Resisting Anxiety – Part 1

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This multi-part series will uncover how we can become better equipped to resist anxiety when it shows up in your life.  Hopefully by reading this series, you will learn something new that you can apply to your own life.

One of the hardest things to learn and put into action is the ability to resist anxiety when it attacks.  Why is it so hard?  Time doesn’t weaken anxiety’s grip.  It can be triggered by the same single factor, each and every time, yet the intensity of the moment remains the same.  How, then, do we go about learning to resist anxiety more effectively?

Anxiety is a force that has always existed.  It’s not a new concept.  In fact, the Bible is littered with passages of scripture that speak about anxiety, and even how to resist it.  The first lesson in learning to resist anxiety comes from a story involving Peter, a disciple of Jesus.  If you suffer, or have suffered from anxiety at any point in your life, then you should meet this Peter guy.  So let me remind you of the story first…

22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:22-33

Here’s what I want to point out about this story.  Its in verse 30 and 31.  It says that Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him as he was sinking.

There are two things to learn from this.  Here’s the first:  As Christians, we are always taught that you need to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  This story is an example of why that is important.  Again in verse 31, It doesn’t say that Jesus walked to Peter and reached out his hand to catch him.  Peter walked toward Jesus, and because of that, Jesus was already next to Peter to catch him.  We need a personal relationship with Jesus so that we are closer to Him, so that when we feel like we are sinking, He can reach out His hand and give us the strength to make it through.

The first step in being able to resist anxiety as opposed to running from it, is having the trust that God will grant you the strength to make it through the storm.  For anyone reading this that has a personal relationship with God, what can be difficult sometimes is maintaining that relationship.  It’s like any relationship you have, it requires attention.  You have to take the time to spend with Him through prayer to keep your relationship with him strong.  If you currently don’t have a relationship with God, you should consider it.  I would not be where I am today if not for my relationship with Him.

The next time you find yourself going through anxious times, trust in God, and don’t be afraid to lean on others for help.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

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