THE CURE FOR ANXIETY

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THE CURE FOR ANXIETY

What a snazzy title, isn’t it? I didn’t come up with it. The Amplified Bible did. And wouldn’t you know it, anxiety is one of the most common conditions we seek relief from. Whether it be anxiety about the future of your career, anxiety about the future of your business, anxiety about the future of your health, or anxiety about the future of your children, we are all anxious about something in the future.

It is little wonder then that horoscopes are such big business these days. In fact, the more uncertain the future is, the more the news reports hint at upcoming turmoil, the better it is for horoscope sales, because the bottom-line is this; whether we are seeking divination from an ‘expert’ or your street-corner fortune teller, we want to know the future. We want to know what’s in store, what’s coming around the bend, so we can best avoid the bad or at least prepare ourselves to brace it.

Yet, more than once, we have been told to avoid these very sources of ‘information’.

“When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable (repulsive) practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire [as a sacrifice], one who uses divination and fortune-telling, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a charm or spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or a necromancer [who seeks the dead]. For everyone who does these things is utterly repulsive to the Lord; and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12 [AMP]

We are a special people, set apart because we have a loving Father in Heaven. So logically, we should not do as the rest of the world does. For the reason why we have been able to possess so much from those around us is because we have faith in our Father. And not only that, BECAUSE of their unbelief, they have been removed and replaced, by us. So guess why you got that promotion and your colleague didn’t? Now you know why you got what you did while the rest just stood by watching?

Therefore, it is logical for us to continue to put our trust in our Father and

“Do not turn to mediums [who pretend to consult the dead] or to spiritists [who have spirits of divination]; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31 [AMP]

For how can we trust the creation more than the creator? So indeed,

“When the people [instead of trusting God] say to you, “Consult the mediums [who try to talk to the dead] and the soothsayers who chirp and whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? [Direct those people] to the law and to the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is because they have no dawn.” Isaiah 8:19-20 [AMP]

And if we are to point others to the law and the testimony of our Father’s love, then what more us? So we will do well to heed this if we want to cure our anxiety, for

“They [who consult mediums and soothsayers] will pass through the land deeply distressed and hungry, and when they are hungry, they will become enraged and will curse their king and their God as they look upward. Then they will look to the earth, they will see only distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness and overwhelming night.” Isaiah 8:21-22 [AMP]

But let’s face it, it’s really not so simple is it? Money doesn’t grow on trees, health does not come with the popping of a pill, and counselling does not an obedient child make. So if the ways of the world are not the solution, which those of us who have actually tried them can attest to that fact, then what is? Well, let’s see what information the Amplified Bible uses that title to preface.

“Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25 [AMP]

Oh this again. But just for arguments sake, let’s see if Jesus’ arguments hold water.

Is life not more than food and the body more than clothing? Well, yes. There are many other aspects to your life. And really, if we are honest, there is really only one or at most two areas in our lives that are having problems right now, isn’t it? Look at the areas that are doing fine. Why are they doing fine? What did you do to make sure that they are doing fine? Why haven’t you applied those same principles to that problematic area? Oh, you have. Then why isn’t it working? Conversely then, if your methods cannot save that area, do you really think that it is your methods that are holding the rest of your life together?

“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 6:26 [AMP]

“And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” Matthew 6:28-30 [AMP]

For those of us who have pets, have you ever looked at your pet in envy? I know I did. Think about it. When it is hungry, it gets its meals placed in front of it. When it is soiled, it gets us to shower it. In fact, it gets sent to the vet more often than it gets sick, just because we are more concerned over its welfare than it is. Yet, for the vast majority of us, would we treat out pets better than we treat our children? So, and this really is my favorite punchline from Jesus,

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

If our Father clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds of the air, how much more will He feed and clothe you? If He has been holding together all the other areas of your life, if He has been making sure that your methods don’t wreck those other areas as well, then how much more will He not see to it that you are rescued from your current problems?

“Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:31-32 [AMP]

Even those who do not know our Father, even those who do not believe in our Father, they too have the same cares, they too are fraught with the same anxieties. So since you are so special to our Father that He would send Jesus to die for you and make you eternally right with Him, do you think that He will allow you to suffer the same fate as those? Indeed, remember beloved, of consulting mediums, our Father said,

“For everyone who does these things is utterly repulsive to the Lord; and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you.” Deuteronomy 18:12 [AMP]

Our Father drives out those who are not His. So can He possibly let you remain in your situation and suffer the same fate as those who are not His?

“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” Matthew 6:33 [AMP]

You know, beloved, if you have ever laid the buffet spread which are your cares in front of our Father, you will realize that He answers those which He thinks are the most important first and fastest. It could be that whilst you were worrying about your financial situation, you also wondered why your church leaders, who have full knowledge of your situation, did not even so much as call you to ask after you. Or it could be that whilst you were worrying about your medical condition, you also wondered why your spouse did not bring you that extra blanket because you are freezing your socks off and are too fatigued to move.

But right at that moment, that church leader calls, or your spouse covers you with not only a blanket, but also her embrace, and then you know, beyond the shadow of doubt, Jesus was listening.

But also notice how He made that person call you, or your spouse get up and cover you, instead of relieving you of what is the ‘bigger problem’ to you? That’s right beloved, when we seek our Father’s kingdom, when we see His way of doing things, when we start to take on the attitude and character of God, we will start to realize that what is important to us, may not be really important after all. And while your anxiety matters to Him, He is gently trying to tell you that the issue you are worried about, really has little cause for concern. After all, remember, in Lazarus’ case, what was more important? That Lazarus was dead, or that Jesus’ disciples learnt faith through witnessing the miracle?

Beloved, the cure for anxiety is simple really. Simple to say but difficult to execute. Simple to say but profound to understand. Because all it takes is faith that our Father loves you; and faith to know that if it is not important to Him, it should not be important to us, because it is really not that important after all. As far as Jesus and our Father are concerned, we are often needlessly anxious over unimportant things. So let us instead pay attention to what is really important and let Them sort out what is less. For indeed,

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

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