Worry, anxiety, doubt and overwhelm step in like a thief in the night to steal our joy and peace. How do you beat anxiety and regain your peace of mind?
It stepped in like a thief in the night, and stole from me, which meant it also stole from my family.
I wonder if that has ever happened to you?
Things were going well and then it happened.
It? The worry, the anxiety, the doubt, the overwhelm.
Almost like I’d given it a key to my front door, to let itself in without even asking.
But then, I did give it permission. I listened to those thoughts, entertained them, and let them stay. I didn’t catch their suave entrance or take them captive.
“What makes you think they want to hear what you have to say?”
“What would they say if they knew you weren’t perfect?”
“If you don’t take care of it, no-one will.”
“If God cared, wouldn’t He have answered your prayers by now?”
And in listening, it stole my peace.
Anxiety steals our peace; worry steals our joy
Anxiety and worry are an insidious thing. They creep in like a weekend guest and then take on a life of their own and move in for the long haul before you even realize what happened.
But in gaining entrance to my mind and heart, it stole from me. Anxiety stole my peace.
Worry stole my joy.
Fear stole my present as it projected old events on my present and my future. And it stole from my family, as I couldn’t be truly present with them when I was worried about the past or the future.
4 Steps to Beat Anxiety and Regain Peace of Mind
As God has walked with me along the journey to relinquish anxiety, He’s shown me that exchanging anxiety or worry for His peace isn’t a one time event. It’s a process.
Jeremiah gives us clues about how to approach that process:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
1. Get rid of worry and anxiety by trusting God
First, ridding ourselves of worry and anxiety requires that we trust in the Lord. Worry is really a misappropriation of our trust, giving it to a counterfeit that never satisfies. Trusting in Him, however, brings a sweet, satisfying peace.
2. Prepare in advance
Second, just like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, we too must prepare. The best way we can prepare in advance is to first learn God’s word and plant it firmly in our hearts.
3. Take our thoughts captive
Then we must take every thought captive and discern if it is a thought from God or a thought from the enemy. When it is from the enemy, we must exchange it for God’s truth that we already learned. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).
4. Trusting God to help us fulfill what He asks
Lastly, we choose not to be anxious but to keep our peace by trusting that just as God caused the leaves to remain green, and a continual crop to grow, so too will He help us fulfill whatever He asks us to do.
I frequently have to remind myself out loud, “whatever He asks us to do, He equips us through!”
When it comes to keeping our peace and trusting God, rather than letting our hearts become troubled or anxious, we have a choice to make: God said it, I believe it, and that’s that!!
The enemy has stolen many things from us. But the good news is that God promises to return everything that he stole! “The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost…” (Joel 2:25 NLT).
What do you need to trust Him with today?
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Resources for Anxiety:
Other Helpful Articles for Anxiety:
Talk Back to Anxiety
Your RX: The Answer for Anxiety
7 Steps for Coping with Anxiety
It is Finished: What Jesus Would Say About Anxiety
Anxious for No Thing
Coping with Panic Attacks
Don’t Give Worry a Voice
Take a Deep Breath
Ask DrB: What is the Difference Between an Anxiety Attack and a Panic Attack
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 needed to hear that today! Thanks for sharing your amazing gifts. So ready to tap into them 24/7 in just a few short weeks!!!
Sue, I love when God gives me words that minister to someone else when they read them. It brings great joy. Lifting you up today! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Anxiety stole my peace. Worry stole my joy. Fear stole my present as it projected old events on my present and my future. Oh so true. And the thing of it all is that we open the door and invite the thief in! Come on in, take my peace, oh and would you like me to show you the way to my joy? It’s time to stop being so polite to these thieves! Great stuff! your neighbor at Playdates
Mary, you’re absolutely right! Time to stop being so polite to those thieves. They’ve taken enough. It’s time to take back our rightful inheritance. Because of Him, #HopePrevails
Many locusts have come in and eaten the harvests, and I, too, am thankful that God will replace all.
He promises to do so, and I trust that He will. Blessings!
A powerful post! I will NOT allow fear to steal my present. One of the pillars of my personal ministry is embracing the now moment and fear can certainly rob us of all that is true in THIS moment. Mmm, this post will sit with me a while. Thanks for sharing.
Tyra, fear robs us of so much. So glad to hear you will not let it steal your present. Stay determined to embrace all that God has for you in this moment. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
So good! Thank you for sharing: ) I’ve needed this reminder! Bless you
Thank you! I’m glad it blessed you. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
There is SO much Truth in your post today! I just bookmarked it to return and outline your thoughts!
Your sweet words bless me today, Bethany! Thanks for stopping by and lending this writer some encouragement! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
John 10:10 – “…the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy”….
He sure does, but praise God, Jesus came that we might have abundant life!! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I love this>>>>>exchanging anxiety or worry for His peace isn’t a one time event. It’s a process. True!!!! I’m so thankful that He stands willing to give us that peace over and over. I’m your neighbor today at #TellHisStory. Blessings to you.
Leah, the enemy would like to have us believe we’ve messed up when we don’t rid ourselves of anxiety completely and forever. But the truth is, he is ever ready to tempt us with those anxious thoughts at every turn. But we must return to the process of exchanging that anxiety for His peace on a day by day or sometimes moment by moment process. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
There is so much going on around me right now and it is easy for me to start fearing the future. But if I can choose to stay present, right here and right now, I can see God in the moment and trust that He has the next moment all figured out.
Oh how I think so many of us can relate Jennifer. But fearing the future robs us of our present. God is right here in the present with us. Choose to stay here, relying on Him and trusting in His provision for this very moment. He tells us not to worry about tomorrow, for today has enough worries of its own. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Incredible post, Dr. Michelle! Reading this just after I read your “Stop Negativity” post has my mind going, thinking, processing…..I have been given a lot to “chew on” and I am VERY grateful 🙂
May the Lord richly bless you, sweet friend! I am very appreciative of your posts and the time you take to link up with Rose of Inspiration. Hugs and blessings!
Oh Sweet One, I’m glad you find encouragement from His word in these posts. He loves you so!! Be blessed today. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
These are perfect words for me today as my peace was interrupted by anxiety. Sometimes it does sneak in and since we aren’t expecting it we don’t feel as prepared as we could be. That happened today but God walked by my side every minute as I turned to Him for truth. Thank you for your wisdom and advice. Blessed to have you at Weekend Whispers.
Sweet Mary, you are not alone. Anxiety is a sneaky interruption into our peaceful thoughts, often coming in unaware. But Praise God for His spirit which reveals itself to us so we can return to taking every thought captive unto obedience to Christ. He has given us the mind of Christ! So thrilled you experienced His love and protection of you as He walked by your side every moment when you turned to Him for truth! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Thanks so much for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!
My pleasure Mary! #HopePrevails!
Great message!!! Because you have regained your peace after succumbing to the enemy’s lies and walking in anxiety and fear, you are able to truly encourage me and so many others how to reclaim the peace that Father promises in His Word. I’m so grateful you have written it all down so we can walk the journey to freedom from worry, anxiety and fear just as you have. This resource plus your new book are such valuable tools for all of us in remaining free from the control of those insidious enemies of our soul. Please continue sharing more stories and more tools for freedom!!! I love and appreciate your transparency and honesty in sharing your life and your heart with us. So excited to read your new book!
I so appreciate your enthusiasm. I have found that God never wastes our pain, and so if my experiences and the lessons I learned through the pain can benefit others, I see that as God giving beauty for ashes.
I like your point about preparing in advance. It’s easy to say “trust God”, but we can’t trust someone we don’t know, someone we’re not familiar with. The more I get to know Him, the more I trust Him. He is faithful. But it’s taken time and storms and valleys for me to learn that in the deepest part of my heart.
Number 3 is paramount. The Holy Spirit will help you silence the accuser. And you have to be aware of what other people are speaking over you, the negative and doubtful even cruel words sneak in.
I believe heaven celebrates when one of us places trust in God vs worry over anything at any given time. An ongoing process of love and faith!
This message has such a great impact each time I read it. I am so thankful that it is a timeless message because we are always being attacked with fear, worry, anxiety and must choose peace. I choose peace in the midst of great distress and of watching those I love suffer, I will continue to choose not to worry but to take all to the Lord and trust Him. It isn’t easy sometimes, like today, but I will strive to always do it because of your faithfulness to share from your life with me and with others. Thank you again and again for your transparency and love for us. I love you dearly!
Thank you for your encouragement Karen. Oh how I want others to beat anxiety and live in His peace.