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“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs 12:25, NIV).
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7) (Also see Psalm 55:22-23)
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV). (Also see Matthew 6:25-34)
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).
“…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:26-28).
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
The apostle Paul found his strength in God, He reminds us that, “I …have …been in prison …frequently, been flogged …severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. …I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. …Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. …I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. …[God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 11:23-12:10).
“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6).
“…put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 131:1)
Also read: Psalm 139:1-23
The possible causes of anxiety and fear are many: Conflict, health problems, dangerous situations, death, unmet needs, spiritual problems, false beliefs, etc.
“According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life. To ignore danger is fooling and wrong. But it is also wrong, as well as unhealthy, to be immobilized by excessive worry. Such worry must be committed to prayer to God, who can release us from paralyzing fear or anxiety, and free us to deal realistically with the needs and welfare both of others and of ourselves.” (Dr. Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling, p. 66.)
Some general, common sense suggestions for those weighed down with fear, anxiety or worry…
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thes. 2:16-17).
SIN IN YOUR LIFE - Sometimes fear and anxiety are the result of one’s own sin and guilt. If you have committed a sin or done anything evil, your fear and anxiety is probably God and your own conscience trying to get your attention. You need to repent, confess your sin, seek God’s forgiveness, and set it right.
SLEEP - Humans generally need 8 or 9 hours of sleep per day. Sleep deprivation can increase anxiety. Get enough rest. If you cannot sleep, you may need to seek God’s help and perhaps that of a physician.
BE MORE REALISTIC - Many people are worried and anxious about events that will never actually will happen to them. Relax. Focus on today. Take life one day at a time.
LISTEN to relaxing, soothing music. There is some great Christian music available that can help you focus on God and leave your fears and worries behind. It may also help to listen to good Christian speakers and teachers.
FUN - If at all possible, do something that you enjoy. It is good to get some recreation on a regular basis. Take a break. Get your mind off your fears and worries, and have some fun.
TALK to someone. Don’t hold all the anxiety inside. It can be a big relief to share your fears and worries with someone else—a friend, relative, pastor or counselor. If fear and anxiety is an ongoing problem in your life, schedule a regular time each week to talk with someone.
TAKE ACTION - If there is something practical and wise that you can do to alleviate the problem or avoid needless danger, take action. Don’t put it off. Procrastination will generally raise your anxiety level.
EXERCISE - Medical studies show that exercise can help lower anxiety. If you are healthy enough to exercise, try it. Regular brisk walks, running, swimming or other exercises can be a real stress reducer.
PROFESSIONAL HELP - There are various organizations which provide help for people with anxiety attacks, including the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety (stresscenter.com) which provides self-help. You can search for information and assistance on the Web using keywords such as: anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia. You should be able to find local help by consulting you pastor or physician.
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Author: Paul Taylor, Films for Christ.
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