How to Manage Worry, Anxiety and FearJan 05, 2023
Hey, Andy here. Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you want to watch this session, check out our Youtube channel - @Heaveninbusiness and make sure you subscribe. You can also listen to this as a podcast - Authentic Conversations with Andy Mason.
Do you get worried about stuff? The cashflow. The future. The other people doing things that affect you. The relationship conflict. The cultural conflict. If I keep going down this line I'd have to include the local and national and global conflict over values... this list goes on. Full confession, I can get anxious and troubled really fast.
Then I read what Jesus said about worry, anxiety and fear...
The context was Jesus telling his closest companions that it was about to get bad, real bad...but that they should rejoice?! And that He was leaving but would return (?!) and that people would hate them and harm them because they followed Him... Awesome!
Let not your heart be troubled;
you believe in God, believe also in Me.
=> So if [or when] I fully believe [trust] in Jesus, the result is I wont let my heart get anxious, troubled, worried... Hmmmm.
And there's more...
Peace I leave with you;
My [own] peace I NOW give and bequeath to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
DO NOT LET your hearts be troubled,
NEITHER LET THEM be afraid.
[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed;
and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
John 14:27 (AMPC - emphasis mine)
=> Oh, so I only worry when I don't trust God and in fact I have been ALLOWING or LETTING or CHOOSING worry. Oops.
So, how do I fix this? What's the plan?
That's where I read John 15, paraphrased it says this
1. Remain (abide, dwell, be constantly connected and present with) in Me
2. Let my Word remain (same definition above) in you
3. Don't let your hearts be troubled
- about evil doers
- about wicked schemes
- about what you need
- about others prospering
- about trouble when it comes
- about tomorrow…
For the Lord will be your confidence and Will Keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:25, 26
And it all connects with other passages of scripture:
Psalm 91 - remain with God and He watches over you. MAKE the Lord your refuge...
Psalm 37 - rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him... Do not fret
Psalm 16 - SET the Lord always before you and you will never be shaken AND you get joy
Matt 6:34 REFUSE to worry about tomorrow..
Joshua 1 - Be strong and courageous; do not fear
2 Timothy 1:7 God hasn't given us fear but power, love and a SOUND mind (self-control of our thoughts - the ability to manage what we are thinking)
So the bigger question is...
How do I believe Jesus, remain in Him and let His Word remain in me? THIS is the key to never being (or allowing yourself to be) moved or shaken or anxious or troubled. Choose to remain in Him rather than choosing to remain in fear. This is not some wave-the-wand-and-instantly-you-are-better trick. This is the result of a LIFESTYLE of leaning into Jesus and His Word. It is allowing His WORD - His Voice to be louder than all the other voices. It is choosing to lean into the truth that He is always with me, never leaves me and with the Spirit of Jesus inside, there is nothing that can keep me down.
So let's get real practical...
HOW do I remain or abide or lean in to God - in His Presence - face-to-face with God.... (lot's of different terms through scripture effectively meaning the same thing). Jesus said it like this: "I only do what I see my father doing." He was walking conscious of the Spirit of God Almighty with Him. Always.
Here's some ideas to help you:
- Be intentional. Nothing of depth/substance is built without intentionality. You don't have to be crazy legalistic about it but you do need to choose what you will do. It's either DAY ONE or one day... Choose TODAY what you will do.
- Be accountable. Tell someone what you will do and give them permission to ask you about it. Anytime.
- Be consistent. Give us THIS DAY our DAILY bread. Set aside focused time daily. If I am serious about REMAINING in good physical condition I must (especially as I get older) consistently invest in activity that ensures this. Left to my own devices I am guaranteed to procrastinate, eat what and when I like and end up unhealthy (a nice term meaning I will continue to purchase larger sizes of clothing and be positioned for increasing health problems!) So I must be consistent. It is a choice. Daily.
Here's the basics... (it's not rocket science, if the untrained, uneducated disciples can get it then we can also!)
- Read your bible daily (try the bible in a year or a reading plan - REMAIN in the Word)
- Worship corporately at least weekly
- Journal what you are hearing and learning (capture it, take God/his Word seriously)
- Practice gratitude
- Train yourself to be conscious of the Presence of God - be still and KNOW God Ps 46
- Pray in the Spirit, often (and out loud when you can)
- Be obedient. Quickly
- Practice repentance. Search me God and know me. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me. And lead me in the path everlasting.
- Worship on your own, with your work, with your voice, with your attitude...
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