How can we address anxiety and worry? What is God’s anti-anxiety therapy? No one is immune to fear and anxiety. That is why the Word of God is full of encouraging and comforting words. The central message of God’s love is: “Do not be afraid, do not worry! Trust me and put your hope in Me!”
God’s anti-anxiety therapy consists of three basic elements. These are the fear of the Lord, the trust in Him, and the focus on Him and His priorities, goals, and plans for us.
The roots of anxiety
The anxiety is a variation or specific manifestation of the unbelief. That is the inability to receive from the Lord due to hesitation, doubts, and weak faith. The main cause of anxiety is our desire to control things, people, and circumstances. This desire is fueled by pride and ego. Control is our path to security and safety, which is the basic need of all human beings. The main element is the desire to be secure and protected. This includes preventing unwanted events or results on one hand and securing a desired result on the other. It is important to know that God’s will and desire are to deliver us from all our fears in which the anxiety is rooted. He wants to build and strengthen us in the fear of the Lord and in faith and trust in Him.
The fear of the Lord – the most powerful anti-anxiety therapy
The fear of the Lord is the healthiest fear, as it prompts us to run away from evil and sinful attitudes and deeds (Proverbs 8:13). It acts as the most powerful antidote and therapy against all other fears and worries. God calls the fear of Him “the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, Psalm 111: 10) and “the source of life” adding length to our life (Proverbs 10:27, 14:27). The fear of the Lord is the attitude of awe and reverence to God as the only Almighty, Sovereign God, Creator and Master of Creation. It is an attitude that acknowledges God as the only One Who has the supreme authority over everything and everyone and over life and death. As the One Who says and it is done, Who has the final word, the Judge of the living and the dead.
Hear the words of Jesus: “… do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5) God is not someone who we can tame and adjust according to our ideas and wishes! God is awesome and fearsome in His power, wisdom, and holiness! And when we recognize and acknowledge Him as such in all our ways, we begin to grow in the fear of the Lord.
The next ingredient in the anti-anxiety therapy
The second key element of God’s anti-anxiety therapy is the faith or trust in God. It is not difficult to trust someone who deserves trust, has shown himself to be faithful, and is most of all is fully qualified to be entrusted with our case and problems. The good news is that God meets all these conditions! De facto He meets all these conditions more than any other human being! In Luke 12, the Lord Jesus Christ reminds us of the main reasons for trusting God and thus confronting our anxieties.
The first reason for trust is God’s love and friendship. God has given us the greatest proof of His love in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ – His death, life, and resurrection. Thus He has opened the Way of return to Him, of redemption and transformation. Christ calls those who receive Him “His friends.” (Luke 12:4)
Trust in God’s complete knowledge and care
The second reason is God’s assurance that we are extremely precious and valuable for Him. There is nothing in creation that is not in the reach of His care and attention. However, His main focus is on the human beings, especially those who have chosen to trust Him and make Him their Lord and Master. God’s intimate knowledge, knowing and care are perfect and complete. He knows everything about us. From the number of hairs on our heads to our most intimate thoughts, desires, and needs. The words which we have not yet said, and the steps we have not yet done. This complete and intimate knowledge of us and our needs is so shocking and amazing!
David devotes an entire Psalm to praise God’s omniscience, providence and care for each of us individually. From this wonderful revelation comes the following request: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
The futility of worry
The third reason is the reminder that we have no control and authority over most of the things we worry about. God lovingly reminds us of the uselessness of worrying that does not change our circumstances or problems, but only burdens us and robs us of our joy. At the same time, He directs our attention to Him as He who manages and cares for the creation. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26)
Which is the most important thing
The third element of God’s anti-anxiety therapy is the right priorities. God instructs us to make Him and His relationship with Him our primary priority and goal and let Him take care of everything else. “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it; … your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” (Luke 12:29-31)
Do you struggle with worry and anxiety? What do you do in such cases? Come, share your thoughts in the comments!