into an illusion of control. We naively think that we can be God. We think we can actually change our past, or control our future. Sure, we can do some things to prepare and plan for our future, but we are so limited. God Himself holds all of time. He will make Himself clear, and what we should do to prepare for our future.

Philippians 4:6-9 (New International Version/NIV) says:

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Are you focusing your thoughts on things that are good? Noble? True? Right? Pure? Lovely? Admirable? Excellent? Praiseworthy?

What about what you choose to watch on television or Netflix? Would you describe those movies and shows with those adjectives?

What about your conversations with co-workers? with children? with your parents? with your friends? Do those conversations contain things that are lovely and worthy of praise? Or are they tearing down others? or inaccurate? or filthy?

How about the music you listen to? Do the lyrics remind you of some great truths about God and His awesomeness? Or do they lead you to thoughts that are inappropriate, wrong, impure, detestable? Perhaps your music could serve you better, to keep reminding you of God, or His wonderful presence right now.

What about the books or blogs you read? Would you describe the content of those books with words like “excellent, praiseworthy, noble, and true?” If not, it might be time to read something else.

God has been showing me, personally, to trust Him in all things. Every thing I choose, do, say, or eat can come under His authority, if I allow it. Trust takes time. And it is high time that I trust Him in all my dwellings: at home, at work, on the road while driving, in public, and with friends or family. Trust is the act of letting go of my own worries and anxieties, and knowing that HE holds all of it in the palms of His hands.

Anxiety is worrying about the past or future, and keeps us from living in the present, where God dwells. Mindfulness is all about being present, and allowing God to work in your life, and guide you into His will, right now.

Won’t you please give me a call, so that I can help you challenge your worrisome thoughts, and focus on the present?

I look forward to serving you.

Sincerely,
J. Faith Gallup, LCSW
847-962-5234

PS: What if you don’t know God personally? If you’d like, please pray this simple prayer: Lord Jesus, I give you my whole life. Please forgive my sins, and come into my life, by your Holy Spirit. Lead me and guide me in Your Ways, and help me to follow you closely every day of my life. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time, please call me. I’d love to talk with you directly on the phone. You could get a Bible, and start reading in the book of Luke. There you will read all about Jesus Christ, and His amazing love and power for people. He wants to be your friend, and leader of your life. Won’t you let go of your own Anxieties to trust Him today? Right now. God is here. He sees you reading this, and wants to be Your friend, and the leader of your life.

Let me guide you, with the help of God’s Word, the Bible, to know Him more, and do His will. Call me so that we can get started. I look forward to serving you.