Proverbs 1:33, 2 Timothy 1:7
- When you are anxious

The National Institute of Mental Health did a study which required more than 6 years to complete. They were very thorough in this study interviewing over 10,000 people from all walks of life. Then their responses were fed into a computer to compile the results. The conclusion of the test showed that one adult in eight suffers from anxiety or stress, and that one in five is so anxious that they get professional help. The health experts were surprised to discover that stress and anxiety were much more of a problem in America than depression.

The dictionary says that anxiety is “the painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind over an impending or anticipated ill.” The devil is really a sly one when it comes to tripping and trapping. It all starts with something small that bugs us and then it begins to grow and grow until finally it’s a major issue. Then it disturbs our peace, our relationship with God and our fruitfulness for Christ. It’s bad for the emotions, it’s bad for our health and it’s bad for our spiritual experience too. Mark 4:19 says “The cares of this world... choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful.” Fear is the opposite of faith, and anxiety and fear choke our faith in God. That’s why Satan is working so hard to create events and circumstances in our lives that will make us anxious. But when those times come, it’s time to pull out the spiritual artillery!

Philippians 4:6 says “Be careful (or be anxious) for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” God’s prescription contains three important instructions; 1) Choose not to be anxious, 2) Pray...earnestly! and 3) Count your blessings and thank God for each of them! Don’t just take five minutes! Seek the Father until you know you have touched His heart and He has touched yours. Mentally wrap those burdens in a big package and then lift it up and place it in His hands. He will take that package and replace it with a sweet anointing of peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. God says in 1 Peter 5:7 (amplified version) “Casting the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on Him for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” He’s talking to you! As someone once said, “Let go and let God!”

Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha? Martha was all anxious and worried about preparing a big meal while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus in total peace and serenity. Later Jesus said that Mary chose the better part. God wants us to choose the better part too, and not just the better part...the best part, with the blessings that only Jesus can give. Maybe some of those endless details that make us get in a tither just aren’t as important as they seem. We need to strive to keep our lives as simple and uncomplicated as possible. Many times we create our own anxiety by trying to squeeze in too many details that aren’t really necessary.

Another anxiety exterminator is found in Proverbs 12:25 telling us that “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.” In other words, when the circumstances in your life begin to close you in a big box of anxiety, get out your binoculars and start looking for someone who needs some encouragement. Reach out and mend that broken someone near to you, or let God lead you to that hurting person that perhaps you’ve never even met. God’s Word cannot it, speak it, believe it, share it and act on it! And don’t forget, “It’s not the greatness of our faith that moves mountains, it’s our faith in the greatness of God Himself!”

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