There’s your major understatement for the week.
Recently I’ve been battling anxiety a lot. Loads of stress and grief punctuated – for extra fun – with panic attacks that jolt me out of bed between 1:30 and 2:30 in the mornings. The combination of losing a loved one, work overload and stress from life in general have created a huge wave that seems to barreling straight toward me.
And I took my eyes off Christ, fixing my frightened gaze on the storm.
And I’m crying out to Jesus for help. Help He has promised. Help of which I am assured. Help of which I have no doubt is here.
The problem for those of us with depression, anxiety and panic disorders, is that it becomes difficult – usually quite quickly – to rest in the Lord, to find peace in Christ, to get past the physiological factors that cause the disorders in the first place.
But, the Truth is still the truth. It is important to seek God. Stay in His Word. Stay connected in prayer. Stay as focused on the Lord as you can.
And trust Him. Remember that the anxiety and fear stem from an imbalance, not from abandonment. God is still with His children – always.
During times like this, when I am overwhelmed by life and it’s stresses, I clutch tightly to several promises in Scripture. Like this one (Philippians 4:4-7, ESV):
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
- Be glad, with a joy that is rooted in Christ. Be glad in Christ always. Not “unless”. Not “until”. But always.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
- Rejoicing during dark times is only reasonable and right for those who believe in Jesus. After all, He is near. He is with you. He promises to never leave us, never abandon us, never fail us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). Just because we cannot see Him or sense His presence does not mean He is not right beside us.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
- God is with us! So why be afraid? He is our Father Who loves us, cares for us, helps us… It doesn’t mean we will never face troubles or pain or difficulties. We live in a fallen, sinful world. But it means “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). We can go to the Lord, our Father, the Creator of the Universe, with all our troubles and doubts, our pain and sorrow, our fears and worries, and know He is in control. And we can do so with great confidence, thanking God for His provision and His care, knowing by faith that He has every aspect of our lives in His hands.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- When we understand these things, we will find true, deep peace – a peace beyond understanding because, while circumstances say we have every reason to fear, God is far above all circumstances. And He says, “I love you, my child. Come to me. Give me your burdens. Rest in me. I am in control. Not you. Not your perceptions.
I don’t know what you are facing today, but – whatever is troubling you – take it to God. Cast your cares on the Lord. He loves you. He is with you. He will give you the strength to see you through.
Don’t stare at the storm. Fix your gaze on Jesus.
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