Hearing from God about anxiety

12 Mar

I wonder whether you ever feel anxious? Have you felt fearful as you have watched the footage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? Do you ever worry about your job, or your relationships or what you will do with your life?

You may remember that I wrote a post about fear back in January. Although it’s something that I’m dealing with I feel like anxiety might be a temptation that I’m battling against for the rest of my life. However, God really gave me some encouragement on this subject last week and I want to record it for myself to remember as much as to encourage you too.

I’ll start from the beginning…

In my mentoring sessions we’re going through the book ‘The me I want to be’ by John Ortberg. One of the exercises from our last session was to take note at several times in the day how you were feeling emotionally and spiritually. It came to my attention that I often felt anxious or nervous.
I couldn’t even put my finger on why. It was if my head knew that there was nothing to be concerned about but my body felt like I was anxious [tense muscles, nervous feeling in the stomach etc.]

Anyway, last week I woke up with a start because I’d just dreamt that I turned round in my office chair and our resident homeless man was in the office looking at me. It was a very short dream and he didn’t do anything but I knew he was there with a bad intent. I proceeded to lie in bed half-asleep thinking about all the things that could happen to me when I’m in church on my own.

Suddenly, as if a bucket of water had been thrown over me I snapped awake and heard the Lord say ‘why do you think you feel anxious when this is what you fill your mind with.’

The next day I was at work and decided to listen to a sermon on anxiety from Philippians 4. I didn’t know what the verse was but several things jumped out at me immediately.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

I know both of these verses but I never actually realised that they were written together. It was God again reminding me of the point he had made to me the night before. When I feel anxious I need to be giving everything to God and trusting that he will sort out the situation for his good.
But more than that… I need to be constantly filling my mind with what is pure, lovely, praiseworthy, excellent and admirable, not dwelling on the things that scare and worry me. I think in theory I was trusting God, but I was still keeping a little bit of the stress on myself so I could prepare myself for worst-case scenarios. However, I can never truly have the peace of God if that’s what I’m filling my mind with.

I’m still processing all this but I am so glad for this prompting, correcting and encouragement from God and I’m hoping I can continue to work on this temptation to be anxious along with him.

Quick questions

1. Are you still reading?! Phew, this has been a long post
2. What do you tend to feel anxious about?
3. Has God ever told you something so clearly you just can’t miss it?!


7 Responses to “Hearing from God about anxiety”

  1. Naomi Weir March 12, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    This is really encouraging, I often get scared and anxious. When I was in Marseilles Laura challenged me on it, she’s been praying for my fears for a while. I know that it is something that I can overcome, but I seem to choose to fill my mind with ‘what-if’ scenarios.

  2. Maureen March 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    I feel anxious about a variety of things on a daily basis, one main thing in particular. I’m trying to work through it but it’s hard. Sometimes I wonder if God really wanted to help me do my best, why did He wire my brain this way? It doesn’t seem fair, but perhaps it’s just a challenge to try harder.

    • julia kaysen March 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

      I don’t think it was God that wired your brain that way, its the way your brain changed through things that have happened to you since you were born. Thats why we should have HOPE, big hope, that God can change us and our difficulties into something much more useful and beautiful.

  3. julia kaysen March 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    I read a REALLY good book once based on Elijah’s struggles in 1Kings 19 that helped me. (Prayer that works – Jill Briscoe)For me, its people rather than situations that I get scared by – well, and the places they might turn up I suppose! Your musings on Phil 4 are very helpful though, maybe I should stick those verses up on a kitchen cupboard somewhere …

  4. Chloe March 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Yes, I used to feel anxious. Very anxious. (Just remember those posts I wrote some months before my wedding… I was really nervous!!)
    But not any more. When I start to feel anxious I just remember God will do whatever He thinks is the best for me. I trust him.
    God told me this a few months ago. And it made me change completely.

  5. Melissa March 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    I love this post, thank you for writing it. Fear & anxiety is something i have always dealt with & i still do (though maybe not as bad as at one time). Like you, i often think of “what if” scenario’s & my imagination can go crazy. Sometimes i think of losing my husband – like if he were to get in a car accident or something – & i can’t bear it. I can start crying just thinking of it & have to force myself to think of something else! I am scared of not being able to conceive when the time comes (for no other reason than that i know so many people who have had trouble with this), and that is silly – why worry or be fearful when it’s something that may not happen at all?! Anyway, i am thankful for this post… helps to put things into perspective! Don’t even let your mind go there, Melissa! 🙂

    I have heard God speak to me that clearly & i love it. It’s like there is NO DOUBT that He is the one who dropped that in your spirit. 🙂

  6. Rachael Dabbs April 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm #


    I really like this post. I often have issues with anxiety, especially about work. It’s good to know we’re not the only ones and like you say to remind ourselves who is in control in the end. God is. No matter what life throws at us, we are in his care and He is greater and higher than us. Not only that but God blesses us so much by showing us we can trust him with our lives bit by bit.

    Much love
    p.s. my blog is up and running again!

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