We must believe Gods promise that, by His grace, we can win the war against worry and anxiety.
Family Counseling Ministries -
God calls each of us, as Christians, to face various trials in order to teach us obedience and trust. If we live to please ourselves, however, we will view those difficult circumstances as reasons to worry and to fear, rather than as opportunities to grow in our faith. In this third article of a four-part series on anxiety, Dr. Don Dunlap explains that if we want to stop the sin of worrying, we must develop a strategy for success.
God calls us, as Christians, to face various trials in
order to teach us obedience and trust. If we live to please ourselves, however,
we will view those difficult circumstances as reasons to worry and to fear
rather than as opportunities to grow spiritually.
If we want to stop the sin of worrying we must develop a plan
The writer of Ephesians 4:22-24 reminds us,
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to
put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be
made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to
be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
This passage encourages every Christian to develop a
specific plan to overcome the sins of anxiety, worry and fear.
The first suggested step in this plan is to express genuine
repentance before God for any anxiety or fear that we have allowed to creep
into our lives. We must not try to justify our reasons for being fretful or
fearful. We should simply ask God to forgive us.
We must believe Gods promise that by His grace, we can win
the war against anxiety.
Next, we begin a war that we expect to win against worry
and fear. In Hebrews 12:3,4, we find the command to fight sin wholeheartedly:
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so
that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you
have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
If we truly desire to resist temptation and to attain
victory over sin, we must yield our minds, our bodies and our hearts to
Christs Lordship, whatever the personal cost may be.
As we grow stronger in this battle the Lord will use
small defeats to show us our utter need for Him. These losses should serve to
increase our determination to be victorious. We may lose some minor battles but
we will win the war. If we do not expect to win, however, every small defeat
will discourage us rather than point us on to God and to victory.
We should acknowledge the fact that we are engaged in
The battle against anxiety and fear is far more than a
physical or mental struggle. It is spiritual warfare. Paul explains in
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the
rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
It is helpful to memorize key scripture passages that
address the sins of worry and fear, such as Deuteronomy 6:13, Proverbs 1:7,
12:25, 22:4, Luke 21:34, Romans 8:15, Philippians 4:6,7 and 1 Peter 5:5,6.
God renews our minds as we memorize His life-giving Word. He
wants us to win the battle against worry and fear and He lovingly uses the
pressure of the battle to motivate us to seek Him. We are dependent upon Gods
grace and strength every hour to overcome the sinful habit of worrying.
When we worry excessively we are focused on ourselves.
In 1 John 4:18 we find these words, There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one
who fears is not perfected in love. When fear and worry begin to consume us we
can be certain that our focus is turned inward. If we are committed to
following Jesus example we will choose to focus our love, our concern and our
attention on other people rather than focusing selfishly on ourselves.