I used to be a very anxious person. When I was a freshman in college, tests would get me so worked up that I felt sick. When I married a soldier and moved far from home, I began to have “travel anxiety,” especially when I had to fly home. It was a nightmare for my nerves. When my husband began to spend a lot of nights out training, I would be up all night, panicking at every little sound. Meeting new people, job interviews, and driving in heavy traffic made my anxiety skyrocket. I even considered getting medication for it at one point, at least for flying.
It wasn’t until I started reading the bible and I accepted Jesus into my life that my anxieties started to disappear. This didn’t happen suddenly or overnight. It was a gradual process as I learned more about God and his love for me. I began to put my trust in him and I discovered the power of prayer. The real eye opener was when I learned that the saying “ye of little faith” applies to those who worry. Having faith in God means trusting him enough to not worry or have anxiety about things. Faith and fear cannot exist together. My hope in writing this article is that it will help you find the peace that I have found by trusting God.
Matthew 6: 27 offers a very logical explanation of why we shouldn’t worry. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” No, we certainly can’t! What good comes from anxiety? For me, all it did was keep me from enjoying the gifts God had blessed me with. When we are so focused on our fears, we miss out on all of the wonderful things he has laid before us. I used to have to fly with the window covering down because I was too scared to look out and I was too busy trying not to have a panic attack. Now, I can actually look out the window and see the amazing views that I have been missing out on all this time!
I think one of our biggest worries is about the future. There are so many “what if” questions that we can ask and many of them can cause anxiety. Matthew 6: 34 says “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Do not worry about tomorrow or the next day. If we let future events cause us so much anxiety, we won’t be able to enjoy the present.
If you’re wondering how you can find peace in your current situation, take a look at Philippians 4: 6-7. “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.” If you have a lot of anxiety, it may seem impossible to not be anxious about anything. Don’t let that discourage you. When you are feeling anxious, pray. Ask God to take your anxiety away. Ask him to fill you with calm and peace. 1 Peter 5: 7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” He wants us to do this. He wants us to turn to him with our worries and our fears and he wants to take them away. Why? Because he cares for us.
If you are still uncertain about trusting God with your anxieties, let me tell you about the great reward. Jeremiah 17: 7-8 says, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Please join me in repeating David’s words in Psalm 56: 3-4. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise- in God I trust and am not afraid.”