Anxiety can make us think things that aren’t true. Anxiety can make us feel isolated from God. Experiencing anxiety is never fun and can affect our way of living.
What should we do when we have anxiety? What does the Bible say about anxiety? How does anxiety connect to Christ and the Gospel message?
Today, I am excited to share with you what the Bible says about anxiety, way before modern psychology. And the Bible does not leave us alone, but gives us a solution!
I’ve been doing a topical study on anxiety with a sister in Christ, and as soon as we started, the scriptures immediately made one thing abundantly clear.
Anxiety crushes us. But Jesus is our hope.
DISCLAIMER: Before going further, I just want to give a reminder. The next post of this series discusses anxiety and its connection to sin. But having anxiety does not always mean sin is related. Sometimes there are imbalances in the body. Sometimes there might be a higher sensitivity to anxiety in some individuals over others. This series is to understand how the Bible explains what anxiety can do, during a time in which modern psychology did not exist. The series is also to help show how we can work through anxiety.
Now, you probably do not need to do a study to know this already, but you might not be familiar with how well God understands anxiety.
So often we want a solution before we understand the full problem. It’s important to understand what anxiety is. Today’s post about is understanding the problem.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines anxiety as “painful uneasiness of the mind”, an uncertainty, sometimes resulting in physical reactions from the body, like sweating.
Now, in college, I took quite a few psychology classes. Anxiety came up, and the crippling effect it can have on a person. In today’s society, anxiety seems to be more common than ever. It’s true there is a crippling effect.
The secular world views anxiety as crippling, but what about the Bible? Would it agree with the world? Would the Bible have more information describing anxiety and its effects before modern society?
We are going to begin by looking at some scripture describing the effect of anxiety.
(ESV) Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
If you check out the Strong’s Hebrew of this verse, the breakdown of the words gives us more information of the context. “Weighing down” for example, most of the definitions for this phrase relate to a form of worship, bowing down. Worship takes place not just when we sing songs but in our daily living. We show worship through everything we do. Now, the scripture isn’t exactly saying we worship anxiety in this verse, so I’d like to see if the verse shows us in other ways how anxiety could affect our daily living. Could anxiety rule us?
If we look at the word “heart,” this is where we get our answer.
The Hebrew of this verse says “the heart of man.” And heart can have a few different definitions. Sometimes it can even refer to the kidneys. However, this wording of “heart” is much more complex than some other forms we might see in other verses. The definition for “heart” in this scripture can mean:
Will, Will to live
Soul, Heart of man
Determination (of will)
Conscience, Moral Character
Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, I see how anxiety can affect daily living, our priorities and main focus. I see how it can affect our worship to the Lord. Anxiety can affect how we love Him.
Our inner self, heart – storehouse. Parts of us only God knows.
Our mind, thinking, knowledge, how we reflect, our memory, even our resolution
Our appetite. Have you ever struggled to eat because of anxiety? Have you ever experienced emotional eating because of anxiety?
Our conscience and moral character – Has anxiety prevented us from doing something we know we should do?
Our determination and will to live.
Anxiety distorts the truth. We often have an inclination to trust our anxiety over what the Bible says. Actually, another definition for heart in this verse can be “inclination.”
From this, I’m gathering that anxiety affects our:
If that sounds familiar to some of you, it should.
(ESV) Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
So, it’s very possible for anxiety to rule over us. We can cave into anxiety more than we turn to the Lord. As many of you know from experience, this result can be crippling. But, friends, there is still hope in Christ!
In the next following posts, I’ll be discussing anxiety’s connection to sin, if all anxiety is sin, how did Jesus relate to anxiety, and the importance of the Gospel in the face of anxiety.
Next week, I will discuss the crushing of the spirit and its connection to sin.
Some resources I recommend:
*To learn more about what Jesus did on the cross and why His atonement sacrifice is so needed please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
*If you do not know the Gospel, do not turn away. If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
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