Several years ago, there was a time when I was dealing heavily with anxiety.
I started thinking about how these anxiety attacks affected me. I then began to wonder what is the meaning of anxiety?
According to the Oxford Dictionary anxiety is the feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It can be a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks. It can be an infinitive strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
I think that many times we tend to brush things off.
Brushing it off is not really going to help because the basis of anxiety is being anxious. Which funny enough is the base word or point of origin where we get the word anxiety from.
When we allow ourselves to be anxious, we truthfully are not fully putting our trust in God or that he has our best interest in mind.
Yet this is not true. Hang on and I will expound on this in a moment.
When we fail to deal with the point of our anxiety, we allow ourselves to be controlled by the emotions and feelings that go along with it.
When this happens, we allow our emotions to become an overwhelming force, causing anxiety to build up to an overwhelming waterfall. This is when we get to the point of having an anxiety attack.
So how do you know if you’re having an anxiety attack?
You could have an overwhelming sudden sense of fear.
You could even have trembling, shortness of breath, nausea,
and some people even fill a sense of choking.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It does however give you an understanding that when someone has one of these attacks it becomes overwhelming.
In reality fear is the root if being anxious and what leads to these anxiety attacks.
When it reaches this level it’s to the point where it becomes overwhelming, just like that wave. However, the Bible tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear. He even tells us that he’s given us a spirit of power love and a sound mind (2 TIM 1:7).
With God giving us this point of stability, we need to stop looking to the fear that’s coming against us and begin to set our eyes on God and his word.
When we place our eyes on things like cognitive behavioral therapy, we are looking for a psychiatrist to be our help.
However, God is our counselor through his Holy Spirit. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by all the noise of this world. Because he has already provided all that we need.
The Bible teaches us that we have not because we asked not (James 4:2-3). So why is it that we’re not asking with our heart for truth peace in the midst of fear and anxiety?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
What is this CBT? Well it’s a type of therapy or psychotherapy that is used by mental health counselors in a structure way, they use it to help you become aware of differences in the balances in your life, situations that you need to more clearly respond to, or areas you need to think of in a different way.
So why don’t we use the Holy Spirit as our counselor instead of going to a psychologist? I fully believe in modern medicine. However, when we are chasing after a medical doctor before we chase after the great physician Christ our healer, I believe we’re missing the mark.
The word of God tells us in John 14:16-17:
John 14:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
Notice here that God sends us one
that he will be our helper
and who will abide with us.
But what exactly does he do?
Well it says in John 14:26:
John 14:26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
We see here that the Holy Spirit Will teach us all that we need to know. Not stopping there but bringing to our remembrance what he taught us, in the moment we need it. The simple warning here is for us not to put our eyes on our self and our situation, but instead to place our eyes on Him.
Yet so many times we do not take the time to deal with things that are weighing on us. Instead we tend to allow ourselves to put it off and deal with it later. When we do this, we also tend to fall into the habit of not dealing with the issue.
Now this may seem like a non-issue. Many times, we feel that if we have forgotten about it then it is all good.
We feel it is forgotten, and now is no longer an issue.
However, there is something called giving silent permission. Even though legally it may not be a true act of giving permission. Most of the time this is enough for someone to think or take it that you are in agreement with them.
We actually see this in the courts today. Think about the many people that have opposing views to laws and political issues. Many of these laws get passed due to the fact that no one opposes the issues being raised or even those brought before the courts. This could be due to fear of what others may think, fear of ridicule, or even not wanting to be bothered with the process to further support their view. Either way, it is giving permission through silence. The very act of not saying anything removes their voice, their opinion, their ability to vote in the matter and the one that is ether accusing or trying to be heard is the only one that has their view, voice, or vote recognized.
In the same way when we do not deal with anxiety, we allow ourselves to open a gateway for the enemy to attack and wreak havoc in our lives.
The key to preventing anxiety from having a stronghold in our life is immediately dealing with the thought. Taking charge of it through immediate action. We must at the moment of the thought refuse it place in our lives even in our subconscious.
If we do not immediately deal with it, we will have to verbally address the issue later in prayer.
God however did not leave us unable to defend ourselves. He provided the armaments to defend and take command of our situation.
Ephesians 6:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Not only has He given us the shield of faith to protect us from these attacks, but he has also made sure we are aware that we are not fighting a fight in our own strength, with our own hands.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
God has truly taken our best interest to heart! He has already made the way of escape for your situation even before you asked. All you need to do is reach out and begin to take hold of the tools and grace He has provided you through His word and teaching of the Holy Spirit.