Are you dealing with anxiety? Read on and glean precious truths and wisdom on how to conquer this common struggle.
Today at Nature + Nurture, I am THRILLED to feature this guest post from the lovely Janell Kremer at Mustard Seed Family. I was blessed to connect with Janell recently, and wow. Her wisdom from enduring the struggle of anxiety is a blessing to so many. These words have strengthened my heart today, as I know they will yours. Thank you, Janell, for sharing your gift of wisdom through your trials!
As someone who used to be a slave to anxiety, I can testify to how crippling it can be. But anxiety is just a fancy word for fear, is it not? We are afraid of what might happen, or what could happen. Our thoughts can take us on an unhealthy journey that only leads to more fear if we travel alone. But we don’t have to travel alone. We have someone on our side who conquered the grave. And when we turn our thoughts over to the one who formed our mind, He does an unbelievable transformation.
Surrendering our thought life isn’t a one-time ticket to a carefree attitude. We must be disciplined in a constant surrender to the truth that God lays before us in His word. And what better way to do that, than speaking out scripture in those anxious moments? “Discipline produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” [Hebrews 12:11]
So what should we do when the tremor of fear sends a flutter to our hearts? [Psalm 56:3-4] says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you, in God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Those two verses spell out our strategy of fighting that fear: placing our trust in the Lord by praising His word.
This world is full of traps set by the enemy to ensnare us, but God wants to make us aware of those traps so that we can avoid them altogether. The Lord does this by transforming our minds. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” [Romans 12:2]
Anxiety is not from God
God’s word tells us not to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). You heard that right -anything. For anxiety is an improper reaction to the situation God has placed us in. Is it part of the human condition? Yes. But just as we can resist temptation (with the power of the holy spirit that lives in us), we can also resist worry and fear of the unknown. When we are obedient to the request of handing those worries over to the Lord, God promises to protect our hearts and minds.
So there’s no question about God being able to bind our anxious thoughts. Instead the question is, do we believe He can? Or are we continuing to let anxiety build, in turn saying to our heavenly father, “God, I know you mean well by what you say, but I’m not sure you can pull it off.” Because that’s what we are telling him when we continue to conform to our way of thinking. In order for the Lord to transform our minds, we have to take that step of faith and declare that we believe God can do what He says He can do.
Another reason we know anxiety does not belong in our mind is because “the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” [2 Timothy 1:7] Fear is the devil’s playground. We can not let our mortal enemy have the victory. He is always pulling us from the spirit to the flesh. But we have power over the devil and his schemes. “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to son-ship.” [Romans 8:6 & 15]
Dealing with Anxiety: How to Fight Fear
1. Remain Connected
Our branch must be in constant connection with the vine. [John 15:4] says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.” So what does this mean? We must seek the Lord always, and we must spend time in the word. We must be willing to be obedient to God’s calling. For God’s love language is obedience, and there are many blessings that flow from walking in submission.
2. Ask for Discernment.
There are times when our thoughts become so clouded by anxiety and fear that we can no longer discern the assurance God gives us and the peace that the Lord delivers. [Philippians 1:9-10] says, “And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” When you start to worry, give God a chance to help you discern whether or not you should (but we already know that answer is “not”), and what actions you should take in that specific situation.
3. Replace the lies with the truth
In order to get our minds to submit to the spirit within us, we must replace those lies (thought and spoken) with the truth. It may sound silly, but there is power is speaking the truth out loud. You will notice that once you say the truth, the burden that seemed so heavy upon you just lightened in weight. That’s because you are surrendering the lie and accepting the truth. There is freedom in that sweet surrender. Even if you don’t believe the truth yet, practicing this over and over will build a wall of protection around your heart that no scheme of Satan can knock over.
This path to bravely fighting fear will be difficult, but not impossible. You have the Lord of heaven and earth on your side, and nothing against Him shall stand. Not anxiety. Not worry. Not fear. Are you ready to bravely fight that fear with me today?
If you found this post helpful, please share on Facebook or Pinterest! How do you fight against the enemy when dealing with anxiety?
Janell is a mama of two beautiful children. She has been fighting against Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, and offers support for those struggling with the debilitation of hopelessness and fear. You can connect with Janell on her blog, Mustard Seed Family , on Facebook, or on Instagram: @mustardseedfamilyblog.