Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

What is at the heart of anxiety?

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Anxiety seems to be so prevalent in our world today – and there are so many factors that can quickly make one anxious. Look around and the economy is alone a challenging factor. But add wars, natural disasters and the basic stressors of daily life build up.

The truth is anxiety can disable us. We can become so engulfed in the floods of emotion, sense of helplessness, and fear that we loose sight of what is true. Anxiety is a monster that needs to be tamed. At those darkest points of my life I have willingly let anxiety wash over me in wave after wave, resulting in days wasted in gripped fear, and apathy. But this is not the abundant life Christ calls us to.

At some point I am thankful that the Lord does not allow me to stay in that place of discouragement. And I am thankful that his word, the bible, has a powerful effect on my soul. So if you are there can I encourage you to read Phillipians chapter 4:

Phil 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Phl 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

First lesson learned – when I am discouraged, or anxiety riddled I need to turn back to the lord and pray. He already knows where I am, and what my needs are, but I need to surrender them to my creator, and choose to trust in him with my whole heart, mind and soul. Prayer is a discipline that should grow to be more automatic as we grow in our faith. And I must admit that when I pray I am washed over with a peace that can only come from God.

Supplication is defined as : (also known as petitioning) is the most common form of prayer, wherein a person asks God to provide something, either for the person who is praying or for someone else on whose behalf a prayer of supplication is being made.

Lesson 3 – Everything must be with a thankful heart – Can I thank God in the hard times, when my heart is heavy, or the situation has pressed in and there is no way of escape, and no obvious solution? Can I thank God that he knows my frame, and knows what I can handle each moment of the day? My heart says there are times when I cannot look beyond the desire to respond, answer, fix, resolve the issue at hand. But the truth is we are never really in control. But we are HIS, bought with his precious blood. And Jesus knows the plans that he has for our life. We can trust in his faithfulness and his character to see us in the midst of the situation. An old pastor years ago reminded me that everything is filtered through the hands of God. How comforting to know even the most unsettling storms in our lives are in HIS hands. So am I thankful? I am learning to say thank you, not trust the emotions, but by faith thank God and move forward.

Lesson 4 – Don;t trust the emotions, or your eyes. What we see and how our emotions engage situations may not be the truth. We must stand on the word of God, rest in his character and wait for his peace to flood our souls. Don;t let the enemy distract or cause you to stumble. Hold fast to the truth and fix your eyes on Jesus.

OK, so you have prayed, and made requests for others with a heart that is thankful to God. Now what? I love this verse – get it in your heart and your head because it is so good – Phillipians 4:7 says that the result is peace, flooding our soul, and protecting our mind as we remain sheltered in Jesus. Peace, Shalom, that unspeakable “I can;t get there myself” everything is a storm but I am at rest knowing that God sees the outcome peace. And it is a response that comes from the heart of God.

This passage mentions the heart and the mind – have you ever thought about that for any length of time? Heart, the center of our emotions, and mind, the center of our thinking. Both are engaged – not just one or the other. I know that I must yield both mind and heart to God and allow him to syncronize them as he alone can do.

Father, take this word to release us from anxiety, and give us the boldness to come to you with every care, worry and problem. Grant us the ability to thank you for each situation, knowing that you are working out in us character building as you shape us into the image of your precious son. Flood our minds and hearts with your peace so that we may watch as you direct our paths through the danger. Thank you for your powerful love for us. In you will we trust and wait. Amen


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