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Victory Over Anxiety

Human emotions are a gift from God. But, we can control them or they can control us.

Some of the famous biblical characters expressed negative emotions. For example, Saul showed jealousy toward David. Perhaps due to Saul's relentless persecution, David, in turn, often felt dejected and depressed. Elijah the Prophet was afraid and fearful for his life. Peter panicked and pulled out the sword to kill. One of the disciples ran from the soldiers, leaving behind his outer cloak. We can all relate to these people.

What is anxiety? Anxiety is having worries, fears, or feelings of uneasiness about various uncertainties. Some synonyms of anxiety include worry, concern, trouble, disquiet, unrest, and apprehension.

A severe form of anxiety (attack) can be debilitating, and it is sometimes considered a disorder that requires medical attention. One of the definitions of anxiety is "distracted or pulled apart." In other words, one's focus or concentration suffers due to anxiety. The practical impact of anxiety is that it diverts our attention from more important matters. Yes, anxiety is a "distractor." When distracted, we are less productive because our attention is "divided" or "unfocused." Anxiety also damages relationships because anxious people can be very negative, critical, explosive, and caustic

For believers, anxiety is a faith battle. Either you believe that God will take you through the problem, or you don’t. Anxiety is a bondage. But, freedom is found in Jesus and His words/truths.

Life itself in this fallen world is so stressful and demanding that it is normal for people to feel anxious at times. Thus, the question is, "How should we handle anxiety?"

Philippians 4:4-7 says:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Since Jesus is our Lord, we can rejoice in Him even when facing anxious circumstances. We can also choose to be gentle and not react too angrily or negatively to anxiety-causing people or issues. Plus, we can pray and lift up our concerns to Jesus, and the Prince of Peace will calm the storms of life by guarding our hearts and minds. He gives us peace which surpasses all understanding. Life indeed full of anxiety-causing people, circumstances, and situations. But, keep in mind that we're mere sojourners. This is not our permanent home; we're just passing through. Further, our job is not to please everyone. We must choose to live for the audience of "One." If we keep that in mind, we should be able to say, "This, too, shall pass" to whatever that makes us anxious. Take your anxieties to Jesus with thanksgiving for He understands and promises to help. Approach Him with the right spirit (transparency/honesty) and attitude (humility), and He'll restore peace and confidence in you to overcome life's anxieties. (Adapted from Charles Stanley)

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