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					Anxiety: Stress & Worry
Anxiety: Stress & Worry
• What Is Anxiety?

• What Causes Anxiety?

• Dangers Of Anxiety

• Overcoming The Problem
What is Anxiety?
• Distress about future, either near or distant,
  uncertainties…
   – It is characterized by mental agitation and
     uneasiness
   – It may be mild or severe
• Tears at the soul, keeps us up at night,
  consumes our thoughts, causes stress.
• A direct attack from Satan. (1 Pet. 5:6-8)
   – Paralyzes Christians from being effective
   – Draws them to sins to distract them from their
     work
What is Anxiety?
                       8%
                    Legitimate
                     Concerns            40%
        10%
                                         Never
        Petty
                                        Happen
    Miscellaneous



       12%
      Health

                               30%
                             Past, or
                            Cannot Be
                             Changed
What Causes Anxiety?
• Anxiety is caused by real or imagined threats
  to our well being.

  – We feel vulnerable and inadequately protected
    against these threats

  – Threats such as social rejection, physical injury or
    disease, poverty, death, and a wide range of other
    threats
What Causes Anxiety?
• Anxiety has three main elements:
  – Insecurity:
    “Something bad is going to happen to me.”
  – Helplessness:
    “There is nothing I can do.”
  – Isolation:
    “There is no one to help me.”
  – These causes may operate individually or in
    various combinations
• Emotionally, they cause just as much anxiety
  if they are imagined as if they were real
Dangers of Anxiety (Matt. 6:24-34)
• Directly opposes God's commands –
  v. 25, 31, 34; Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:7
• Demotes human worth - v. 26
• Futile - v. 27, 32; Mk. 16:3-4
• Causes people to rely on themselves –
  v. 30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8
• Heathenistic - v.32
• Deters from Christian duty - Eph. 5:15-16
• Impairs health - 1 Cor. 6:20
• Creates lack of trust – Jas. 1:5,6; Mk. 11:24
• Chokes the Word in Christian's life - Luke 8:14
• Robs Christian of joy, peace, and happiness –
  Phil. 4:4, 1 Thes. 5:17; Prov. 17:22
Overcoming Anxiety
• Trust In God…
  – The best remedy is to deal with the problem's
    causes, not just its symptoms
  – What is the truth about insecurity, helplessness,
    and isolation with regard to the Christian?
     • While the Christian may feel insecure, the reality is
       that he is very secure - Pro. 3:21-26; Heb. 4:16
     • While the Christian may feel helpless, the reality is
       that he has great help – Rom. 8:31; Psa. 27:5
     • While the Christian may feel isolated, the reality is
       that God is always at his side –
       Psa. 23:4; Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5,6
Overcoming Anxiety
• Trust In God…
  – The remedy for anxiety is complete trust and
    confidence in God's ability to deal with anything that
    threatens us –
    Jn. 14:1; Phil. 4:13; Deut. 31:7,8; Rom. 8:31
     • The more we learn about God, the more we know His
       infinite power and His concern for us - 1 Pet. 5:6,7
     • The avenue of prayer is open to the Christian to
       request God's help- 1 Jn. 5:14
     • God has promised peace of mind to those who are
       willing to commit their anxieties to Him –
       Jn. 16:33; Phil. 4:6,7; 1 Pet. 4:19
Overcoming Anxiety
• Trust In God…
  – This term appears on our coinage, but has lost its
    meaning
  – If we fully trust in God, we shall have peace.
    Acts 27:25; Isa. 26:3
Overcoming Anxiety
• Read The Bible
  – Committing ourselves to God's safekeeping
    requires that we grow in our knowledge of God
    and love for Him
  – Thus, the most important thing we can do is study
    the Scriptures, pray, and meditate on God's
    promises to His faithful people – Rom. 15:4
Overcoming Anxiety
• Be Realistic
   – Peace of mind does not depend on solving all the
     problems, righting all the wrongs, removing all the
     imperfections, or getting all we want -
     Eccl. 8:16-17
   – Some things will not change and we need to be
     realistic enough to accept that
      • There are problems that have no solutions
      • There are situations that must simply be lived
        through
      • “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to
        overlook” - William James
      • Pro. 19:11
Overcoming Anxiety
• Be Realistic
   – Realistic knowledge of our own limitations ought
     to cause us to relax and slow down
      • Besides the noble art of getting things done is the
        noble art of leaving things undone
      • “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of
        nonessentials” -- Gladstone
   – We must learn to let go of some problems and
     allow the Lord to be in charge of them –
     1 Pet 5:7; Pro. 3:5,6
Overcoming Anxiety
• Set Our Minds To Overcome Worry
  – Little girl explaining why she is happy today and
    not the other day:
    “Today I pushed my thoughts around, and the
    other day I let my thoughts push me around”
  – Abraham Lincoln: “I have been as happy as I have
    made up my mind to be.”
  – 2 Cor. 10:5 - take every thought captive
Overcoming Anxiety
• Be Flexible
  – Change is inevitable; we have got to be resilient,
    adaptable, adjustable - Phil. 4:11-12
  – Under stress, if we can't bend, we will surely
    break
  – Our faith must be in Him who changes not
  – There are some changes we ought to resist
    without compromise; wisdom can tell us when to
    change and when to hold our ground
Overcoming Anxiety
• Focus On The Good Cares,
  Minimize The Unnecessary Ones
  – In the Bible, cares can be either good or bad
     • Good - 1 Cor. 12:25; 2 Cor. 11:28; Phil. 2:20
     • Bad – Matt. 13:22; Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:7
  – We tend to become distracted by many relatively
    unimportant cares, and don't care enough about the
    things we ought to - Matt. 13:22
  – When the mind is distracted by many pursuits, it
    derives but little benefit from any of them
  – Really only one thing is necessary –
    Luke 10:41,42; Matt. 6:33,34
Overcoming Anxiety
• Learn To Live One Day At A Time
  – Proper use of today diminishes anxiety about
    tomorrow - Matt. 6:34
     • Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its worries and
       sorrows; it only empties today of its strengths
     • Worry is the interest paid on trouble before it falls due
  – Many, if not most, of our fears will turn out to be
    unfounded
     • Winston Churchill said on his deathbed that he had a
       lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened
     • “In headaches and in worry vaguely life leaks away,
       and time will have his fancy tomorrow or today”
       -- W. H. Auden
Overcoming Anxiety
• Stay Busy
  – Anxiety and idleness often go hand-in-hand
     • Despair is a form of laziness
     • Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in
       the daytime, and too sleepy to worry at night
Overcoming Anxiety
• Stay Busy
  – Much good can be accomplished, even in adverse
    circumstances, if we will quit concentrating on what
    cannot be done and do what CAN be done
     • “Don't waste time in doubts and fears; spend yourself
       in the work before you, well assured that the right
       performance of this hour's duties will be the best
       preparation for the hours or ages that follow it”
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
     • “Our great business in life is not to see what lies dimly
       at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
       -- Thomas Carlyle
Overcoming Anxiety
• Stay Busy
  – There is no tranquilizer as effective as the knowledge
    that we have done our best and there is no pillow as
    soft as a good conscience
Overcoming Anxiety
• Learn Contentment
  – A lesson Paul had learned – Phil. 4:11-13
     • We need to be able to rejoice in the Lord, which we
       can do if we continually count our blessings –
       Phil. 4:4,6
     • The Christian ought to be able to see the silver
       lining in the darkest cloud
Overcoming Anxiety
• Learn Contentment
  – The discontented Christian may lose his soul
    because of it - 1 Tim. 6:6-8; Heb. 13:5,6
     • Anxiety often comes from having too much, rather
       than too little – Eccl. 5:12
     • Our wealth depends not so much on what we have,
       as what we can do without

  – When a problem produces anxiety within us, the
    very best thing we can do than bathe the problem
    in two things: reverence and gratitude
Conclusion
• The Christian is given the means to deal with
  anxiety...
  – Peace that comes through prayer - Phil. 4:6-7
  – Reassuring confidence from trusting in God –
    Psa. 23:1-6
Conclusion
• Whenever the feelings of insecurity,
  helplessness, and isolation produce anxiety...
  – Trust in God
  – Read The Bible
  – Be Realistic
  – Set Our Minds To Overcome Worry
  – Be Flexible
  – Focus On The Good Cares, Minimize The
    Unnecessary Ones
  – Learn To Live One Day At A Time
  – Stay Busy
  – Learn Contentment
Conclusion
• If you haven’t been baptized, you don’t have that first
  step to overcome anxiety (Trust in God).
  To obtain that, you must:
   –   Hear the word of the gospel - Rom. 10:17; Acts 18:8
   –   Believe the gospel - Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 1:2
   –   Repent of your sins - Acts 2:38, 47
   –   Confess Christ - Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10
   –   Be baptized - Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21
• If you have been but have sinned:
   – Repent - Acts 8:22
   – Confess – Jas. 5:16
   – Pray - Acts 8:22; Jas. 5:16

				
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posted:10/23/2011
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