Anxiety is considered “the common cold of mental illness.” So many people experience worry, fear and anxiety, and they’ve come to accept it as part of their life just like we accept the common cold: as if it is inevitable and it’s going to happen. As a society, we’ve come to expect worry, fear, and anxiety as a part of our life. But that’s not God’s way, God’s plan, or God’s intent.
Worldwide, over 7.3% of the population suffers from an anxiety disorder. That amounts to one out of 13 people, or 264 million people. And that is just those who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. That doesn’t account for the millions who never seek treatment, or those who have subclinical but still problematic levels of worry, fear, and anxiety. Even if you don’t struggle with worry, fear, or anxiety, you have a loved one, friend, or co-worker who does struggle.
Worry, fear, and anxiety overlap but they are not identical.
Worry is thinking about problems or fears; thinking about an unknown future that creates anxious feelings. It’s really our thought processes.
Fear is an emotional response to a real or perceived threat.
Anxiety is the anticipation of a future threat.
But all three of these start in our mind!
Worry, fear, and anxiety rob us because they take our focus away from all the good God is doing in us and through us and for us, and focus on all the lies of the enemy, then we can’t focus on all the good things going on for us now while we are busy problem solving for all the potential future eventualities.
There are chemical, hereditary, and life experience contributors but those are not the true CAUSE of anxiety. In 2 Timothy 1:7, God shows that the spirit of fear is the cause of anxiety. It started back in the Garden of Eden with Adam, Eve, and the serpent. They experienced shame after they took the serpent’s bait. Shame was the result of their fear of God. Our thoughts can change our brain chemistry. So if we accept fearful thoughts, that can change our brain chemistry, and produce anxiety.
Recognize those thoughts aren’t even your own thoughts! John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy…” The enemy is out to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our identity.
Our worry, fear, and anxiety comes because we don’t really trust God.
When we recognize we haven’t been fulling trusting God, all we have to do is repent, and ask Him to help us and He will!
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Quotables from the Episode:
- God says that worry, fear, and anxiety are not our portion—peace is!
- Worry, fear, and anxiety overlap but they are not identical
- Worry is thinking about problems or fears; thinking about an unknown future that creates anxious feelings. It’s really our thought processes
- Fear is an emotional response to a real or perceived threat
- Anxiety is the anticipation of a future threat
- But all three of these start in our mind!
- “Worry stole my joy. Anxiety stole my peace. Fear stole my present as it projected into my future.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind.”
- John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.”
Recommended Resources: (If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
- “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
- “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
- “Hope Prevails Bible Study” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
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For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
About Dr. Michelle Bengtson:
Dr. Bengtson studied neuroscience and is board certified in clinical neuropsychology. She established her own clinical practice in the Dallas area. From her professional and personal life, she recognized a deep lack of understanding of the call to “renew our minds” and the transformational effects a robust understanding of this has on our physical and mental health and outlook.
Dr. Bengtson lives to foster regeneration and renew life in her listeners. She recognizes brokenness in her life and others’ and offers steps we can take as we walk with Christ through the thin places.
Dr. Bengtson authored the award-winning “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and its award-winning companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study.” Her third book, “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” released on September 17, 2019 (Revell). She blogs at DrMichelleB.com. She is a frequent guest on Fox News Radio and speaks at conferences and churches internationally.
Radio Air Date: September 16, 2019
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson