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Miranda Writes: Donít Be Anxious About Anything, Part II




by Omar Miranda



Last week we began our time together by talking about the pecan tree in my front yard and the evil woodpecker that damaged it by putting a bazillion little holes in it. We made the connection between the damage done to my tree and what the devil does to us when he riddles our souls with anxiety.

We talked about the fact that anxious thoughts typically come from being in situations in which a person has no control over their environment, environments that typically have been inconsistent, chaotic, traumatic, abusive, or neglectful. We reviewed the different levels of this issue: beginning with concern, worry, anxiety, and finally, fear and panic. We said that concern isn’t negative, because it pushes us to do something productive to solve the problem, but the other levels are not useful because they focus our thoughts on . . . well, our thoughts.

Today we’re going to finish our time together by talking about how anxiety affects us spiritually and what the Bible tells us we can do about it.

First, let’s talk about how anxiety affects us spiritually. When we begin to be worried and anxious, we start to doubt God’s ability to effectively meet our needs and wonder if God even cares about the things that we’re going through. There’s a story in the Bible that illustrates this point really well. It’s found in Mark 4:35-41. Give it a quick read, and then we’ll talk about it.

Did you catch the main feelings of the disciples in response to a sudden storm that slammed them and threatened to sink their boat? The disciples immediately became afraid because they lacked faith in Jesus’ power and willingness to protect them. They approached Jesus during this time of anxiety and fear with the accusation “Don’t you care that we’re about to drown?”

They were totally convinced that Jesus didn’t care about anything that they were going through. Many times, when we’re going through anxiety and worry, we also react the same way. We think that Jesus is asleep at the wheel, but the truth is that Jesus cares very much about what we’re going through. Remember, Jesus was in the boat with the disciples both before and during the storm. Jesus is also with us in the good times as well as the bad times. All we have to do is call out to Him, and He’ll be there. But if we can’t trust and acknowledge His presence with us when it’s calm, how can we do it when the storms hit?

Let me share with you what the Bible says about the solution to the anxiety problem. It’s laid out most clearly in the New Testament book of Philippians. The apostle Paul is writing this book to Christians—from jail. So if anybody knows about anxiety, panic, and worry, it’s Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament from a jail cell. Philippians 4:4-8 says, “Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise” (CEV).*

Let’s break the process down into separate steps:

1. Be glad (verses 4, 5). God wouldn’t tell us to be glad if it weren’t possible. Why can we be glad? Because we have a relationship with God.

2. Be gentle with others (verse 5). Many times, when we get worried and anxious, we tend to easily and quickly lose our cool. We treat others somewhat rudely or impatiently—especially the ones we love the most—but Paul says that we should be gentle, especially when we’re being pressed by problems.

3. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything (verse 6). Again Paul encourages us not to worry about anything, but to engage and strengthen our existing relationship with God.

4. With a thankful attitude, tell God the things you’re worried about (verse 6). God is your Father. He knows your heart and cares about the things you’re going through. He truly wants to know stuff you’re worried about, so go ahead and unload. He can take all your mess and heat.

5. Our being connected to Christ through a real relationship will allow us to be blessed with peace that no one can understand (verse 7). This peace will control the way we think and feel.

6. Keep being glad (verse 8). Basically, repeat step 1.

I hope you learned some important stuff today about how we should and shouldn’t respond when we’re stressed with the storms of life. God is longing to have a connection with us at all times so we can lean on, and unload on, Him. Get to know Jesus and then tell Him your troubles. He’s ready and waiting. The choice is up to you. Jesus doesn’t want you to be anxious about anything.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omiranda@rhpa.org; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, editor, Insight Magazine

* Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is the editor/director of Insight Ministries and a Christian counselor and with more than 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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