Fight Anxiety With These Three Truths
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.
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:
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.
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:
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 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.