Fight Anxiety With These Three Truths

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
— Matthew 6:25-34

Anxiety. We all battle it in some shape or form. If you don't wrestle with anxiety, please call me. I need you in my life.

From what to wear to our job performance at work, the soil is ripe for anxiety to grow. How can we sow peace instead of anxiety in the garden of our mind? Three truths can help. 

  1. God is generous towards us. 

John Piper points out that we can take comfort and have peace simply by the fact that our King says “don’t not be anxious.” God does not want us to be anxious. And He Himself doesn’t treasure anxiety in His kingdom. In fact He spends some time saying how it does nothing for us. He calls anxiety useless. He wants us to be free from it.

But here’s what needs to be noted about who King Jesus is. Because He’s a radically different King than any other.

Many Kings back in the day would rule using fear. They would make their subjects afraid of them, they would be controlling, and they would breed a scarcity mentality. Piper points out the atmosphere would often be: If you don’t obey the King, he can cut off your water and food supply. So be afraid.

But this is not our King.

King Jesus rules with generosity and freedom. He doesn’t need us to be afraid or anxious because He owns heaven and earth. Out of the overflow of His riches (including peace, security, joy) He wants to be rich toward us. We have all access to all that is His, we don't need to be anxious about lacking anything. 

Often we can believe God is holding out on us. It may feel that way, but the truth is God calls us to come to Him and experience His peace, His joy, His security so our souls will live.

This is His call to us:

Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live;
— Isaiah 55

2. Jesus knows God the Father will provide for us.

Jesus starts with the most basic of needs: food and clothing.

He has named the baseline need. Anything else we could be anxious about can also be covered by the King. 

But some of us may call into question: Aren’t there some disciples of Jesus that are suffering, are not provided for in ways they hoped, are even in jail for their faith?

And then even on a personal level: what if my very worst anxious fear comes true? Is He providing then?

This is where we have to pull back the lens and remember The King’s ways. We need a perspective shift. He has and will provide everything we NEED to do the kingdom work He has set aside for us to do. Not necessarily what we want.

When Paul was in jail, after being beaten, shipwrecked, and famished, He wrote his most famous letter of joy to the Philippians, stating that  “To live is Christ, to die is gain." And later he has learned the secret in plenty or in want: "He can do all things through Christ’s strength.”

Because Christ is his treasure.

Even in our worst fears, if God is our prize, if the King is our most treasured possession, we have nothing to fear. He is with us. We are sealed by His Spirit. He provides what we need.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
— Psalm 118

I have a friend who shifts her mind each day as she wakes up to this very challenging but grounding quote. It is posted by her bedside: 

Do I believe that God is a loving Father who is committed to my deepest well being, that He has the right to use everything that is me for whatever purposes He deems best, and that surrendering my will and my life entirely to Him will bring me the deepest joy and fulfillment I can know this side of Heaven?
— Dr. Allender, The Wounded Heart


3. God has made us valuable and precious.

Jesus speaks about our value to Him. He talks about how the birds are clothed and fed and don’t store up anything–and how we are so much more valuable than these birds!

He will care for us because of who we are: His crown of creation! When we remember our great value, we can breathe deeper and rest easier. He takes care of the birds, He certainly will take are of us. 

This is what God says is true of those who follow Him:

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory
— Romans 8:15-17

The next time you are hit with a wave of anxiety, may these three truths speak to you. You may not gain instant relief, but you'll gain perspective. May you remember that God is generous, God will provide for you, and God sees you as incredibly valuable. 

Amy Seiffert