The crippling effects of anxiety
‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams
Anxiety – “A state of uneasiness and distress about future uncertainties.”
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older.
Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
Between 2011 and 2014, approximately one in nine Americans of all ages reported taking at least one antidepressant medication in the past month, according to national survey data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three decades ago, less than one in 50 people did.
There is no doubt, anxiety is crippling millions of people and our nation.
What is the cure for anxiety? Jesus said, “…I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25) We focus on the here and now, the visible and temporary instead of the more important and eternal life. As the apostle Paul wrote, we trade the truth for a lie (Romans 1:25).
The truth being that God has a plan for us and He already has provided all we need or ever will need for this physical life and the next, eternal life. The lie is that we believe we can do a better job than God and so we pursue the physical and temporary instead of the eternal.
What do you seek? Jesus said, “…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33). What “things” was Jesus speaking about?
Food, clothes, and the temporary things of this world that He spoke of in verse six.
What worries you? Comparing yourself and your success to those around you? If so, you will always come short, always be searching for happiness and success. You will never be satisfied chasing someone else’s dream and not what God has planned for you.
Do you worry about the length of your life? Why?
Jesus said, “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:27) I think back to some of the famous and wealthy folks I admired and their wealth and popularity did not help them live one minute more than God had planned for them.
Finally, Jesus said, “…do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Worry is, perhaps, the main door anxiety comes into our lives.
One can follow the advice of the Mayo Clinic, WebMD or one of the other 187,000,000 sources for anxiety on the web. Or, one can follow the advice from Jesus: Put life in perspective, go bird watching and see how God takes care of His creation and know that He takes care of you (Matthew 6:26).
Admit that worrying about anything will not add one hour to your life. Worrying accomplishes nothing (Matthew 6:27).
Refocus you view of life – what is more important; your will or God’s will?
Remember, Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). It’s easy to say don’t worry about tomorrow but to one degree or another we all do but Jesus said, “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew 6:34).
More helpful Scriptures to deal with worry and anxiety: “Seek the Lord and He will deliver you from all your fears” (Psalm 34:4).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways submit to the Lord and He will clear your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
“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” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
“The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E-mail him at claytonpadamslll@ gmail.com.