THE PANDEMIC OF ANXIETY (3)
TOPIC: THE PANDEMIC OF ANXIETY (3)
TEXT: 2 PETER 1:1-15
The third solution to the problem of anxiety is, if the problem cannot be solved, then, with God’s help, learn to live with it. How can you learn to live with a “permanent” situation that causes anxiety? 1. Ask yourselves if the situation is really important enough to worry about. Jesus suggested that idea when He said, “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25b). Perhaps some matters that worry us are really too minor to merit our concern.
2. Consider the possibility that human beings have unrealistic expectations. It is unrealistic to think that you will be liked by everyone, that you will never experience defeat or get sick or lose a friend or makes a mistake or that a car or a refrigerator or a computer will never break down. It is unrealistic to believe that you will never experience difficult times or troubling emotions because you are a Christians. 3. Learn to live in by the day. “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Since most of the bad things we anticipate never happen, and since what has already happened cannot be changed, we should cease to worry about the future and the past (Philippians 3:13, 14). Concentrate your energy on the present, on living one day at a time.
4. You must accept the biblical admonition to be content. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:11b, 12; 1 Timothy 6:6). 5. Consciously cultivate Christian graces that will help you live with your difficulties. The Christian virtues of patience, self-control (2 Peter 1:6), forbearance (Colossians 3:13), and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32) will help you live with adversity. The person who bears the “fruit of the Spirit”—which includes love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22)—will be less inclined to worry than others.
6. Learn to live for others. Worry is usually a selfish matter. You should remember that, as someone has said, “Not everything is about me!” The more you concern yourself with encouraging others (Hebrews 3:13), and helping those in need (James 1:27)—the more you will forget yourself. If you forget yourself, you may forget to worry! 7. Regardless of how you feel, you must do what is right. Anxiety does not relieve us of our responsibilities. Even when we are depressed or worried, it is still possible to do what is right. We should always perform our duties, go to church, speak encouragingly to others, and help those in needs. Often, we may discover that doing the right thing causes us to feel better emotionally. 8. You may need to get help from understanding friends. Good friends are willing to listen and not condemn you for worrying; neither are they likely to make light of your troubles. Telling them about your worries may lighten your load. Just to articulate the negative feelings of your heart can help you to get rid of those feelings. Brothers and sisters in Christ should be the most understanding friends (James 5:16a).
The ultimate solution to the problem of anxiety, however, is none of the above. It is, rather, as Peter said to “cast all your burdens on God, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). You should remember that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Living a worry-free life is possible, it starts with you.
Word Affirmation: “…in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." - Romans 8:37 (Don't just say it, mean it!)
“If you forget yourself, you may forget to worry!"