Friday, October 24, 2014

A Remedy for Anxiety

Anxiety is more common to humanity than any of us care to admit. No one is exempt, not even money or fame can place you beyond the reach of anxiety. From an early age all of us begin to experience the feelings that create the state of being anxious. Some, of course, more than others because they are raised in homes where conflict is a way of life and there is very little conflict resolution. These feelings of anxiety come for a host of different reasons, from things not going our way, to being mistreated or insulted or neglected. Interestingly, the older we get the more anxiety we are prone to experience. Anxiety is nothing new because Solomon in his book of Ecclesiastes gives us some good advice on how to lessen our anxiety.

Solomon said, “So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless” (Eccl 11:10). He knows from experience that our world in its broken state brings us loss and many troubles. He tells us to cast off these troubles. In other words, rather than dwelling on what has happened to us, which usually perpetuates the problem, cast it off. This is done by giving it to God.

The Apostle Peter tells us to do this: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The very act of casting our anxieties on the Lord means that we are asking for his assistance and trusting him to help us. It means that we are refusing to be tormented any longer by the loss or irritation that has come to us.

The Apostle Paul actually gave us a spiritual recipe for dealing with anxiety. First, we start by counting our blessings and learning to see the good instead of the loss. Secondly, we learn to act right regardless of how we feel. Thirdly, we commit to God in prayer all our worries and anxieties. Fourthly, as a result of having done that, we receive peace that transforms us to be capable of enjoying life. Fifthly, we train our thinking to be on things that are true and uplifting. Phil 4: 4-9:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

If more people followed this Biblical method for peace and sanity, there would be less depression and less people on drugs, and a whole lot less sadness in the world. There would be a better quality of life for everyone who cast their anxiety away and trust God for peace. Youth is so temporal and fleeting—to not realize this is to not have a grip on reality. Solomon says, enjoy life and don’t let anxiety rob you of enjoying life. He says don’t be saddened by the loss of youth because it is part of life. Instead, enjoy life because you belong to God at whatever age you find yourself.

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