Frequently, the stressors of this world can feel too heavy for us to carry. They can give us a negative outlook and bring discouragement, depression and despondency, and keep us from pursuing God’s calling on our life. And while many people experience anxiousness and worries at times, it should be our goal as children of the Most High God to never let our anxiety overcome us, but rather to let the floodgates of God’s love wash over us and assure us that,” If God is for us, who can be against us?”
When you feel overwhelmed by worry and negative emotions, go to God with your concerns and He will enable you to live in the peaceful state of trusting in Him, which He longs for you to experience. Here are a few steps you can take to overcome your anxiety with God’s help.
Make Time to Soak in the Presence of God
Try stepping away from the current chaos you may be experiencing. Find a quiet space to simply sit down and be with God (Matthew 6:6). This could be your bedroom, the lunchroom at work, a closet, or, my personal favorite, your car.
Take this time to pray and pour out your heart to God, casting all your anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7). But don’t stop there – after you share these worries with God, ask Him for guidance and wisdom and to lead you out of your confusion and anxiety. (James 1:5)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).
Then listen, fixing your thoughts on Him. Sit in the silence and soak in His Presence, relishing and thanking Him for His constant goodness, faithfulness, kindness, and love, listening for when He speaks to your spirit.
If you can’t find a space where you can step away, practice being in God’s presence even amidst chaos. Setting your mind on Biblical truths and reciting His Word to yourself can help you to refocus your mind away from your worries and concerns and onto the reality that you can trust God, for Whom nothing is impossible.
Read and Memorize the Word of God
To dwell on the Biblical Truths of the Lord, you must know His Word. Therefore, we must find time to regularly read and memorize His Word so that we can recite His truths back to ourselves in trying times. For example, Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith in Jesus have testified that what got them through their imprisonment was having memorized scripture; the truth of God’s Word is what kept them ‘free’ even while being behind bars. God’s Word has the power to free you from all worry, anxiety and fear as you put your trust in it.
“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” (Philippians 4:8 ESV).
Make it a regular practice in your life to memorize verses or even whole chapters of scripture so that you can set your mind on what is true, honorable, just, and excellent. Think of what is pure and lovely, and commend what is excellent and worthy of praise. Dwell on the goodness of God and thank Him for all of His past faithfulness in your life. His Word is the ‘food’ you must feed your spirit in order to live above your circumstances and have peace in the midst of them; the more challenging your circumstances, the greater your need for His life-giving Word.
Let the Word of God Speak Louder Than the Word of Man
Today’s news and negative stories of mankind’s ‘inhumanity’ toward one another can easily infiltrate our lives and cause our anxiety to rise and faith in humanity to decline. God never intended for us to put our faith in humanity and the goodness of mankind. The news exposes what is true: humans are sinners who desperately need a Savior. Rather than being overwhelmed by the ‘bad news’ all around us, use it as an opportunity to thank God for loving mankind so much that He came to rescue us from our fallen state and save us from our sin.
Rather than being afraid of others or disheartened by their sinful behavior, we can choose to obey God’s Word and pray for the people and situations which cause us to be anxious, depressed or discouraged. It helps to remember that the people whom we fear or who make us anxious, are people like us—sinners who need a Savior–and keeping that in mind can change our view of and response to them.
You need to make sure that you focus your attention and mind on listening far more to God’s truth than you do to hearing the counterfeit messages of the world; and to always filter the world’s deceptive messages through the lens of God’s Word. You need to fill every corner of your home–and especially your heart– with the truth found in the Bible which affirms God’s unfailing love for and faithfulness to you. You need to remind yourself that even though we live in a messed up world, God has overcome the world! Therefore, you can be of good cheer– because He is always with you, for you, and through Him you can overcome everything that causes you to be fearful if you will heed His Voice rather than the voices of man. (John 16:33)
Overcoming Your Anxiety with God’s Help
To overcome your anxiety with the help of God, you must invite God into your life, making Him your ‘center’, and trust Him and His Word above your every fear and above every message the world gives you. Seek Him with all of your heart and you will discover that He will fill your heart and mind with all that you need to live fearlessly and victoriously! (Jeremiah 29:13)
- Set aside regular times throughout the week to pray, soak in God’s loving presence, read and memorize His Word. Just as you need to eat every day for bodily nourishment, you need to feast on ‘the ‘Bread of Life’ daily, which is Jesus. At the same time, don’t allow the enemy to ‘beat you up’ with guilt or discouragement if you are unable to have a ‘quiet time’ every day. It’s not a matter of ‘having to’ in order to meet a legalistic requirement to earn God’s favor, it’s a matter of choosing to do what’s vital to build a relationship with Him. Jesus is not only full of the ‘truth’ you need for your daily sustenance, but He is also full of grace, grace that He readily extends to you if you aren’t able to spend concentrated time with Him every day.
- When you are experiencing wildly chaotic and stressful times, take time to step away and pray. Ask God for wisdom and guidance for that situation, put your trust in Him, and return to your daily tasks knowing that God is with you and will guide you.
- Most of all, make sure you seek to hear God’s Unchanging, Faithful Voice above the din of the ever-changing, unreliable voices of people. His voice is the Voice of truth and love, and only in following Him, will you find peace, joy, and contentment.