I sat on the haystack with my head in my hands. Tears fell down my cheeks and my heart beat so fast I thought it would explode. The anxiety was getting the best of me and there was nothing I could do about it. Was it possible to find the cure to my anxiety?
My mind ran away with me. My thoughts controlled my day, my emotions and my happiness. I pleaded with God to take away the anxious thoughts. He didn’t. I couldn’t understand why God would allow me to live like this.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that God does have a cure for anxiety. It’s not a pill, and it’s not in talking it out with a therapist. Sure … there are times when those things are needed and I don’t want to take anything away from those who rely on those methods for relief.
I remember the day I found the word “anxiety” in the bible. It was a relief to know God talked about it. I didn’t know all the verses about it and I didn’t quite have a hold of how to control my anxious mind. But seeing that word in God’s word gave me a hope that maybe someday I would be delivered from this terrible nightmare I was living in.
Do we have to live with anxiety?
I’ve spoken on anxiety many times. I tell whoever will listen that there is hope for deliverance. But, I also know what it’s like to live with anxiety while praying to overcome. I know what it’s like to wake up and feel the heavy weight of pressure in your chest for no reason even though you have little ones who need you.
I know what it’s like to lie in bed and feel like you have to drag yourself out of it because you can’t succumb to the feeling of not wanting to live life. The real question is what do we do in those moments? What do we do when we pray to overcome anxiety and depression but we’re still battling it?
God’s word gives us the answers. Anxiety begins in the mind. There are times we don’t know why we feel anxious, but anxiety is just a result of uncontrolled thoughts of uncertainty. Anxiety surrounds the “what ifs” of life. It keeps us from living because of what may be … not what is.
So, what’s the first step in dealing with anxiety?
The answer: controlling our thoughts. Romans 12:2 is an ever popular verse that says, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
In order to battle anxiety we have to retrain our thought patterns. Most of us know that, but the real question is HOW do we do it? God says in Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts. His thoughts are higher than ours, but the Bible tells us that once we get saved we have the mind of Christ.
The only way to get God’s thoughts into our minds is to meditate on His word. We must be in His word daily in order to battle anxiety daily. We can pray to overcome, but what are we doing to allow God to transform our minds?
The second step in overcome anxiety is controlling our thought pattern.
I always say that we must burn calories by training our thoughts not to go towards the gutter. The gutter of our minds is not necessarily dirty thoughts. It can be, but it really means we default to conforming our minds to the ways of the world.
What are we dwelling on? Is our mind controlling us or are we controlling it? 2 Corinthians 10:5b says “We take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” We are either a slave to our thoughts or our thoughts are taken captive by us. It can’t be both ways.
God commands we take the thoughts captive and bring them into obedience to Christ. What does that mean? We make them line up to God’s word. If they do not edify or put our trust back on Christ, they are not healthy. We must be active in battling anxiety and not allow our minds to default to unhealthy thought patterns.
This becomes easier as you do it. So, here’s a way to make it easier:
- RECOGNIZE the thought patterns. Do they align to God’s word?
- If not, REFOCUS your thoughts and dwell on God’s word and bring your thoughts back to what’s true, lovely, praiseworthy and all the things Paul says we should think on (Phil 4:8).
- Get your mind RIGHT. 2 Tim 1:7 says God did not give us a spirit of fear. You can even insert the word anxiety here. God gave us a sound mind. A mind that works right and is equipped with power and love. Anything else is from the enemy and is a lie.
Lastly, battle the anxiety until you get deliverance.
I know God delivers from anxiety. How do I know this? Because He delivered me. I used to be anxiety ridden and fearful of everything .. even the things that didn’t exist. But, once I got into the word, God began to transform my mind. Transformation is a process that we must stick with.
Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. Many times we go to the quick fix or a fast cure. Trust me, I get it. Anxiety is it’s own prison. And if it’s not dealt with it can lead to depression (Prov 12:25). But, God can deliver you. It’s by His word.
The challenge today is to start the transformation process by committing to His word. Start a devotional, a bible study or Google all the verses about fear, anxiety, and the mind and look them up.
I’ll leave a few resources for you below. I have two podcast episodes that will really help you. I encourage you to listen to them today. If you have any questions about anxiety and depression, you can message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide other resources.
Real transformation is available. Don’t give up!