Anxiety and worry are unyielding. These are two of the enemy’s most popular weapons to turn us away from Jesus and towards fear. Unchecked fear can keep you in state of depression and rob you of living the life God wants for you. Anxiety can also show up in the form of anger, not only in unkind speech but also hurtful attitudes. The longer you struggle with fear, the more likely it is for you to be overwhelmed by it, allowing it to control your every decision and move. Choosing not to deal with it can leave you in great pain and separated in Jesus. Even still, we have a promise that “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability” (1 Corinthians 10:13), and this includes chronic worrying. Here are six ways worry is robbing you of an amplified life in Jesus.
Worry separates us from Jesus.
Worry separates us from an abundant life in Jesus because the more we feed into worry, the less we trust Jesus to see us through our circumstances. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” There are three times in Joshua 1 that God tells Joshua to be strong and to be courageous because he’ll need to be ready for what’s coming later. God also commands that he not be frightened or dismayed and for one reason only; “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” If you are going into a particularly unsettling situation and your soul is anxious, have comfort in the fact that God is with you wherever you go.
Worry endorses fear.
Worry and fear go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s hard to find one absent from the other. Another reason worry robs us of an amplified life in Jesus is because Jesus doesn’t want us to live a life where we’re afraid. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Sometimes, we can read certain verses from Scripture a hundred times and fail to take them to heart the way the Lord wants us to. Other times, we can linger on a verse or two, and let them minister life, healing and comfort to us. Isaiah 41:10 is so rich with the promises of God that it warrants special attention from us. Ultimately, the Lord wants to impart to us through this verse that we shouldn’t be afraid. “Fear not [there is nothing to fear].” One reason why God warns us against fear is that it can short-circuit the answered prayers and blessings that He has in store for us. When you are anxious, hold onto the promise that God is upholding you in His righteous hand.
Worry keeps us from Jesus’ peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “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.” This is a wonderful promise. The believer who places his or her full confidence in a loving God and is thankful in every circumstance will possess a supernatural peace. An inner calm will dominate the heart. The faithful believer will know peace – his heart and mind are guarded by it. No one, especially those outside of Christ, will be able to fathom that peace. The most, it will remain a mystery how someone can be so serene in the midst of turmoil. When you’re anxious, hold onto the promise that Jesus’ supernatural peace surpasses all human understanding.
Worry causes us to be mentally distracted.
When you worry, your mind is your enemy. Worry and anxiety can keep you mentally distracted from Jesus and all the abundant blessings around you. If you can make it harder for your mind to focus on things that could cause fear, you’ll be less able to trigger symptoms that cause the feelings of anxiety. Distract yourself all day with activities you enjoy, phone calls, positive music, comedy on television and other things that don’t cause anxiety but still distract your mind. One really effective activity is walking. Walking around helps with blood glow and provides you with visual and mental stimulation. It also reduces some of the adrenaline in your bloodstream which is important for keeping your anxiety away. Another effective activity is writing out your thoughts. Your mind has a tendency to focus on thoughts when you have them because it’s trying to get you to pay attention to them. But the mind also relaxes when it knows you’ve already recorded those thoughts.
Worry causes you to lose sight of the bigger picture.
It also causes you to lose sight of Jesus’ plan for your life. The truth is worry and fear may stress you out now but it won’t always be this way. First, reflect on the fact that whatever you fear now will likely not be on your radar down the line. There can be comfort in knowing that whatever you’re experiencing now isn’t a forever thing. Next, check in with your future self. How will you feel a year from now if you don’t take action towards your dreams? How about five or ten years from now? Remembering the bigger vision for your life can help you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown.
Worry keeps us from letting go and letting God.
Many Christians profess to trust God’s Will for their lives but when it comes down to letting go and letting God, they can’t. We know that God has a special plan and purpose for our lives and that Jesus can guide us on that path. Most of us don’t have trouble believing this. However, fear develops when we realize that His Will may not be the will we have for ourselves. When we’re afraid of God’s plan, we begin to doubt His Will for our lives. We then must ask ourselves, how do we let go of that fear and our plan and begin to trust Jesus? While we can’t physically hear Jesus, it’s important that we remain confident that God hears us and confident in God’s promises offered through Scripture.
While God calls us every single day to not be afraid, to simply trust Him in everything can be difficult. The Christian life is a constant battle between fear and trust. If we worry too much, we are not living the life God wants for us in Jesus Christ. One of the best ways to overcome worry is to remind yourself that Jesus is with you in all situations, no matter the size or magnitude. While worrying can break us down, Jesus can lift us up.