According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America, over 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety-related disorders. Yet, anxiety is a word most Christians don’t like to talk about. After all, the Bible says in Philippians 4:6, “do not be anxious about anything.” While fully acknowledging the truth of the Scripture we must also admit that every believer will come to a point in their lives when they experience anxiety. It is also true that some believers will struggle with chronic anxiety disorders. Rather than ignoring these issues, the believers need to see these problems in light of Scripture and seek the full range of help that God has offered them.
Understanding Anxiety from a Biblical Perspective
The nervous feelings involved with anxiety are directly related to the fight or flight instinct God has placed within our very nature. Every creature on the face of the earth possesses this God-given instinct when it comes to physical danger. But since we are created in the image of God, human beings have an additional awareness of hazards to our emotional and spiritual well-being. God placed these instincts within us to protect us and warn us of danger. Anxiety occurs when the fight or flight instinct runs amuck in our lives.
Dealing with Anxiety
One way to deal with mild anxiety is to acknowledge it and keep doing the things we need to do. Often we make the problem of anxiety worse because we are afraid of how it makes us feel. But if we realize these are natural feelings, there is nothing physically dangerous about them, and they will dissipate in a few minutes if we just calm down and take a few deep breaths, we can experience almost instant relief.
For believers, it is essential to include the elements of prayer, community, and godly counsel. Philippians 4:6 goes on to say, “…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God.” Part of the remedy for anxiety in the believer’s life is to learn to take all of our needs, concerns, and worries to God. But God has also given us a community of other believers to share our load. Talking to other believers about the things that concern us will help us to unload some of our burdens and receive encouragement.
Finally, we sometimes need to seek Godly counsel from professionals like the counselors at Family Restoration Counseling, who are specially trained to help with anxiety related issues.