Blog Series: Attacking Anxiety

Attacking Anxiety Fractured families. Crippling financial debt. Political strife. Rampant violence and immorality. Scuffling economies. Countries in turmoil. Unstable job security and an unemployment epidemic. Widespread hunger. Catastrophic weather events. Poor health. Uncertain futures. Religious persecution. In almost any direction you look today, there is some issue that could cause you to worry.

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Overwhelmed by Anxiety? Anxiety, fear, worry, and stress are familiar words in our day, and familiar experiences to many. More and more we’re hearing of an extreme form of anxiety referred to as a “panic attack.”

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Worn Out by Worry Worry is a common temptation for all of us. The source of the anxiety might vary from person to person, but no one is completely immune. For some, it’s even a favorite pastime, occupying large portions of their days by troubling over their doubts and fears about the future.

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John MacArthur on Anxiety and God’s Sovereignty It should be clear by now that unchecked anxiety isn’t good for you. It’s a sin expressly forbidden by the Lord, so there is the spiritual cost to consider. But it’s also harmful to your health, your productivity, and your relationships. It wreaks havoc throughout your life, and as we saw yesterday, it strangles your mind.

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Observing God’s Care Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, is one of the most intriguing creations of literary fiction. He is, quite simply, extraordinary. His famous cohort, Dr. John Watson, is ordinary, at least by comparison. Watson has often been erroneously portrayed as a bumbling fool, but that flies in the face of Doyle’s attempt to make the average reader relate to Watson.

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What Did Jesus Say About Worry? You probably remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” trend from the late ’90s. It seemed everywhere you looked, plastered across T-shirts, hats, jewelry, and all kinds of other merchandise, the WWJD slogan was a blithe, shallow reminder to live up to Christ’s moral code…

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Our Father Overcomes Our Anxiety, Part 1 One of the most hopeless aspects of unrepentant sinners’ lives is that they have no answer for anxiety. They’re forced to put their hopes in flimsy, fallible plans and institutions. They aren’t able to rest firmly in the unchanging promises of God—they have to ride out every wave of calamity, every unexpected disaster.

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Our Father Overcomes Our Anxiety, Part 2 God is sovereignly in control of all things. That fact alone ought to dispel much of our anxiety. And when we consider the Lord’s fatherly care for His people, we see just how foolish, unnecessary, and impotent our worry truly is.

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The Incompatibility of Faith and Anxiety If you worry, what kind of faith do you manifest? “Little faith,” according to Jesus (Matthew 6:30). If you are a child of God, you by definition have a heavenly Father. To act like you don’t, nervously asking, “What will I eat? What will I drink? What will I wear for clothing?” is to act like an unbeliever in God’s eyes (vv. 31-32).

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The Folly of Worry in Light of Our Future Much of our anxiety is born out of concerns and uncertainty regarding our future. We get caught up in our plans and programs, overlooking the blessings of today and obsessing over uncontrollable details on the horizon…

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Replacing Worry with the Right Focus God’s Word is clear—believers are not to be given over to anxiety. But it’s not simply a cold, abrupt command to stop worrying. Scripture is clear that we shouldn’t focus on the plans, needs, and uncertainties of tomorrow, but it’s also clear about where our focus should be instead.

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Casting Your Cares on God, Part 1 The apostle Peter was a worrier. He worried about drowning when he was walking on water, even though Jesus was right there with him (Matthew 14:29-31). He worried about what was going to happen to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, so he pulled out his sword and tried to take on a battalion of Roman soldiers (John 18:2-3, 10). And when he worried about Jesus being crucified, Peter ordered God Himself not to go to the cross (Matthew 16:22).

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Casting Your Cares on God, Part 2 A prideful heart cannot find rest in God’s sovereignty. A person who values his or her own plans, opinions, and desires above all else has nowhere to turn when worry creeps in. In fact, pride paves the way for an anxious heart.

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Having Peace in Every Circumstance, Part 1 Any anxious Christian would love to have this prayer offered on his behalf: “May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. . . . The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

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Having Peace in Every Circumstance, Part 2 It’s only through God’s grace that believers can face every circumstance with calm, assured peace. Anxiety does not have to reign in our hearts—we can hold fast to God’s peace and provision through any of life’s storms.

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Having Peace in Every Circumstance, Part 3 Believers often find themselves living in contradiction to the world, and we should. The runaway anxiety and constant fear that grips so much of the world does not have the same hold on us—or at least, it shouldn’t. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at anxiety from a biblical perspective, and examining God’s care and provision for His people, and how that should free us from worry.

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