OceanSide church of Christ
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THE ABUNDANT LIFE:
A Life Free from Anxiety (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. In last week’s lesson, we began a study of anxiety. We looked at several basic facts about anxiety. Then, we looked at some of the causes of anxiety.
B. Today, we want to discuss how we can overcome anxiety. We will examine three things:
1. Taking care of yourself physically
2. Learning how to relax
3. Making God’s Word a vital part of our life
I. PHYSICAL ELEMENT IN CONTROLLING ANXIETY
A. Proper diet
B. Weight loss
D. Stop bad habits: drinking, drugs, smoking
E. Proper sleep
F. Medical check ups
A. Anxiety involves the agitated nerves of the individual. Thus, those who are anxious need to learn how to calm their nerves.
B. There are numerous relaxation techniques that are taught:
1. Sitting down in a quiet place using proper breathing techniques.
2. Listening to soothing music for a period of time each day.
3. Massaging the hands and feet.
4. Repetition of phrases until an anxious experience is passed (i.e., “do just one thing at a time”).
5. Visualization of a beautiful place.
a. The mountains, the ocean, a walk on a street light lit street in the light rain
b. Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
III. MAKE GOD’S WORD A VITAL PART OF YOUR LIFE
A. There are three aspects of study that we need in order to help us with anxiety.
1. Memorization allows us to access God’s Word at any time of day (Ps. 119:11).
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
2. Mediation allows us to “chew the cud,” that is, think about and ruminate upon God’s Word at any time (Ps. 1:2; 119:97).
O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.
3. Implementation is the application of God’s truths in our lives (James 1:22).
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
B. Principles dealing with anxiety:
1. Prayer (Phil. 4:6-7)
Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
a. By faith, we have to lay our worries and burdens at the throne of God.
b. We must trust Him to take care of them when we cannot (I Pet. 5:7).
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
c. Psalm 55:22
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
2. Contentment (I Tim. 6:6-8)
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.
a. Wants usually involve the worldly things of life.
1) Wants we do not need. Wants we cannot afford. Wants that will not bring us happiness.
2) We usually dwell on these to the neglect of godliness.
b. We must learn contentment, that is, we must learn to be satisfied with things as they are (Phil. 4:11).
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
c. When we learn contentment, we will have “ease of mind,” another definition of “contentment.”
3. Obedience to God (Josh. 24:14)
Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
a. Disobedience put us at odds with our profession of faith.
b. When we obey, our mind is in balance with our practice of faith. This equilibrium fills us with peace (Ps. 119:165).
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
4. Awareness of God’s presence (Heb. 11:27)
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
a. Because God is invisible, we often fail to comprehend that He is near.
b. By faith, we know that God is near to each one of us (Acts 17:27).
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.
c. God’s presence keeps us in peace when chaos ensues. His presence keeps us from being lonely when others forsake us. His presence gives us courage when afraid. His presence gives us strength when we are weak.
d. One church sign read: “Keep your eyes on God. He never takes His eyes off you.”
5. Live one day at a time (Matt. 6:34)
Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
a. We worry far too much about tomorrow. In so doing, we miss today.
b. Tomorrow might not come. If tomorrow comes, it may not contain the bad things that we thought would happen.
c. Remember: Tomorrow will be today soon enough.
6. Counselors (Prov. 11:14)
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
a. Before we make decisions, get the advice of qualified, trusted counselors.
b. Getting advice does not mean that it must be followed.
c. Actions based on solid information decrease one’s anxiety and decrease the possibility of making a poor decision.
7. Change your thinking (Phil. 4:8)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
a. Wrong thinking, impure thinking, negative thinking, and childish thinking can and does impact both our emotional well-being and our actions.
b. To change our thinking, we must first be aware of what we are thinking.
1) We think in certain ways for so long that we are not aware of how we are thinking.
2) We must stop and take inventory of our thought processes. These can be discovered by taking inventory of the things that we say.
8. Realize who you are, a child of God (Rom. 8:31).
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
a. Being a child of God, should immediately cause us to make certain decisions very easily, especially in the realm of right and wrong.
b. Knowing that we are God’s children enables us to stand against wrong without fearing the consequences.
A. These lessons are hard for the Christian.
1. Fear, worry, and anxiety are often a display of a lack of faith.
2. These types of things we are supposed to give to God.
3. Yet, anxiety still takes hold of us.
B. We need to see our overcoming anxiety as a growth area (II Pet. 3:18).
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
C. Anxiety keeps us from the peace God desires in our lives. We hope this lesson on anxiety helps you to conquer it. Our wish for you is: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).