Scripture contains a command: “Be anxious for nothing.” This is not a suggestion, but many people find this divine order hard to obey. However, the peace that God promises to give us is destroyed by worry. What is a believer to do when Christian anxiety takes over?

Anxious thoughts are normal for human beings. However, God knows that stress is bad for us, both physically and mentally. After all, He made us. He gave us free will, we choose to sin, we then face consequences that trouble us, and we choose to worry. God has provided a way out. He forgives our sins and He promises to work all things for good for us who love Him.

Anxious thoughts are probably inevitable, except perhaps for the most mature of Christians. The key is the response to these thoughts. Do we dwell on them, allow them to dominate waking and sleeping hours, and thus lose serenity and joy? If so, we have a spiritual problem. Fortunately, God has told His children how to cope.

God wants to help and guide us. He wants to share our burdens and change our lives. He understands that we are weak and promises to give us His strength. He pleads with us in His Word, He provides for us even when we turn from Him, and He gives us grace to feel His presence, see His glory, and find all we need in Him.

Surrender is the key principle that makes it possible for us to enjoy God’s peace and allow Him to work in our lives. He has given us free will, and if we choose to hold on to troubles, He lets us do so. Mature Christians know that giving God control is always the best policy, and so they do it sooner rather than later.

Surrender must be followed by trust. We trust that our Lord has our very best interests at heart, that He knows what we are going through, that He will work all things to good for us, and that we can leave things to Him. Our part is to pray and praise and thank Him – often in advance – for help, guidance, provision, and grace. We trust in His mercy to forgive our unbelief, our lack of faith, and our failure to surrender.

None of this is easy. People tend to cling to their worries, thinking they are simply human nature and therefore inescapable. The fact is that we have no right to worry. We need to believe – and we can pray for belief – and have faith – and we can pray for more of this gift – and give up all our own ambitions. We must take control of our thoughts, asking for His help in doing so. He promises to support us every step of the way.

Christian anxiety can be the trigger for a deeper and richer understanding of God and His father-care for His children. His Word is filled with love for all people. Jesus has won the victory for every living being, so we can truly relax and enjoy fellowship with the creator of the universe. Letting God do His will for us is so much better than futile worrying.

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