by Gini Crawford, MSW
The key to stopping sinful anxiety or calming reaction anxiety in your life, is to have a mind set of trusting God, instead of trusting in yourself, someone or something else (Isaiah 26:3-4). It is evident that trusting God is essential when dealing with anxiety because God's Word tells us to trust God in every and all circumstances.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body ... Proverbs 3:5-8 NASB®
The Hebrew definition of trust means a confident hope in God - that allows you to relax and not have constant anxiousness. In the Complete Word Study of the Old Testament, the word trust (batach) has the idea of: to attach oneself, to trust, rely on, confide in, feel safe in, be confident in, secure in. When we trust in God, we are trusting in the fact He has a loving plan for our lives, and what is making us anxious He is using for that plan (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28-39; 1 Peter 1:3-7). The world offers turmoil, but God offers stability, hope, well-being and perfect peace.
Don't worry, have faith in God
In Matthew 6, we have a number of short examples from God, on why we can have faith/trust in Him and not worry. God tells you to seek Him concerning what you need. God will meet our needs!
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear... Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'… your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow (the what ifs…), for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
Thinking of 9/11, an example from my life: Our nation will probably have another terrorist attack. This thought makes my mind think, "Oh no, what if that happens or that or that ... how will we get water if the electricity is off in Tucson and so on." As I think these things, of course a feeling of anxious-worry starts encompassing my body. But then I remember what God says in Matthew 6:25-34. So I think, "God knows what we need each and every day and will provide it. He doesn't let the birds die of thirst. I need to remind myself (moment by moment if need be), to have faith in Him instead of freaking out. He will lead us, as we seek Him." Can you relate? (God led us to store extra water, food and other things.)
As I revise this devotional into a daily devotional in 2020, I have to smile, for God knew we wouldn't have a large terrorist attack but a Pandemic. One of the things we stored were N95 masks. At the time, I thought we were being paranoid storing masks. I just sent those masks to an ER nurse in Colorado who needed them greatly, because of the coronavirus. God knew!
Rely on the Creator Who cares for us
When we know God's truths and act upon them, we are then relying on or trusting in our loving Creator, Who is Sovereign over everything, and is unchanging and eternal - instead of relying on the world's ever-changing ups and downs. God tells us in 1 Peter 5 to cast or throw our anxiety on God, because He cares about us. We cast our anxiety upon Him by mentally relying on Him and His Word to calm our fears.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
The what ifs of trusting
Sometimes I am trying to trust God, but my source of anxiety is screaming in my mind to be nervous. I want to trust God with my fearful or worrisome circumstances, but it seems at times, I just default to feeling nervous or worse. Do you find yourself in the same predicament? What do we do?
Ask God to show you if your anxiety is from sin - sinful anxiety. If your source of anxiety is a sin such as you lied, ask God to forgive your lie, then rely on Him to help you do what is right. You will have His peace. Read Psalm 32:3-11.
If you are trying to trust God but your source of anxiety such as your finances is weighing on you, then ask Him to give you the strength and understanding to trust Him with your finances instead of stressing out. Sometimes your reaction anxiety just won't go away no matter how much you trust God, because of various reasons. You are doing your best. God understands your struggles and is there with you. If you are trusting in Him, then keep persevering with God and ask Him to help you to calm your reaction anxiety. Read Psalm 37:3-8; Jeremiah 17:5-8; 1 Peter 5:7.
Don't forget, Jesus suffered to stop our eternal suffering, to bring well-being/peace to us, and yes, to stop our anxiety. Read Isaiah 53:4-6; John 16:33; Revelation 7:16-17.
Meditate on Jeremiah 17:5-8 for a few minutes.