Anxiety can affect every part of us. What you worry about appears in your thought life, twisting its way into every part of your body, and even shows up in how you hold tension and stress in your muscles. It’s all connected. There are many aspects to the battle with anxiety, but where can we start?
The mind is our battleground for belief in the fight against anxiety. When your mind defaults to anxiety what you believe about yourself, and more importantly, what you believe about God become paramount. Anxiety can evaporate when you rehearse and believe foundational truth. Here are two questions for you to ask yourself as you face anxiety:
Do I Believe Who God Says He Is?
First, you can ask yourself: “Do I have a correct view of God right now?” What you think about God will inform how you view what he says. Perhaps you grew up in a church where God was a distant judge waiting to give out a sentence. Or maybe you thought of him more like an estranged parent, stuttering awkwardly in his presence.
The Bible tells us the story of God’s love to his people. God loves you deeply and wants to carry the burdens you are carrying, you don’t have to bear them alone (Matt. 11:28-30). Even your struggle with anxiety could be the opportunity to grow deeper in your relationship with God.
All throughout Scripture God promises to help us in our struggles with sin through his various attributes. God has many characteristics and attributes but consider these helpful few:
- God is with you (Ps. 23): God graciously provides for us in the valley moments of life. He promises rest and peace and is a kind and gentle guide.
- God is your refuge (Ps. 18:10): He is our rock and hiding place amid the storms of life. Under the protection of his promises you are safe from believing lies.
- God is near you (Ps. 116:1-2): God wants to draw near to his children. He promises to hear us when we call on his name.
The next time you are feeling anxious, pause to remind yourself of the attributes of God that you may have forgotten. Pick ones that are especially meaningful to you and meditate on those passages.
Do I Believe Who God Says I Am?
We also must have a right view of ourselves. The Bible is very clear on what we are. We are wicked sinners who can’t save ourselves or atone for our own sin (Rom. 1:18-32). But God loved us so much that he sent his Son to die on a cross in our place (Rom. 5:8). He bore the full weight of our sin and shame in exchange for his righteousness for those who believe (2 Cor. 5:21).
This means that when God looks at a believer, he sees Jesus’s righteousness and not our wickedness. This changes everything because we are free to live as children of God not under the curse of sin but under righteousness (Rom. 6:17-19). Paul calls this being “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17). We are covered under the blood of Jesus and called to live a life free of anxiety and worry (Phil. 4:4-7).
Next time you start to feel anxiety, remember your freedom: you are God’s child, Jesus’ friend, and utterly free from condemnation, free to receive all that God wants to provide, and free from anything that could block your intimacy with God (Rom. 8).
Free to Worship
Friend, you don’t have to allow anxious feelings to rule your world. Jesus paid our debt in full so we can be free to live lives of worship to Him and not in bondage to worry and anxiety. God is waiting to take your worries (1 Pet. 5:7) and promises peace in return (Phil. 4:6-7).
As the apostle Paul tells us: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1-2)—and if we have peace with our Maker, we can endure anything with him in this life!
The next time you are assaulted by anxious thoughts: remind yourself of who you are in Christ and the character of your God. With these correct beliefs aligned you can begin to experience freedom to step forward worshiping him without the worries that were holding you back.