Anxiety is an Alarm Clock

Is it just me or does it feel like the news can ONLY report on The COVID-19 Virus. I see some election coverage, the occasional Lebron dunk, and a few other small news stories, but almost everything, and I mean everything is about the Coronavirus or what the panic surrounding the Coronavirus has caused. Frankly, it’s overwhelming to hear it talked about all the time and I imagine that those who tend towards anxiety are pushed to the edge of panic daily, if not over the edge.

I’m a doctor, but not a medical one. My degrees are in Bible and Leadership. So, I’m not going to offer a medical opinion. (If you find yourself with crippling anxiety in life I urge you to seek the common grace of doctors who are there to help). There are enough opinions going around. Instead, maybe I can weigh in on the levels in which I have some experience. One biblical passage comes to mind over and over again as I talk to people who are dealing with anxiety:

Philippians 4:6–9

[6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [9] What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (ESV)

Let’s take these verses and develop a system to face our anxieties when they mount up against us.

  1. Don’t Worry about ANYTHING… PRAY about EVERYTHING
  2. SHIFT your thinking from worry to good
  3. Rest in God

Don’t Worry about ANYTHING… PRAY about EVERYTHING

We’re told to not worry. Not like some people who just tell you to chill out and don’t offer you any help or comfort. Instead, we’re told to not worry, but pray. Our worries and anxieties are supposed to be an ALARM CLOCK that wake us up to the reality that we aren’t in control, but we know the One who is. Whenever you worry, find yourself anxious, find your mind wandering about COVID-19 or anything else. Take it to the Lord. Every day that it happens. Every hour that it happens. Every minute that it happens. Even, every second to second. Don’t worry about anything… pray about everything.

SHIFT your thinking from worry to good

In order to change our output, anxious feelings, Verse 8 says to consciously change our thinking. We should think about:

  • Whatever is true, don’t tell yourself lies or half truths. Think about truth. Remind yourself of truth. Christian, when you’re anxious remember facts, remember scripture, remember that the God of the universe knows your name and loves you.
  • Whatever is honorable, think about things that are honorable. Think about the accomplishments of others, the opportunities that surround you, the ways you can do good to others.
  • Whatever is just, think about justice. Think about how you can help others get it. Think about how you can serve others who need it.
  • Whatever is pure, don’t allow yourself to be sucked into impure thoughts as a way to temporarily fix the anxiety you’re feeling.
  • Whatever is lovely, spend your time thinking about God’s creation, the beautiful things that are in your life.
  • Whatever is commendable, think about ways to commend somebody. What if instead of worrying you complemented somebody else or encouraged them instead? You might find that you’d turn the anxious fervor you find yourself in, into an opportunity to encourage someone else.

Rest in God

Two promises are made for people who practice these verses.

  • The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • The God of peace will be with you

Anxiety is an alarm clock that wakes us up to the reality that we aren’t in control, but we know the one who is. Practice these things over and over again. Don’t stop practicing. Whether it is coronavirus, elections, market volatility, or anything else rest in God.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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