Have you ever had one of those moments in which anxiety over something threatens to overtake you? You know, when your palms sweat, your heart pounds, your vision gets blurry and your thoughts become confused? Maybe an upcoming event has you in a knot, or the demands of work and family are overwhelming, or you’ve just had some bad news. I’ve experienced those moments many times . . . mostly while I’m driving, for some reason. My fingers grip the steering wheel as I try and work through my worry.
I happened to pull out the study guide for “Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed,” the other day, and I loved the comforting words in the first week of lessons.
George Muller said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” Our anxiety always stems from a desire to control and indicates that we have ceased to trust the Lord. When we are depending on the Lord to handle the people and circumstances in our lives, the outcome will be an existence virtually free from worry, anxiety, and fear. Peace will begin to flow like a river in our everyday living.
Jesus put it this way: And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” Matt. 6:30-32, NLT
The lesson went on to have me rate my level of anxiety in several areas. Finances? Check. Weight? Check. Health? Check. Your future? Check. Check. Check.
And then there was a question that burned right through me:
What does your level of worry reveal to you about your faith in God in each area?
Then I read this:
Controlling people, circumstances, and outcomes has become too exhausting for me. I experience intense anxiety when I try to be in charge of more than I’m meant to handle. Trusting God lifts our load, and sweet peace and rest become available to all who will relinquish control and allow Him to do what He does best – be Himself – the Source and Sustainer of our lives.
Are you trying to control more than you’re meant to handle? Is anxiety threatening to grip your heart and take away your peace? Ask the Lord to lift the load of this burden from your shoulders as you release the ultimate outcome of that situation or person to Him. He will do this for you.
What can you choose to do (or not do) today that will show you trust in God in that situation?
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4: 6-7 NASB