September 7, 2015

A Cure for Anxiety

A guest post by Pastor Brad D. Evans

We seem to live in an age of anxiety.  Would people who lived through the Great Depression and World War II roll their eyes at us?  “What do you have to be anxious about?”  I don’t know, but we find our share of things to be anxious about, don’t we?

Recently I studied Matthew 6: 25-34 in preparation for a Bible study.  In this passage, Jesus says three times:  “Therefore do not be anxious.”  Jesus is giving us a cure for anxiety.  He gives us strong medicine, and some of us may not like the taste of it. However, He is seeking to break the grip of worry in our lives.  Let me briefly note Jesus’ wisdom about anxiety.
He commands us not to be anxious.  You might be insulted if I command you not to be anxious, but Jesus has the authority to do so.  Anxiety is a sin, and we should get rid of it.  See what I mean about strong medicine?

Jesus encourages us to have a bigger view of life than our personal needs. “Isn’t life more than food and clothing?” He asks.  So often, when anxious, we’ve reduced the world to being about nothing more than our personal needs.

Reckon on your relative value.  Aren’t you worth more than the birds of the air?  Jesus asks.  And yet, your heavenly Father feeds them.  He also takes care of the lilies of the field. How much more will He take care of us?

Jesus reminds us of the absolute futility of worry.  Which of you by worrying can add a single cubit to his life’s span?  I can’t tell you how many times this brought me comfort during my cancer treatments!

We won’t like this one either, but Jesus says that anxiety is a disease of “little faiths.”  O you of little faith, always worrying the way you do. Jesus says that when we regularly give way to anxiety we are basically living like pagans.
Instead, Jesus encourages us to live like people who really do have a wise, powerful and loving Heavenly Father. Jesus exhorts us to live like the Kingdom of God is what really matters most. Jesus encourages us to live one day at a time.  Sufficient for each day is the evil thereof.
You can look up the specific verses that give rise to each of the points above.  May you benefit richly from Jesus’ prescription for dealing with anxiety.

Brad Evans is the senior pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Coventry, Coventry, Connecticut, and he admits to his own battles with anxiety.

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