Friday, June 29, 2012

Take Control of Anxiety

And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:27 NAS)

AnxietyDelivered during a Sunday church service, the following is a summary of a sermon on anxiety.

What Anxiety Does To Us
Excessive anxiety achieves nothing (Matthew 6:27-29), is harmful (Proverbs 12:25), and keeps our thoughts on the wrong things (Matthew 6:31-33).

Jesus said …

And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. (Matthew 6:27-29)

King Solomon said …

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

How Should We Handle Anxiety?
Cast our anxieties to God (1 Peter 5:7).

Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

Causes of Anxiety
One of the causes of anxiety that can affect our spiritual walk is anger. When we do not get what we want, we sometimes get frustrated. Our anger can result in hurt, for example, because of a broken promise. Our ego, upbringing, and past experiences can also contribute to our feeling hurt.

Is Anger Wrong?
Anger need not be wrong. The Bible mentioned a time when our Lord was angry with the Pharisees (Mark 3:5). In the Old Testament, God was mentioned as being angry with the children of Israel for their constant disobedience and rebellion (Jeremiah 32:30-32), yet He chose to send His Son to save them as well as us. We can be angry and yet not sin, and we ought not to let the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4:26).

Proposed Cure for Anxiety
Let God deal with those who cause us harm.

'Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.' (Deuteronomy 32:35)

Let God complete His work in us.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

Learn to forgive.

Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. (Mark 11:25)

Draw near to God.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Come clean before God.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. (Psalm 32:3-4)

Acknowledge and confess our sins.

I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:5)

Shine for Jesus.

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Walk with God.

For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living. (Psalm 56:13)

Dear Lord, help us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to You. Grant us Your peace which surpasses all comprehension to guard our hearts and our minds in You. Help us not be easily angered or let the sun go down on our anger. Draw us near to You Lord as we acknowledge and confess our sins. We cast our anxieties to You Lord. Lead us as we walk with You, and shine through us Your light that dispel the darkness.

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