Wednesday, May 28, 2008 – Understanding Anxiety – 2 Timothy 1:7
Throughout Scripture, the Lord gives us evidence that many people deal with anxiety, even those considered pillars of faith. For example, we can deduce from Acts 18:9 that the apostle Paul must have felt fear, since God instructed Him not to be afraid “any longer”.
The fact that fear is common, however, does not mean it’s from God.
Of course, certain situations… like hearing a loud noise when we’re alone… will trigger a frightened response. But the Lord doesn’t want us to live with ongoing anxiety.
Common worries include the fear of death, poverty, illness, old age, criticism, and the loss of a loved one or something cherished. Why do we find it so hard to let go of our concerns, even when the Lord clearly states in Luke 12, “Do not fear . . .”?
Worry can be deeply ingrained in the way we think. Sometimes we have unhealthy thought patterns that stem from feelings of inadequacy, a sense of guilt, or a mistaken view of God. It’s not uncommon for insecurity in childhood to develop into a lack of confidence later on.
Life experiences can be another factor. A person who’s lost a parent suddenly in a car accident is likely to struggle with worry.
Regardless of the cause, anxiety will take our eyes off our loving heavenly Father and focus our attention on our circumstances. No wonder God repeatedly reminds us not to fear. He wants His children to feel secure in His capability and trustworthiness.
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