I'm sure I'm not the only one who has found themselves in this situation before, though it may look different for you. Maybe you drove home from a meeting rehearsing the conversation and all you wished you had said (or didn’t say). Or you had coffee with a friend and might have said something stupid—so you spent the rest of your day fretting about it. Or you brought up a touchy subject at the supper table with friends last night and now you wish you could rewind and keep your mouth closed. These are prime examples of fear of man. Where does this vicious beast come from? How do we find freedom from its anxiety?
When I lacked assurance, I wanted mentors, pastors, and friends to reassure me that I was saved. I wanted them to give me proof I was truly a child of God. I wanted them to point back to my life, to a time when I made a commitment of which they were positive couldn’t be false. But people do not see your heart, and they do not see God’s book of life. They aren’t in the place to give you the assurance you desire. So, we must turn to God’s Word and seek the Holy Spirit to be truly assured. Here are four questions you may be asking yourself in the midst of your doubts and four Scriptures to take those questions to.
A year of living in on-going house renovations, seeing rooms completed one piece at a time, I have learned not only patience but a lot about sanctification. In many ways this little house is much like my heart, and yours too.
I used to imagine the day I would be free from anxiety. I pictured myself encouraging others who battled by saying that they too, someday, could find healing and peace. I imagined writing a book about how I overcame anxiety and others could too. I pictured that triumphant day, swinging my legs over the side of my bed, and smiling into the new day, anxiety-free. Instead, I sit on my bed, twenty-one years old, still waging war with anxiety.
And yet, I know this is a story of hope.
Knox didn’t have riches or former glory when he became a Reformer to give him boldness either; rather, he shamelessly admitted, “I quake, I fear, and I tremble.”
And yet, John Knox was the Scottish Reformer who founded the Presbyterian church. What made this humble, unnoticeable, fearful man such a mighty man of God? How did God use such a “weak” man?
Has life not turned out the way you dreamed? Maybe you thought you would have a growing family with babies and toddlers in tow—but your arms remain empty. Perhaps you saw yourself going out on double dates with your married friends by now—yet you’re the only one who is still single. Maybe you saw yourself with a nicer and better-paying job at this point—but you still push grocery items on a conveyor belt.
Most people want peace. We want to be in harmony in our relationships, we want our lives to run like a peaceful river, we want times of quiet and serene rest, and we want peace from anxiety. But in a sin-corrupted world, filled with thorns and thistles, peace can seem elusive or impossible. And yet, the Bible proclaims that as believers we can have peace. We know perfect peace will exist in heaven, but how do we gain such peace on earth?
Perhaps you have been with us through our entire series of Restoring Peace From Anxiety, yet you still feel anxious. You have followed and applied what God’s Word says about anxiety in Philippians 4:4-8, yet you still feel anxious each day. There is one more verse for you friend. “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9 NASB).
But God has a higher calling for us. He doesn’t want us to remain in those depressing, anxious thoughts. He calls us to lift our thoughts to higher things. “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).
When anxiety peaks, the last thing on your mind is probably prayer. Rather than stopping to pray about the worries that flood our minds, we flit around like an anxious bird, trying to keep our situation under our control even though we know it is spinning too quickly for us to keep up.
And yet, Paul says that biblical prayer is the solution to our anxiety. He says that when we choose to pray rather than worry, we will be filled and guarded by the peace of God.
Do You Struggle With Anxiety?
I do too. So each month, I send out a monthly newsletter where I discuss anxiety, giving resources and Bible verses to help you in your daily struggle. I also created a five day devotional Finding Freedom From Anxiety that you receive for free because you are a subscriber. Sign up if you want to join in the conversation.