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Anxiety Series: #1 Anxious For What?


 

Philippians 4:6,7 states "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; And the peace (Shalom) of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV).


Can I just start off with wow...This is a world that lives in anxiety, fear, and stress, and it was just told to be anxious for NOTHING?


Let's start off with some statistics about stress/anxiety

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) gives this as a definition of stress

"Stress can be defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives. Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way we respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to our overall well-being."

  • From the American Psychological Association we get this definition of anxiety;

"Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.

People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness, or a rapid heartbeat.

Anxiety is not the same as fear, but they are often used interchangeably. Anxiety is considered a future-oriented, long-acting response broadly focused on a diffuse threat, whereas fear is an appropriate, present-oriented, and short-lived response to a clearly identifiable and specific threat."

It's easy to point out in both of those defintions all the places God is not. NONE of that fits biblical truth of who we are because of what God has created us to be and set as promises for us. In fact Charles Mayo, co founder of the Mayo Clinic is quoted as saying "Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects health. I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from worry.".
God even makes that statement in Matthew 6:27 which states "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?".
  • From the American Psychiatric Association about 30% of adults will be effected by anxiety at some point in their lives. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has that rate closer to what the National Institute of Health (NIH) had, which was around 19% but still accounted for about 40 million adults.

That is a LOT of people.


So why do we see so many Christians dealing with anxiety daily in their lives? What does God say about anxiety/stress in our lives? What are some ways that we can adhere to the charge that God gives us to be anxious for NOTHING? What resources are there out there to work on not being anxious?


In this series I am going to attempt to work through some of those questions and more. Hoping you are ready to hop on board and join me!



 

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