Where Is Christ In My Anxiety?

To continue my series of God in mental health, I want to broach the subject often ignored in many conversations between believers. True, you may feel comfortable enough to talk about it with a few select friends that are also believers but not everyone can say they have the opportunity. Moreover, many times elders in more traditional congregations tell you, “Christians aren’t anxious, you’re gonna have to get over that.” Or something in a similar vein. How many times have I heard that in a message or when I sought advice? And while many of these leaders are well-meaning, this message wasn’t helpful to me in the slightest. I get it, Christians aren’t supposed to worry but how do I stop worrying? Do you even understand where I am coming from?

When you think about it, worry is a lot of responsibility. It takes time and energy and joy. But, I’ll get to that a little later.

What is anxiety? It’s worrying, being stressed about everyday aspects of life such as money, your job, your relationships. Sometimes it means worrying about everything you could’ve done or should’ve done in a situation in the past or even fretting over what could go wrong in the future. Anxiety may involve being insecure about your looks, your friendships, how others perceive you and so much more. But the Word says that God doesn’t want His people to be stressed.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7 KJV)

God doesn’t want us to be stressed but He also knows that it is a part of our flesh. Our natural beings, our sinful nature, is against God and His will so if God wants us to be in perfect peace (John 14:27) then the enemy and our flesh will want us to worry so that we have less time to focus on Him and spend precious time stressed about things that may never happen. I know all about the stress and fear that comes with anxiety, I’ve dealt with it all my life and understand that it can be a hard monkey to get off your back. I’ll think I’m doing good but then I’ll begin thinking about an issue, thinking turns into focusing in on it and focusing transforms into stress and worry and fear. But that’s the enemy trying to stop your growth. He wants you to feel guilty and upset over your stumbles and shortcomings. Still, even knowing I shouldn’t do it and that God isn’t in it never helped me move past it. How is it that knowing what to do is never as helpful as knowing how to do it? Am I the only one who feels that way?

Then the age-old question arose: Why does God allow me to be this anxious? Why doesn’t He just get rid of my anxiety so that I can spend more time with Him? Why can’t He just make me perfect, the way He wants me to be?

Why does God make it so hard to live holy? Living holy requires having a holy mindset, it requires finding joy in the fact that you’re here and have another chance even when you’re stressed or worried or anxious.

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.(Romans 5:3–5 KJV)

Obviously, as the Bible tells us, we are to rejoice in our struggles. No, not in having them but in knowing that they help us to become better followers of Christ. Furthermore, we smile and glory in the fact that God counts us worth enough to suffer for Him, to build His kingdom and let others around us see that God doesn’t want perfect people, He wants perfected hearts. The struggle, the battle, you’re having with anxiety is a test but remember that tests can always be turned into testimonies.

The above verse means that even when you’re worried, look to God for your peace and consolation and He’ll gladly give it to you. And why is that? Because He is close to those who suffer.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18 KJV)

Anyone who deals with anxiety can tell you, it is suffering. So again, where is God in all this? He’s right beside you, holding his hand out to you, waiting for you to grab it and attain His peace. God never leaves you alone and He hurts when you hurt because He loves you so much. Our flesh will have us thinking that the path to God is long and winding and foggy, that wee can’t depend on Him to help us in whatever situation we’re struggling with, that conversations that keeps us up at night, but that isn’t the case at all. Not only does God care about what we care about but He loves us enough to want to take every weight off our shoulders — including worry. God hasn’t forgot about us and our struggles are important to Him. The Lord doesn’t want us worrying because He doesn’t want His people to suffer. He’s still there and He always will be!

Now, here is the real question: how do we work to stop being anxious? Short answer: Be intentional. Helpful answer:

When a worry begins to form in your mind, think of something else. Keep a scripture ready in your pocket or in your thoughts that reminds you of peace and God’s goodness. I have quite a few of them prepared for different situations and while it may seem foolish, it actually helps quite a bit.

When others come to you, wanting to release their burdens on you, to tell you all about their troubles,stop them. It’s great to be considered somebody’s confidante but you aren’t a dumpster. Don’t let anyone destroy your peace by dumping their garbage on you. It’s okay to tell that person or persons “no.” You can pray for them and help them but remind them and yourself that you are only one person and that God needs to be their source of help. To clarify, I am not saying to turn away any friend with an issue or problem they want advice on. I am saying that if you have people in your life who want you to fix their problems for them, that come to you at all times of the night and take and take from your reservoir of peace without doing anything to restore it, let them be.

Furthermore, it’s okay to take time out for yourself. Sometimes, we need to recharge and think and be alone for awhile. Unwind and unplug and you’ll notice a sense of peace come over you.

Christ is with you even when you feel anxious. And when those times arise, call out to Him. He hears you and He’s got your back.

Remember that how you stumble is not important, all that matters is that you rise and that when you rise, you rise holy!



Helping you follow Christ in a dark world. Helping you keep your head up when things seem bleak. A Christian living blog for today.

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Rise Holy

Helping you follow Christ in a dark world. Helping you keep your head up when things seem bleak. A Christian living blog for today.