“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV).
Many Christians suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a type of fear or apprehension that sometimes does not have a definite cause. It can be experienced as a feeling of dread that plagues the individual to the point where the daily tasks of life can seem to be extremely burdensome. Anxiety is a natural reaction to some situations, but it becomes a real problem if it remains consistently, only varying in degrees of severity. Anxiety is a child of fear.
An anxious person may not actually feel fearful, but anxiety is most certainly related to fear. It is the sense that something is happening, or will happen, that is out of a person’s control, and this perceived negative event will cause some type of damage. Anxiety is “dark” anticipation. God understands human nature, and he did not leave us defenseless against any emotional issue that has the potential to harm us.
If you are born-again, fear and anxiety are not a part of the “real” you, the part of you that was created in Christ’s image. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NASB). Anxiety comes from the flesh, the part of a Christian that the “new birth” did not directly affect. The born-again human spirit, which has been united with God’s Spirit, produces only what is positive. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-21, NKJV). We fight anxiety and fear with the fruit of the Spirit; specifically, we fight anxiety with peace.
The first thing that we must understand is that we are responsible for taking control of our mental state. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NKJV). God will not force his peace upon us, we must receive it by faith. And if our hearts are troubled, we are somehow allowing it. The peace of God will cancel out fear and anxiety, but we must seek it. Peace resides on the inside of every Christian, and it is the responsibility of the Christian to release this spiritual force. God’s children should not cling to their worries.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV). God tells us to let him carry our worries for us. He is strong enough to handle all of our problems, even the big ones. In fact, none of our problems are big to God. Christians must bring their concerns and fears to the Lord and leave them with him; we have his word that he will be with us, and he will help us. As long as we invite our Father in, there is no situation that we will face that he will not be a part of. “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” (Isaiah 41:10, NKJV).
Christians face many problems this side of heaven, but the Lord wants us to be victorious in all of our battles. We have all that we need to live our lives free of anxiety and fear. God has given us his peace, and this spiritual force will destroy anxiety and fear. It is up to us to release this fruit of the Spirit and walk in the assurance that God is with us.