Thursday, February 2, 2012

Do you worry?

Every year over 140 billion dollars is spent on mental disorders; 42 billion dollars of that money is spent on anxiety disorders alone. The research is overwhelming that point to the danger of these medications. When you look at the dollars and the dangers it makes you scratch your head as to why these medications continue to be pushed on our society. Do you think it might be greed on the part of big pharma?....OK…..OK….I am not going to get “conspiracy theory” on you….not because the facts speak for themselves, but because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is what God has to say.

But, let’s first look at the definition of anxiety:

Anxiety
ANXI'ETY, n. angzi'ety. [L. anxietas, from anxius, solicitous; L. ango. See Anger.]

concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasinerr. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.

I think we could safely conclude that anxiety is basically rooted in a fear of something. Fear of relationships. Fear of family safety. Fear of illness. Fear of finances. The list goes on, and there are all kinds of fears that can keep us in bondage making it nearly impossible to think rationally. In some cases the fear is legitimate, and in some cases the fear is irrational; but in all cases worry doesn’t help. It seems like an, impossibility that a person would not worry about something, but I am not talking about “no worry”, I am talking about what you do with the fear/worry when it surfaces? God says to be anxious for nothing, but instead do what?...

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

So not only are we not to worry; but instead pray…we are also to do something else:

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

If we make a conscious decision not to worry, but instead pray the moment fear and anxiety start of rush in; and rejoice in the Lord with thanksgiving for what He has done in our life and the blessings He has poured out; that in and of itself would be awesome. But, just like God does everything else, His good is beyond anything we can imagine. Look at what He promises if we rejoice in Him, pray continually and cast all our fears upon Him:

Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!! Anxiety is the presence of fear. Peace is the absence of fear. When we abide in Christ He gives us His peace, which surpasses ALL understanding. Have you ever seen someone going through an amazingly difficult and stressful circumstance and they seem to be unaffected? People that know the persons situation scratch their head in confusion as to why this person isn’t “losing it”. The peace of God is confusing to the world…it surpasses ALL understanding.

I will never forget an experience I had about 5 to 6 years ago. There was some events taking place in my life that seemed devastating at the time. There was a long time after that that I unknowingly didn’t laugh much at all. The only reason I know that is because my wife still remembers the date that I laughed and smiled because, as she said to me in that moment, “I have not seen you do that in over a year.” Although I wasn’t aware that much of my joy seemed to be missing, I do remember an experience I had in my truck. My wife and I were on the deck talking about these things that were going on and I just needed to be alone, I was breaking down (nothing to do with her by the way). So, I just started driving and going through bouts of bitterness, self-pity, and anger as I drove. All of a sudden a peace came over me. I can’t explain it, but it was awesome. I remember shortly after that my mom called (she is the classic worry about everything mom). She was expressing her concern for me, etc. and I said, “mom, if I ever doubted that I belong to God, I don’t anymore. He has given me a peace I can’t explain.”

The funny thing is, I didn’t know Philippians 4 at the time, at least not enough to remember it. I didn’t consciously say, “oh that’s right, if I don’t worry about this, He’ll give me His peace.”  I didn’t know enough to do that; but I did know enough to call out to Him. Even though I called out in confusion, anger and bitterness; I still called out to Him.

There is no doubt that God allows trials in our life to test our faith. I am a firm believer that, in that testing, He wants to see whether you will seek first the wisdom of man, or Him. He may direct us to “someone” that can help us; but the question is, are you seeking Him first.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Nothing is impossible for God. If you are born again, there is no reason you should not be seeking Him first in all things. God loved you enough to pursue you when you wanted nothing to do with Him, do you think He loves you less now that you are His? Walk in Him, Abide in Him, Surrender to Him…He can set you free from the bondage of sin....that includes fear…remember, perfect love casts out fear:

Colossians 2:6-8 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

1John 4:17-18 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Hebrews 4:9-16  There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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