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.