Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

colossians3_1-2

Colossians 3:2 (NIV) “Set your minds on things above, not on
earthly things.”

God tells us to think about things above. To me that means to think
about Heaven and what it is going to be like for us someday. Those are
good thoughts. In Heaven there will be no more tears, sorrow, death,
sickness, panic attacks, fear, anxiety, or diseases. We will have strong, healthy,
brand new bodies.

God doesn’t want us to dwell on our feelings. Do you know that your feelings
can’t hurt you? When we dwell on them we increase the amount of adrenaline
that is released in our bodies and other uncomfortable feelings crop up. God
doesn’t want us to go over and over again in our minds how someone has hurt
us. He doesn’t want us to worry about tomorrow and the things we will have to
face. He doesn’t even want us to be consumed with getting material possessions.
God knows that these things are not healthy for us to constantly think about.
Setting our thoughts on things above also means to think about Jesus, what
he is like and all about his life while he was here on earth.

Many times in the past when I could not go to sleep, I’d make myself think
about Jesus instead of concentrating on the noises outside. I’d start with his birth
and try to remember all I could about him; how he taught and healed people,
how he died and rose again. I never got through his whole life because
somewhere along the line I’d fall asleep.

You see, that was far better for me to think about then to fret over the next
day, or about myself and my feelings. Isn’t it wonderful how God helps us to
know how we should think?

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2corinthians10_5

II Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) “Casting down imaginations, and every
high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

I believe God wants us to be different from the world. We are different because
we are now his children, and we need to even think differently from those of
the world. As we read and study God’s word our thoughts line up more and
more with his. We learn what his will is and we become more like him. This is all
a part of our Christian growth. Our minds become renewed.

God loves us so much that he wants us to learn how to think his way.
Do you know what it means when it says “casting down imaginations?” I believe
in a practical sense that means not to daydream or fantasize about things. When
we do that we may get something in our lives that has a strong hold over us. Our
minds are very powerful. We can think up all kinds of things, not always good.
For example, if we watch certain T.V. shows (like the soaps) maybe we begin
to imagine ourselves playing out the part of the hero or heroine. What if it’s a hot,
steamy sex scene? Do you think God wants us watching that? No, he doesn’t.
When we do, we are conforming to this world.

Notice he says “and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
Christ.” Isn’t it great to know that we can bring our thoughts into captivity? When
something is captive it is controllable. Our thoughts don’t have to rule us.
Do you know that our thoughts can cause all kinds of things to take place in
our bodies? They can lower or raise our blood pressure and temperatures.
Thoughts can cause us to perspire. All kinds of physical aliments are subject to
the way we think. Such as; headaches, heart problems, colitis, ulcers,
insomnia, irritable bowl syndrome, and more. Relationship problems also can be
affected by the way we think. For example; arguments, disagreements, and other
hurtful words affect us physically.

Do you know our thoughts can trigger panic attacks? Think about the “what
ifs.” As we think about “what if” this or that happens, physical changes actually
do take place in the body. Our adrenaline starts pumping and our hearts
start beating faster and harder. Our hands may break out in a sweat, and
we wonder, “what is happening to me?”

Take a step back then, and realize what you were thinking about.
Remember, God wants us to be able to control our thoughts. I confess I was once
totally controlled by my own thoughts. Now I’ve learned how to take that control
back. I believe with all my heart it is the reason I have not had a panic attack
in over seven years.

During those panic free years I’ve had some of the most challenging times of
my whole life, but I’ve not slipped back into having panic attacks again. Did I
have any panic symptoms? Yes, and when they started to come I was able to
prevent an attack from happening by praying and asking God for help, then
taking control of my thoughts.

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1corinthians15_10

Philippians 3:13b-14 (NIV)“…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is
behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to
win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Paul is speaking in this scripture to the Philippians. He is telling them that he
has learned to forget the past and lean forward or strain toward what’s ahead.
It means to consider the past done with and settled. We can’t go back and do
it over. But, we can go on with a new outlook as we put the past behind us.
This will apply to people in different ways, because of our different
backgrounds.

One thing that comes to my mind immediately is forgiveness for
those who have hurt us in the past. This is not always easy, but it is God’s will
for us, and when we do his will we begin to feel the peace he has for us in that
situation. I believe a lot of our anxiety comes out of holding unforgiven hurts
inside. By letting them go we can begin to heal.

Paul speaks about pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which
God has called him. For us that prize is Heaven and all the glory to be found
there. It will be wonderful! And, there are no anxiety attacks in Heaven!
So, with God, it is possible to get a new outlook, a fresh start. We can put
the past behind and press on with God. This is great to know and encourages us
as we continue to battle fear. Let’s try not to dwell on our past fearful
feelings. Let’s try to put them behind us and know that God has something better
for us ahead. Let’s pray and read the Word, and learn how healing it can be.

Dear God, please bless this word to each and every one who reads it. Allow
them to ask you to search their hearts for anything that they need to forgive. In
Jesus’ name. Amen.

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romans12_2
Romans 12:2 (NIV) “Do not conform anymore to the pattern of
this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you
will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing,
and perfect will.”

Someone once said, “If you were to be arrested today for being a Christian
would there be enough evidence against you to convict you?” We Christians
don’t have to do the things we did before, we don’t have to follow the crowd,
we can be brand new.

For myself, after I became a Christian I lost the few friends I had, because
they did not understand me anymore, because I had changed. I knew I was
different because their foul language and bad behavior bothered me and it never
did before. When they would take the name of Jesus in vain, it was like a sharp
knife stabbing me in the heart. The good news is that God gave me another
group of friends who are really much better for me.

Today’s verse says, “be transformed!” We do this by renewing our mind, by
rejecting old patterns of thought and concentrating on new ones. I’ve found that
to renew my mind I must keep in the Word. As I read it, study it, and meditate upon it, it sinks down into my being and actually does renew my mind. It is a process. As it takes place, I discover what God wants for me.

God wants good things for all of us, just as any good father would want for
his children. When Christ comes in, instead of living just to please ourselves, we
begin to please him and lift up others.

God wants to help us fight fear and anxiety. His Word is full of suggestions
for achieving good mental health. Search and find a promise for yourself
today. Then claim it and stand on it. He is faithful!

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Philippians 4:13 (KJV) “I can do all things through Christ who
strengtheneth me.”

Isn’t it great to know that “I can do?” Oh, how we need to remind ourselves of   philippians4_13
that one. I’d like to give an example of how doing things became a problem for me.

Before I had panic attacks if someone would ask me to go to the store to get a quart of milk, I’d say, “No, problemento!” I’d just go and get the milk and come
back with a smile on my face.

After I started having panic attacks, my friend would ask me to go to the store to get a quart of milk. I wouldn’t answer right away. After all I had to
analyze the situation. My mind would jump into full gear; Why am I being asked? Doesn’t she know it’s hard for me? She could do it easier! Okay, I should do
it…but,…what if the car breaks down? Let’s see, who lives on the way to the store? I could go to the Riley’s for help. Ahhh, but they have that biting dog, Rex.
Okay, maybe the car won’t break down. Let’s see…what is it doing out? Is it going to rain? It’s hard to drive in the rain! What time is it? What if people are
just getting out of work and there is a lot of traffic? What if I get in an accident?
Oh, I hope there isn’t a long line in the store!

On and on my mind would go thinking the worst and blowing the whole
thing way out of proportion. I’d finally simply refuse to do the errand.
Today, if the same situation comes up I can simply smile and say, “Sure,
need anything else?” I don’t worry about having a panic attack or about all the
other details. I can now simply function in a normal manner again. Praise God!
Isn’t that wonderful? You may ask, “What made you turn around?”

At first I was doing everything in my own strength. I was self-sufficient. I
could depend on me! I was young, strong, and able. I was smart and could figure
out anything. There was always an answer.

Then something happened. I’m not sure what it was. I lived under a great
deal of stress for many years and was always a “nervous” person. Possibly, and
this is only my guess, my body chemicals slowly changed to the point that I
began having panic attacks. At any rate, I did begin to have them. They ruined
my life for a very long time, and I was living in a situation where I could not do
things. I had to depend on others. Instead of “I can do!” it was, “But, I can’t.”
Have I said that phrase a lot!

Then, I received Jesus into my heart. I studied the Word. It became clear to
me that he wanted me to depend on him alone. I found this scripture: “I can do
all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” (Emphasis mine). I can do! I
can do! I took hold of that promise. I’d pray and claim it, then allow Christ to
accompany me to the store. He helped me, he gave me the courage and strength
to reach out again, and the best news of all, I slowly got better! I had begun to
focus on things other than my feelings.

As time went on, more time elapsed between each panic attack. I believed that
God readjusted the chemicals in my body back to where they were when I was
healthy.

I’m thankful with every ounce of my being that I found a way to get better.
Thank you Jesus! I can do!

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john-1633

John 16:33 (NIV) “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.”

What a powerful scripture! This would be a great one to memorize.
Are you full of fear? Does anxiety and stress rule the day? If so, God
has given us an antidote for it. The opposite of fear is peace. God wants us
to be

We live in a world full of trouble and tension. We need to work to make
enough money to live on. The children need new school clothes so we need to go
shopping. The house needs painting, and the car waxing, and there is not enough
time before the winter weather sets in. Johnny needs to be taken to his football
practice, and Susie to her friend’s house. The traffic is bad, and you are late again
to work. The boss gives you “the look.” All the tension and stress of the world
pulls at us. What is the answer?

The great news is that Jesus Christ overcame the world. You see, Satan is
god of this world, but when Jesus died on the cross he defeated Satan.
As we live in this world and face our daily tasks let’s take time to give our
problems to God. He is strong and able to shoulder them. He knows all about our
problems and knows the solutions to them.

My life used to be saturated with fear, but Jesus came in and overcame it.
What a Savior! Now when I feel anxious or fearful about some situation I
remember this scripture and know that God has gone before me so I can have
peace instead of fear.

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Pastor Ron Lewis: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


This week Pastor Ron Lewis continues his series, “Spiritual Warfare,” as we focus on Ephesians 6:16,”in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”  Have you ever wondered how we are to extinguish the flaming arrows that the devil hurls against us?  How do we do that?

1corinthians10_13

Notes:

c.  Exactly what are these flaming arrows…?

1.)__________________thoughts

2.)__________________thoughts

3.)__________________thoughts

4.)__________________thoughts

5.)__________________thoughts

6.)__________________thoughts

7.)__________________thoughts

8.)__________________thoughts

d.  What is our defense against them…?

e.  What will the shield of faith do to them…?

Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

Extinguish the Flaming Arrows!

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