The topic of anxiety is one that pulls at my heart like no other could. But I’m going to be honest, I don’t suffer from anxiety like most people do. I suffer from the outside looking in. I see people I love being swallowed whole by this epidemic, and I feel so powerless… but am I?
As I saw my friends experience these attacks, I couldn’t make sense of them. Now don’t get me wrong, I do find a fleeting moment of fear, but not anxiety. It is human nature to feel fear or anxiety. Jesus felt anxious and He cried out to God to spare Him from the cross. But He prayed and trusted in God’s plan and He held onto that trust (Matthew 26:38-39). Anxiety is a state of being. It’s something you start to grow accustomed to. But the truth is, anxiety isn’t something to live with—it’s something to overcome.
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 4:6-7
Ultimately, I want people to know that anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life because you can trust that God is in control of everything. I struggle in this matter every day because I like feeling like I’m in control, and I don’t like asking for help. But every time I try to carry my burdens on my own, darkness follows and hope dwindles. This happens because we are not designed to carry our burdens. We are designed to step aside and relinquish control to the God of the universe and allow Him to carry these burdens for us.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 says, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” This is Scripture reminding us that God is always faithful. He will protect you and I from all kinds of evil, even in the small things. This is not to say you won’t ever feel fear, but rather the fear should never own us. Anxiety is naming the fear and giving it in a place in our hearts. And when we give fear a place in our hearts, we must push something else out – maybe not all the way, but something still has to move to make room for this fear. But friend, if we allow God to rule our hearts and minds, making room for Him instead, there is no room for fear.
This fills me with hope because, as someone who is uncomfortable in the dark, knowing that I no longer have to live in the darkness is an amazing gift from God (John 8:12). So many times we leave Jesus’ love, grace, and forgiveness in the grave that He walked out of. God is still in control. All of His qualities were resurrected with Him and He loves you. God is forever and always good.
Anxiety is not from God. It is a self-made lord that takes control of our lives. Removing the fear that is deeply rooted in your heart is simple – trust God and you will fear no more. It is simple, but probably one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. This is a heart issue, and it begins every day when your feet hit the floor. You have to decide: trust God, or fall victim to fear? This is your choice. If you want to fear, then that is your path. God will always be there, but anxiety is not in His nature and it never will be. He can work through even the worst circumstances we find ourselves in, but He will never ask you to live a life of fear. He wants you to live a life full of love and grace.
Decide to live in the light and the peace of knowing God is in control. He loves you and He always will. That is where I find my hope. I am thankful for the love of God, I’m thankful for the fulfillment it brings, and the peace that only the Holy Spirit can bestow. I have hope because I know that nothing in this world, not even anxiety, can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).
Have you relinquished the burden of anxiety to God?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley is nineteen and loves to share God’s joy and love with others. She is thankful that God has given her the opportunity to serve Him in her life.