Anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, depression, etc are all mental attacks that spill over to our physical and spiritual wellbeing. They are all related and are weapons of our enemy, the devil. The devil is the father of lies (John 8:44).
But the Lord our God cannot lie:
God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? (Numbers 23:19 NLT)
As Christians, we know the Lord does not lie when He offers us a peace that surpasses all understanding:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
Many Christians I know have not come into the fullness of this promise and as a result they experience anxiety to different degrees. Here are two stories I use to put things into perspective for them so they can strive for the fullness of the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding:
Story #1- Once a sheep becomes the Lord’s property, it is permanent. That sheep may wander from the Lord’s pasture, but it will never experience peace during its wandering. That sheep will always be in anxiety and fear not knowing when the wolves will get him. Once that sheep realizes his situation and goes back to the Lord’s pasture, the wolves can no longer get him. But peace does not fully come right away. That sheep will continue to look over his shoulder for a long time because of habit. Peace becomes a process. Then as time goes by he will eventually learn that he no longer has to look over his shoulder. He can then bask in the Lord’s peace that surpasses all understanding.
Story #2- I always found that I do my best thinking while I am out running. The distractions of everyday life disappear during my exercise. I was thinking back when I was a teenager spending my summers in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Every morning I would wake up to heavy fog. I could not see anything clearly, but I knew the sun was above the fog, slowly burning it off. By mid-morning the fog was completely gone and the sun was shining bright and illuminating everything. It is the same way when people hand their lives over to Jesus. Not everything is clear in the beginning. The darkness may be gone, but the fog of life, such as anxiety, remains for a while until it is completely burned off by the Sun of God.
Anxiety, fear, worry, panic attacks, sleepless nights, OCD, depression, etc can all be very debilitating. Here are a few articles that may be a help:
What I have found to be the biggest remedy in my life is found in the word ‘acceptance’. The most traumatic experience I had in my life was when my beloved son died suddenly at the age of 23 for no reasonable explanation according to the County Coroner. If I didn’t accept his death and realize there was nothing I could do to bring him back, I knew it would have destroyed me. The same is with my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my LORD. He is my LORD and anything I have to go through in life is in His hands not mine. I must accept the good and the bad, knowing in the end that everything will work out for the good:
“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. (Job 2:10 NLT)
Acceptance of Jesus must be 100%. When it is not, a person opens themself up to things like anxiety. This is not my conclusion. This is what the Word of God reveals to us:
But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. (James 1:6-8 NLT)
What it all boils down to is there is hope for anxiety, and the ultimate hope is the Lord Jesus Christ!
The following video is an excerpt from the sermon ‘Groanings of the Holy Spirit’ Preached on 12/29/19 by Pastor Carter Conlon of TSCNYC where he weaves in Romans 8:22-32, Ezekiel 22:27-32, Jeremiah 29:11-13. The reason for this excerpt is that it centers on his testimony of how he was healed of ‘hell on earth’ panic attacks. Please share with anyone you know who suffers them.