Getting Free of Anxiety and Worry

Getting Free of Anxiety and Worry

In this article, based on chapter 5 in my book Free Your Mind, we will discuss how God helped Jesus to overcome the temptations of anxiety and worry, and how He will help us to overcome ours as well! In the passage below, Jesus tells us that we don’t need to worry, and that God will give us all that we need:

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

Anxiety and worry are common trials we all face. But Jesus assures us that God will give us whatever we need. When we are confident that God is aware of our needs and that He cares about our lives, we are able to hand our worries over to Him and live in greater peace. 

Any change we want to make in our lives starts with changing the way we think. I have struggled with anxiety and worry throughout my life, and I’ve had to learn to change the way I think about my trials and about God. I’ve had to focus on trusting in God’s grace to help me, and I frequently remind myself how much God cares about even the small details of my life. 

Jesus had a lot to say about our worries and troubles. Just before his arrest, Jesus said this to his disciples: 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1)

And a little later in that same evening, he told them:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Yes, troubles will come to us—Jesus himself was about to face the greatest trial of his life later that night—but Jesus assures us that we can trust Him to see us through. He has already overcome the world, and so He can help us through any difficulty. 

That night Jesus’ heart was heavy, knowing He was about to be betrayed by his disciple Judas Iscariot:

Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” (John 13:21)

But as we see, Jesus didn’t surrender to anxiety:

“As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. When he was gone, Jesus said: ‘Now is the son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.’” (John 13:30-32, emphasis added)

As soon as Judas left to turn Jesus into His enemies, Jesus set His mind on a God-focused perspective. Instead of giving in to anxiety, Jesus chose to dwell upon how God was going to positively use the suffering Jesus was about to endure. He chose to rejoice in the forgiveness that God would provide for mankind through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Earlier in His ministry, Jesus made us a beautiful promise:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When we are weary and burdened, Jesus lovingly calls us to come to him. He promises to give us rest in our hearts and minds. His call to take up his yoke may sound challenging, but His yoke is much easier and lighter than the anxieties and pressures that Satan and this world place upon us. Jesus’ gentle, humble heart will help us find the rest our souls so desperately seek. If you are weary and burdened, go to Jesus, confident that He will gently and humbly help you, and you will find rest for your soul.

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