We are living in a time where anxiety, worry, fear, and panic are at an all-time high. That’s what crises tend to do to us. They strip all semblance of control out of our hands and make us attempt to foresee a very bleak future. Worry, anxiety, and crises do not have to rule your life.
On a recent episode of our podcast, “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson,” we began a series of episodes regarding defeating anxiety during times of crisis like the Coronavirus. In the most recent podcast episode, we talked about how worry creeps, anxiety seeps, and crises explode.
Worrisome thoughts project our situation into the future
So often I hear people, even complete strangers say, “I’m just worried that…” It can be something small, like “I’m just worried that I’ll be late for my appointment,” to something major like “I’m just worried that so and so is going to die.”
Worry is thinking about problems or fears over something that could happen. Essentially, thoughts about an unknown future that create anxious feelings. The truth is, worry often creeps into our lives in very small ways, and often goes undetected.
It’s easy to let our thoughts project our situation into the future, a future that by and large often lacks God and His intervention. Yet, God asks us, “And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” (Luke 12:26). Basically, He’s trying to reveal to us the futility of our worry. It doesn’t change things, and it certainly doesn’t help us to stay positive or hopeful.
Anxiety seeps into our lives if we let it
Anxiety seeps into our lives. When we don’t address the earliest signs of anxiety in our lives, it will continue to seep into our lives and take over as much space and time as we allow it. It may start with concerns over our children, but will easily spread to concerns regarding our marriages, our finances, our health, and more. Anxiety results from living in a place of dread instead of victory. Whereas faith entails having the courage to give God control.
Hope when crises explode into our lives
God has told us and shown us a more useful response. “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.” Jesus modeled for us how to respond. If anyone would have had a valid reason for being anxious, it was Jesus. He knew his life and ministry would end in death for the sake of those who killed Him. Yet, He didn’t give in to anxiety…He trusted His father and made His father His focus rather than His circumstances.
Even for those who are usually not worried or anxious, they may experience some of each when crises take them unaware and explode in their life. That is what we are seeing on a worldwide level right now. This pandemic came out of nowhere and exploded to affect every country.
Know what you believe
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it thousands of times: We have to know what we believe BEFORE the crisis hits, because when it does, we will immediately fall back on our core beliefs. If you believe you are responsible for your own outcomes in life, you will likely fall prey to worry, fear, and anxiety when life is uncertain. But if you truly believe God is good, trustworthy, and faithful, then you will continue to look to him to deliver you from any crisis that comes and you will remain in His peace.
Jesus was never ruled by worry, anxiety, or crises. And worry, anxiety, and crises do not have to rule your life either. During this time of crisis, or any other in the future, we just need to trust God to see us through it. He reminds us in Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
How will you determine today to not let worry, anxiety, or crises rule your life today? We’d love to hear in the comments below how you might exchange worry, fear, anxiety, or crisis for God’s perfect peace.
(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.