Here on Earth, we deal with all kinds of fears and anxieties. Surprise!! It is part of life to worry at times, of course, but we are told clearly and not so clearly that we aren’t supposed to feel those emotions. Especially in some Christian circles, anxiety or depression are seen as temporary conditions that must be overcome lest we fall into sin as a result. I feel certain that this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the very real struggles that many people experience daily, and sometimes all their lives. Denying the reality of anxiety doesn’t make it go away. It only adds shame and guilt to something that is already extremely difficult.
The Bible is very clear that we are not alone in our fears. Everyone whose lives we see described in the pages of Scripture live with anxiety in many ways, and hopefully find at the end of the day that God, in His mercy relieves those fears and replaces it with his peace, and hope. To me, that means we all have the chance to experience the journey from worry to a place of acceptance, and victory. This is not necessarily a linear journey, we will find ourselves feeling stronger one day, weaker another; able to find hope in one moment, overwhelmed by doubts the next. The thing that offers true relief is when we look back and see a change for the better as we learn to find ways to cope with our struggles.
In 1 Peter 5:7-11 we see this: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
This gives an encouraging, realistic way of beginning to hand over to God the control of our invasive thoughts, and doubts about ourselves or others. We are standing in the company of others who go through similar seasons, and they can support us by their empathy, prayers, and compassionate presence. We can also access tools to help us take a step at a time, whether those tools include therapy, medication, or other methods. They may not be ends in themselves, but they can offer us a way to try new solutions and learn new ways to cope in healthier ways.
There is more that could be said on this subject, but I want everyone to know that there is hope for you if you suffer from something like anxiety. It’s often easy to feel isolated, but we are not alone, and if you need someone to listen, please reach out to someone you trust, and ask for help. I am praying for you because I’m on my own journey through anxiety. I can tell you that God is there for you, even when you don’t feel Him. He will help you find solutions, and he’s waiting to help give you a hope and a future. Cast all your cares on Him.
Rev John McCarty