What to Do When Anxiety Closes in Around You

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What to Do When Anxiety Closes in Around You

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Being the history nerd that I am, I often think about what it would be like to take some of the notable figures of history and plop them down in the world today. It would be fascinating to see Henry Ford’s reaction to a Ford F-150 pickup or the Wright brothers’ at seeing a Boeing 747.

The Bible is our opportunity to hear what God has to say about any anxieties and stresses we experience.

It’s easy to forget all of the monumental technological achievements that have occurred within our lifetimes. With these developments, life has done nothing if not exponentially increased in speed (which is something that was prophesied about 2,600 years ago—Daniel 12:4 Daniel 12:4But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
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). Yet I can't help think that most of these supposed time-saving devices we use on a daily basis actually add to our stress and anxiety in life. Those historical figures may very well say “thanks, but no thanks” about the stresses that accompany our technologically advanced lives.

How do we cope with the increased stress and anxiety of our daily lives? Prayer. Think of it as the spiritual Xanax, a well known anxiety medication.

God knows each of our stresses and difficulties, and He wants to help us get through them. That’s why He inspired Paul to write, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:6-7 [6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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, emphasis added).

I could write pages and pages of examples from my own life where I felt hemmed in by anxiety and stress over situations or people or my own shortcomings. Each time, my feelings would turn around when I hit the pause button on whatever I was doing, pulled on some sneakers and went on a walk where I poured out all my concerns and frustrations before God in prayer.

Praying brings powerful results. In conversation with God, we can claim some of the promises that He gives to those who are obedient to Him and are pursuing the Kingdom of God. He promises peace (John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
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). He promises comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 [3] Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; [4] Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God.
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). He promises hope (1 Peter 1:3-5 1 Peter 1:3-5 [3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, [5] Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
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). Ask Him for these things! Ask Him to show you how to align your life more with His ways and truth and receive the resulting blessings.

The Bible is our opportunity to hear what He has to say about any anxieties and stresses we experience. It's His response to our prayers. King Solomon wrote that “anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25 Proverbs 12:25Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad.
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). Well, the Bible is the ultimate "good word." Spend some time in it learning about what a mind-blowing future God has in store for those who choose to follow Him.

Develop the kind of relationship with God that is based on deep trust and constant communication. It will go a long way in restoring some much needed peace of mind and spirit when anxiety closes in around you.

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