DO YOU SUFFER WITH ANXIETY?
Anxiety is not that simple because it is often misunderstood to be simply that a person is stressing too much. There is a distinct difference between the sin of anxiety and the mental health disorder of anxiety that is characterized by physical changes in the brain. Anxiety is both a mental health issue and a spiritual issue.
Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. It often includes panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sadly, anxiety disorders are on the rise which makes it critical for the Church to understand the epidemic.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
- People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
- Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
COPE WITH YOUR ANXIETY.
Now that we’ve discovered that anxiety isn’t fake or silly. The next question is: How do we deal with anxiety? Perhaps before we can answer the question, we need to understand the bigger picture. Our brain and spiritual soul are interdependent on each other in ways that we do not understand. This means there is physical and spiritual strategies that deal with the condition of our brain and soul. God can heal both types of anxiety. It is up to us to discern and seek wise counsel.
DR. BILLY GRAHAM SPOKE ABOUT ANXIETY.
Billy Graham once said: “At its best, anxiety distracts us from our relationship with God and the truth that He is “Lord of heaven and earth” Matthew 11:25. At its worst, anxiety is a crippling disease, taking over our minds and plunging our thoughts into darkness.”
The Bible goes on to tell us in the book in Philippians chapter 4, “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.”
The first step to becoming free of anxiety is to give your life to Jesus Christ. Once you’ve taken this step, the next is to practice fixing your thoughts on Christ and his promises. John 14:2, 3. In the battlefield of our minds, we are to practice awareness of our thoughts and take them captive.
“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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8.
HAVE YOU PRAYED ABOUT YOUR ANXIETY?
It’s important for Christians to understand, anxiety changes us. It changes our perception. It challenges our physical bodies. We know there is no logical explanation for adrenaline pumping through our veins as though we’re running from a Zombie Apocalypse. We know that we’re to pray about our anxieties. We know we are to go to God and rest our thoughts on Christ. We know that there is a battlefield in our minds and bodies.
GOD CAN HEAL YOUR ANXIETY!
For those living with anxiety, it feels as though their feelings and thoughts are actively trying to kill them. The feeling of dread and panic creates mountains of fear and despair. The sense of impending doom is beyond exhausting. But we do have an anchor. We know that God chose us before the creation of this world, we also know we live in a fallen world. We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God is with us. He doesn’t desert us and He doesn’t want us to suffer. He can heal us. What we don’t know is how He will heal us.
HOW ARE YOU TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF?
Anxiety comes into our lives when we least expect it. It happens when “we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.” When we take on too much and our bodies shut down in ways we don’t expect. God didn’t design us to go non-stop 24-7. He designed us to Be Still and Know that He is God. To ‘Be still’ means to rest in God’s presence.
HELP IS AVAILABLE.
There are three professionals you need to meet to help with your anxiety. Your doctor, your counselor, and your pastor. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NIMH), today’s treatments for mental illnesses are 70% to 90% effective for reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. The NIMH also states that early identification is paramount. It reduces the risk of further harm to the brain.
THINK ABOUT THIS!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~ 1 John 4:18
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” ~ Psalm 94:19
“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” ~ Isaiah 43:1