Dear Dr. B,
Is anxiety a new epidemic or is it that people are now just feeling comfortable talking about it? Has it always been this prevalent? It seems “new” if you will. It is everywhere… Is it new? Epidemic? Thanks so much. Proud of all you do.
Anxiety has been part of the human experience since Adam and Eve’s encounter with the serpent in the garden. If we think about it, it was their unhealthy fear of God that led them to hide once they became aware of their nakedness.
We’re becoming more aware of anxiety now. Children naturally experience fears because of their limited experience and greater exposure, but the degree to which they are being diagnosed with anxiety has increased, in my experience, over the last decade.
God knew we would experience worry, fear and anxiety or he wouldn’t have included over 300 scriptures encouraging us, no, commanding us, not to fear.
Anxiety and worry always come back to a fear of loss of control.
God never allows us to experience temptation without also giving us a way to escape it (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).
The same is true for worry, fear, and anxiety.
Use these 7 steps to cope when worry, fear, or anxiety strike:
1. First, we must recognize the fear/worry/anxiety exists. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6
2. Recognize that those thoughts are not your thoughts. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
3. Ask God “where is this fear/concern coming from?” “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13
4. Counter the fear/worry/anxiety with the truth of God’s word. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
5. Proclaim that truth out loud every time you are tempted to go back into worry/fear/anxiety. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
6. Tell God you are trusting Him to handle your situation and thank Him ahead of time for His answers. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6
7. Tell the enemy to leave you alone and to go back to the pit he came from. “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Matthew 16:23 and “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
One thing is for sure: when we experience fear, worry, or anxiety, it does not come from God, but what God gives us instead is much greater and for our good.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Are you willing to turn your worry, fear, and anxiety over to Him today and live in the power, love, and sound mind that He has already given you?
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
Resource to Break Anxiety’s Grip
No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety – as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.
We can discover true peace in an age of anxiety.
In Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others. She reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything.
She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God’s peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety’s grip.
Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com, Books-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.
Click here to learn more: Breaking Anxiety’s Grip.
I love this question and your answers here! I bought your book months ago when it came out and my mom has had it but I need to read it since I have had a lifelong struggle with this very thing. I know God will help me and I am thankful His truth has been planted in my heart to help combat the lies! – Your neighbor @ Kristin’s place!
Excellent advice! Thank you. I suppose it all boils down to trusting God…trusting God is what the Christian life is all about.
This is really good Michelle but I am not sure how much it could help my son with Aspergers and anxiety disorder.
I will share these ideas with him.
Sometimes it seems that in order for him to be set free
he must first be removed from the house of his accusor/abuser but moving is not something he can contemplate until his doctorate is granted.
God bless you.xx
Thank you for the clear Biblical insight. Praying for you and your family as anxiety tries to grasp you in this time. You are held by the Spirit of power, love, and sound mind!
I absolutely LOVE this! Thank you so much!
Great points! Your book was also a wonderful read!
Blessings to you!
thank you for these words, especially turning us to such wonderful scripture to counteract, and wipe out all anxiety that is not of God. Anxiety is so common, we all need to be reminded we don’t have to put up with such a troublesome state! Visiting from next door at #smallwonder!
Michelle, these are sound tips. I think recognizing the source of our thoughts is so important. Blessings!
Anxiety, worry, fear – it seems to be built in but with God we can overcome. I love your 7 suggestions to overcome anxiety. All of them include God and trusting him. When we use the Word of God it is powerful to over come even the negative thoughts that try to take root. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.
This is great, Michelle! Anxiety does seem to be ‘all over the place’. Scripture and holding fast to God’s promises is the best way to fight it – and we are in a fight, aren’t we? No doubt about it! Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.
Yes Aimee, we are in quite a fight right now. But I’m fighting from a place of peace instead of from a place of worry, fear, and anxiety. Scripture and God’s promises are the best foundation.
Michelle, the timing of this is so perfect, as I have someone dear who is young and trying to deal with anxiety as a difficult symptom of an autoimmune disorder. We are trying to navigate this tenderly, but it is difficult to stay on top and find a root cause when it revolves around an health condition. So appreciate these steps for coping and will certainly be returning here frequently!
Thanks for these tips, Michelle. Definitely needed anytime but especially in these times. I personally need them myself.
Lisa, I’m glad they were an encouragement to you. We all need encouragement more than ever right now.Blessings.
How precious these words you have shared!! So needed in our pandemic world today. You always have current encouragement to meet our needs and I am so thankful. After living most of my life in fear, I appreciate and so love you words of blessing and encouragement NOT TO FEAR and all the scriptures that tell us NOT TO FEAR. Oh how I wish I had known them earlier in my life but I know them now and I have them ever before me through your messages, the Word of God and your RX that I carry with me not only for me but for others. I share your helps/tools so often. Thank you for your faithfulness and your love of Jesus and love for us, your friends.
Anxiety really hits a lot of people and probably all of us at times if we are honest. Thank you for pointing us back to Jesus who is the only one who can really give us peace when we are anxious. Yes, some people may need medicines to help, but even with that Jesus can help them through the scary times. Blessings to you, Michelle! I’m your neighbor at #HeartEncouragement.
I suspect you’re right, Gayl. Anxiety is really a misappropriation of our trust, and I suspect we all do that at times. Whether we trust our doctors, or our finances, or the news reports, we really need to place our trust back in Jesus. I know many are in need of and helped by medications, but like you say, even with the use of medications, Jesus is ready and willing to help us through the anxiety-provoking times. Worry, fear, and anxiety are not our portion. God’s peace is.
So helpful, Michelle! Thank you for putting this out there again in these difficult times. And thanks for linking it to Grace at Home–I’m featuring you this week! Blessings, my friend.