by Adam Howard
Content Coordinator, CBN Europe
Anxiety, worry and tension are some of the most destructive forces we can face. They sap our strength and slowly undermine our faith. God longs for us to walk in the fullness of His freedom and break the chains of anxiety that can hold us back in enjoying our relationship with Christ.
Stress’ Source of Power
Anxiety, worry and tension occur when we face a situation and choose to rely upon our own strength rather than upon God and His Word. Maybe we have forgotten that God can handle any problem or perhaps we let our carnal nature persuade us that we can do a better job handling the situation ourselves. By doing this, we are actually engaging in a subtle form of idolatry. Consider the first commandment God spoke to Moses: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3, Deut. 5:7). In other words, we should trust God alone. When we choose to lean on our own understanding – instead of God’s promises – we are placing ourselves, or the overwhelming situations we are facing, “before” the Lord. The moment we step into that place of self-reliance, we open our emotions to a flood of anxiety, worry and tension. Do not fear; there is hope and freedom.
God wants us to be free from worry. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). To enter that rest we have to cut off stress’ source of power; our unbelief (Heb. 3:19). Jesus speaks to our anxious thoughts in Matthew 6:25-34. He tells us to look at how God feeds the birds of the air and arrays the lilies of the field. How much more will He care for his children? Then Jesus says, “Do not be anxious” about the things of this world. Instead, give God the proper priority in our lives – “Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness” – and He will take care of the rest.
Casting Our Cares Upon Him
Every day will bring new opportunities to cast our cares upon Him. One of the best ways we can do this is by replacing our worry and tension with prayer and thanksgiving. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”. This command is followed by a wonderful promise: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
Commit to the process. Begin incorporating God’s pattern for rest into your own life. Set aside and protect time with God, taking a break from your work routine so you can enter His rest and rhythm. As we learn to take God at His Word, walk in His favour and trust in His strength, our worries will be replaced by a precious peace that goes beyond our understanding.
As You Pray
Are you walking in His peace? Or are you weighed down by anxiety, worry and tension? There’s a simple solution: tell God you are sorry for not believing His promises, begin to give Him first place in your life, and then enter into His rest.
Further reading: Matthew 6:26-34, Matthew 13:22 , Luke 21:34, Joshua 1:8-9, James 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 22:3-5
Take a few moments right now to enter into the rest God has for you:
“Father, forgive me for my unbelief. I no longer want to trust in my own strength. Thank You for caring so deeply for me. I give You all my worries. I know I can trust You with these situations. I accept Your rest. Please teach me how to walk in Your rest each and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen”.