Anxious :: By John Lysaught

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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).

I have trouble with this. I’m anxious by the nature due to my chemical imbalances in my brain (bipolar, major depression, and anxiety disorders), my brain is a mess. I struggle because since I’m always anxious, I’m a worrywart of sorts about everything. Just sitting here, I’m anxious for no apparent reason, it’s just me and today I feel extremely anxious about everything. I get what this verse means, and understand what it is saying; yet I’m always anxious about even the prayers I present to the Lord.

I’m always asking the Lord to take my anxiety and worries away and do so with thanksgiving, but for some reason, that the Lord only knows, I am stuck in the rut of anxiety, which brings fear and worry to say the least. I really want the peace of God that comes from not being anxious about everything.

Nonetheless I can say that I have felt that peace before on many occasions and when that peace of God is present, I savor it and try to hold on to it for as long as I can. When I feel peace, I’m so much calmer in my mind and heart that I feel reassured in the Lord. For me, it’s a tug of war between my anxiety and the promises of the Lord. I just can’t get over the anxiety I feel.

I get most anxious when I read the news, when I read articles on Rapture Ready about the Rapture, and when I think of my own salvation. I worry about the things going on in the world and I worry that I am doing is what Jesus wants me to do. I worry a lot of my own salvation: I just worry.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

I do my best to give my anxieties to the Lord. I do my best to turn my anxiety into a positive direction in my quest for a better relationship with Jesus and in listening to the Holy Spirit. I use my anxiety to pursue the Lord with greater zeal and humbleness to his Power and Glory. What Peter says helps calm me and reminds me that God is there for me and loves me:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

I sometimes feel overwhelmed with anxiety of what tomorrow will bring and what will happen. I cry out to the Lord to take some of that anxiety away. My greatest anxiety is, as I think a lot of us feel, is the build-up to the coming Rapture of the church. I get so worried about myself and more so my family. I just have this feeling something is going to happen soon. Is that a real anxiety or is it just my anxious nature? I don’t know, but I pray for relief all the time from this worry.

I believe that the Lord has allowed me to feel anxious because He doesn’t want me to get lax in my studies and seeking Him always. I feel that if I weren’t so anxious all the time, then I wouldn’t study and pray as much as I do now. I find that expressing my thoughts in this forum is very therapeutic and I believe others feel the same as I do and my writing helps them as much as it helps me. I find that by researching verses on anxiety helps me be less anxious and gives me more hope that how I feel is not a minor concern, but is addressed throughout the Scriptures.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26)

That Jesus addresses worry and anxiety many times in the Bible and it seems to me it is not an anomaly that I have anxiety and worry in my life as well and that Jesus consoles us by letting us know that we are cared for and watched over by the Lord Himself. This brings me comfort to my anxieties.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

I need not to worry about things of this life or what will happen to me, for the Lord will meet all my needs. I may not get what I need right away, but in looking back in retrospect, I can attest, that all my needs that I had worried about in the past were addressed and taken care of by my Lord and Savior. Yet here I am, still anxious about trivial and major things going on in my life and the world.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).

“Consolation and good hope by grace” is very reassuring to me and consoles my heart when it comes to my anxiety of everything I worry about. This is a promise from the Lord that I am going to print out and have in front of me so that when I get stressed and anxious, I can be reminded that the Lord is at work in me and I have nothing to fear of worry about.

If you feel as I do, know that you are not alone. There are others like me out there. Use your anxiety and worry to bring you closer to Jesus, not to separate you. I believe the enemy tries to use anxiety to separate me from my Lord Jesus, but I thwart his efforts by turning my anxiety into a tool to grow in my relationship with Jesus. The enemy will try to turn anxiety into opposition to Jesus, but I won’t let that happen, for God is greater and his promises are true.

If I allowed Satan to use my anxiety to separate me from the Lord, I know I would be lost and in a worse spot. I know that if I allowed my anxiety to move me away from the Lord, I would fall to the side and be on the wrong path, away from righteousness. This is why I turn my anxiety to lead me to grow with Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I know the Holy Spirit is working in me and uses my anxiety and worries to good, not bad. I have faith in this and hold on to the promises as stated in the verses cited in this essay.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs 12:25).

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

Well, my friends, I feel a lot better about my anxieties, fears, and worries now that I have put them into words. I hope that with this short commentary and my sharing my thoughts with you on this has been helpful for some of you out there─feeling the same way I do.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:5-6).