Have No Fear

I’ve had a tough time the past couple of months with anxiety and depression. We experience life in varying stages of normal. The problem for me is that I tend to dwell on the hurt part of life experiences and it leaves me with quite a challenge for finding a healthy mental solution. The following thoughts were found online and deal with answers regarding how to control anxiety and depression. These are not easy answers and will take a lot of prayer and consideration on my part to successfully use.

The King James Dictionary defines happiness as the agreeable sensation which springs from the enjoyment of good; that state of being in which his desires are gratified, by the enjoyment of pleasure without pain, etc. To a person distressed with pain, relief from that pain affords happiness; in other cases we give the name happiness to positive pleasure. Happiness admits to an indefinite degree of increasing joy, or gratification of desires. Perfect happiness or pleasure unalloyed with pain, is not attainable in this life.

Daniel K Hall-Flavin, MD at the Mayo Clinic says “Depression and anxiety are different conditions but usually happen together. Both have similar treatments. Feeling down or having the blues now and then is normal, and we all feel anxious at times. This is a normal response to coping with stressful situations. The problem arises when this is an ongoing mental condition. If we can’t deal with the stress we need to look for help. Anxiety can occur as a symptom of clinical (major) depression. It’s common to have depression that’s triggered by an anxiety disorder. You can have both an anxiety disorder and clinical depression. Symptoms of both usually improve with psychological counseling, medications or a combination of the two. Lifestyle changes such as getting more sleep, getting stress related exercise may also help. Alcohol and illegal drugs can make both worse.”

Marc Alan Schelske, a theologian and elder at Bridge City Community Church in Milwaukie, Oregon says “We all know that Jesus gives much advice regarding the ‘Cure for Anxiety.’ Luke 2:22-34 teach that their worries about food, clothing and funding would be provided with answers from God.” The lilies, sparrows and grass in the field don’t worry and we know that God provides for them. These words sound nice, but are they practical? Jesus is teaching that there is an alternative to worry: focus, and identity, and attitude and an action.”

Marc Schelske makes the following points here:

  • Our focus is where we look. Worry points us in a certain direction looking anxiously at a possible outcome. Perhaps our anxiety is plausible but what we’re worrying about hasn’t happened yet. This anxiety is a droning emotional buzz that’s keeping us out of the present moment because we’re focusing on the unknown future. This consumes my emotional energy. My priorities can be all out of whack. So, Jesus starts us by directing my focus away from worry. Luke 12:31 – seek His kingdom first.
  • What identity will we live out of? We have to choose our identity. He called his disciples his “little flock”, i.e. sheep. This was a term of endearment where we see a shepherd lovingly talking to his flock. He will protect and care for us. He also tells us that “our father delights to give us the kingdom. If God is our Father, then that makes us his Children. Our identity is a special belief that we hold. It’s our core story that shapes us, gives us understanding about ourselves and impacts our reactions and thoughts about the future.
  • Why does this matter? Because it counters the identity that so many of us live out or that says we’re on our own – depending on ourselves – can only trust ourselves. We are not enough. This is a powerful belief. This identity leads to fighting and striving, pushing us towards a performance-based value. The identity that Jesus offers is that we are cared for, we are loved and will be provided for. These thoughts lead us to peace and trust.
  • What Attitude Will I Hold? Luke 12.33 is telling us not to hold on to our stuff. We should be willing to give our stuff away if needed. Our security is found in God, His love for us–our God-given identity. If this attitude exists we can give up our hold on money and stuff.
  • What Will I Do? When this open handed attitude takes hold we can start doing something extraordinary. We can be generous and give. We know that I am loved and provided for, there is enough for me. This new identity allows us to give.
  • Ready to Stop Worrying? When we listen to the words of Jesus we can be relieved of worry. My focus can get back on track. If we’ve living out of our old identity (I’m not enough) instead of my identity in Christ, we exist in a grasping attitude (it has to go my way or things won’t be OK.) This leads to acts that are selfish, undermining, taking me away from who I want to be.

There is no fear in living out the kind of life Jesus calls us into. We don’t have to worry and can focus on God’ kingdom instead of our security. We know that we are not alone and that we are a source of blessings to others. Hopefully I can put this advice into action.


Other Posts You Might Like:

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Surrounded - Bob Bentley

2010 Benevolence Assistance - Don Compton

The World Is Flat - Ross Thomson

Why Some Say NO - Bob Bentley

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