HOW TO OVERCOME OUR ANXIETIES
Charles E. Burch
Worry and anxiety, in our life, reveals the fact that we have not mastered complete trust in God. If we really trust God, how can we worry, fret, and fume over that which we cannot control? If we can control or change them, then we need to do so. If we can't change or control them, worrying won't help the situation at all. Yet, it is easy to say this, but hard for many to practice
The apostle Paul is a great example for those who desire to overcome anxieties. He wrote, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul had some regrets, yet he put them behind him. He stated about himself, "Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious...that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (I Timothy 1:13, 15). Yet, he was not willing to ruin his present and darken his future by mourning over mistakes and failures of the past.
To overcome anxieties, we must learn contentment. Paul said, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need" (Philippians 4:11-12). A Christian must cultivate the ability to be content. Again Paul said, "But godliness with contentment is great gain...And having food and raiment let us be therewith content" (I Timothy 6:6-8). It is so easy to expand the promise of our Lord to include things that He did not promise. When He said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness ; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). He was speaking of the necessities of life, not all the luxuries that we have become accustom to enjoying.
Another aid to overcoming anxieties is living one day at a time. Jesus said, "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34). Our worrying over future improbabilities only leads to more worry and can even lead to insanity.
We have all heard the saying, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop". The devil will do all he can to destroy our faith in God. The apostle Paul tied with the "idle" those who "gossip and are busybodies" (I Timothy 5:13). When we do something for someone it goes a long way in relieving anxieties. One psychiatrist prescribed for one of his patients to wear himself out helping others. He showed improvement in a short time. We need to place our faith in God and know that He will take care of us. Jesus said. “...I am with you always...” (Matthew 28:20).