Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts . – Psalm 139:23

2020 was a year full of anxiety for many of us. 2021 seems to be more of the same. Anxiety is a feature of the human experience and God is not unaware of the challenges. I am reposting an article from Jim McCraigh which deals with anxiety.

How to Deal With Fear and Anxiety in a Time of Trouble

Unprecedented fear and anxiety are gripping many people in our country with ever-changing lockdown rules, quarantines, school and business closures, looting, riots, threats of violence, charges of racism, masks, contact tracing, media disinformation, and economic uncertainty. For many, it has become a mental health issue.

Since last spring, the way we go about our daily lives has been rapidly and radically changed. Comfortable routines of school, work, church, social events, dating, clubs, sports events, movies, and family gatherings have all been dramatically interrupted and often replaced with gut-wrenching stress.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the last election cycle, many people have come to feel isolated from friends and family. Suicides and drug overdoses are on the rise. Money troubles due to business closures and job losses have affected many. The visceral hatred of one’s neighbors abounds because of simple differences of opinion. Politically motivated violence is rearing its ugly head. Lies about almost everything are now commonplace in the media, schools, and even the government.

But there is a way to overcome our feelings of fear and anxiety.

First and foremost, don’t go it on your own and self-isolate with your worries. The key to moving past these feelings is to look for answers in a biblically-based church setting as opposed to the secular world. Why? The secular world will tell you that you have the power within yourself to overcome this. That is simply not true.

The only way we will fully recover from these things is through the healing power of Jesus Christ. Worldly ideas are not enough. They will always fall short. But, how?

By reading scripture regularly (especially the Book of Psalms), seeking pastoral counseling, and looking for programs in your church (with safe people) that deal with these types of issues. If there are none in your church, perhaps its leaders would be open to sponsoring one.

Our ability to overcome fear and worry is based on faith, not something that we can do or say. Faith comes as a gift from God through His Holy Spirit.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8 NASB

While we may not be able to prevent all fearful or anxious thoughts from entering our minds, we can practice right thinking when they do.

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 4:7 NASB

The fact is that God knows everything and is in control of it all (Psalm 68:20). When the disciples became fearful in a storm, Jesus first rebuked their lack of faith, then ceased the wind and waves (Matthew 8:23-27). God is constantly working behind the scenes in every area of our lives, even when there appears to be no visible evidence of it.

Throughout life, we will always face situations that will cause us fear and anxiety. But, in his letter to the Philippians, Paul assures us that we can find peace in every circumstance.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. – John 14:26-28 NASB

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30 NASB

Our world may be changing for the worse, but God is unchanging. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Download a free copy of Jim’s eBook, Making Healthy Choices that Heal Your Life, Heart, and Family.

The church setting is the perfect place to help those with all kinds of mental health needs or issues with sin. Learn how to set up a Disciples In Motion Zoom visit with Tim. The weekend includes many different opportunities for mental health trainings in the church setting. Click here for more information.