“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” I John 5: 4-5
With faith in Christ, we can overcome the world and sin; and in overcoming sin, we can also deal with the “aftershocks” of sin such as the lingering consequences of sinful conducts, e.g. anxiety. Christians are not immune to anxiety; more than twenty-three million people suffer from anxiety disorders – these people are heavy utilisers of emergency rooms and other medical services. Anxiety disrupts work, family and the social life of the affected; therefore it is important to learn how to overcome it.
OVERCOMING ANXIETY THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO OVERCOME ANXIETY
- Because of how it affects our lives and service to God.
- Because it is a reflection of “little faith” on our part. Matt. 6: 30; 25: 5. The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety (George Muller).
WHAT IS TRUE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST?
- It is a strong conviction or trust in who Jesus is – He is the Son of God (Matt. 16: 6), the only source of eternal life (John 6: 68).
- It is strong conviction in what Jesus said – He speaks the words of truth that can set us free (John 8: 31-32; 1: 17).
- It is strong conviction in what Jesus did – He died for us (I Cor. 15: 3)
- It is strong conviction in what Jesus is doing – He is preparing a place for us (John 14: 2); He is interceding for us (Heb. 7:24, 25).
- It is strong conviction in what Jesus will do – He will come again the second time (Acts 1: 9-11).
JESUS HELPS TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY THROUGH HIS TEACHINGS
- By reminding us of God’s providential love and care (Matt. 6: 25-32). If He can provide life, how much more food, clothing and shelter. He provides for the birds and flowers; He can surely provide for His children. If worry (anxiety) cannot make us grow taller, how can it then affect the future! God is mindful of our true needs and can provide for them.
- By teaching us where to place our priorities (Mat. 6: 33). The kingdom of God in our life is the most important thing; we need to put Him first. Jesus said to worried Martha, “thou art careful and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful…” We must learn to put God first, and then He will take care of the rest!
- By revealing our own limitations. Matt. 6: 34.
JESUS HELPS US TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY THROUGH HIS ACTIONS
- By His past actions – Through Christ’s death, the full price of our sins has been paid! That way, forgiveness and cleansing of the conscience is available to those who believe in Him. When our conscience has been cleansed, worry and anxiety over past sins is removed; the devil can no longer hold us down with the weight and chain of guilt and regret.
- By His present actions – Christ continually intercedes as our High Priest (Heb. 4: 14-16); and He has provided an avenue of peace to dispel our anxiety through prayer (Phil. 4: 6, 7); by reigning as King of kings and Lord of lord (Rev. 1: 5).
- By His future actions – Christ promised not to forsake us (Matt. 28: 20), and He promised to take us to be with Him (Heb. 13: 5-7).
Believing in Christ helps attack the underlying cause of anxiety; and because we know that God can and will take care of everything that concerns us, worry will be removed.
Phil. 4: 6, 7 – Jesus desires that we not let worldly concerns control us, thereby rendering us unfruitful – Luke 8: 14.