Anxiety – “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Proverbs 12:25 – “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.”
In the recent days, I have counseled several people suffering from anxiety attacks. All of these people have a salvation experience with God through the power of the Holy Ghost. Yet, anxiety invaded their lives to almost a dysfunctional stage.
Everyone at some time in life feels an unease or worry about something in his/her life. Thankfully, it seems God helps us get through it and we are not paralyzed by fear. Having continual anxiety or panic attacks go beyond a routine unease feeling.
Anxiety has its roots in fear. We fear the unknown or uncertain future usually based on something that has happened in our past. God does not give us a spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind. We must face the fact that if we are full of anxiety, we are not fully trusting God with our today or our future.
It is Satan’s goal to steal, kill and destroy our faith in God. He wants us to focus on the unknown and the uncertainties of life. Even this counselor has experienced anxiety and panic attacks. It was a horrible experience. I was focusing on a major loss instead of focusing on God. I was looking at the ‘what if’s’ of this loss, struggling to believe God for restoration of a very important legal situation. This ‘loss’ had been going on for a year. I had done all that I could do and yet there was no answer.
We had prayed and prayed. The devil, in his sly foxy way, kept me thinking about the devastation if this loss became permanent. I was waking out of my sleep with panic attacks – sweating and feeling sick in my stomach! I had been interceding before the Lord and it seemed the more I prayed the worse the anxiety.
One night very late after a year of prayer, I called a sweet friend who knows how to pray in the power of the Holy Ghost. I felt like Moses in that my ‘arms of faith’ were getting weak and I needed support. She knew about the problem. I said, “You’ve got to pray for me. The anxiety is overwhelming me. I can’t pray for myself. I need your help.” She started praying in the Holy Ghost. She rebuked the devil and his schemes. She prayed for God’s peace to enter my heart and mind. We cried and prayed together for a long time and slowly the heaviness of the situation seem to lift. I knew I must trust God one day at a time and not forecast the unknown future.
I made a firm decision to start praising God for the answer to the problem. I started thanking Him for sending angels into the situation and bringing the legal answer that was needed. As I praised Him for the answer, my spirit lifted and I never had another panic attack. I counsel other people that nothing happens in our lives that is a surprise to God. His grace is sufficient for today.
I continued to pray and reached out for one more legal action that could help my situation. Four and one-half months later, I received a phone call that the miracle had happened! The legal matter had been reversed to my ministry’s favor and all was restored after one and a half years. Hallelujah!
When I got off the phone and told my husband through tears, I just sobbed and sobbed with overwhelming thanksgiving and there was a tingling from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. (I’ve written about the details of this in a book entitled: Our Job-like Adversity that I will publish when God brings the full completion to our story – this one issue being a small part).
My decision to be vulnerable in sharing this story is to let everyone know that the devil is on the warpath against all of us. He has limited knowledge, but with that knowledge, it is his goal to put us in a spiritual warfare whipping us with the negative ‘stinkin thinkin’ of our circumstances. He wants us to look on the temporal painful things in our lives (toxic thinking) instead of looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith!
As a man thinketh in his heart so is he! That’s God’s truth. So if I’m thinking negatively about my life and the unknowns, it will drag me into the depths of despair. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So If I’m speaking to the uncertainties of my life with doubt, my thinking will be toxic and my faith in God will go to zero!
Isaiah 61 tells us Jesus came to bring salvation and also came to heal the broken in heart and set the captives free – free of their depressed toxic feelings. When we trade the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise, praise will repel and replace the heavy spirit. Try it! It works! It is not based on feelings!!!! Feelings ebb and flow like the ocean waves. We must say, “What is God’s truth?”
God promised He would never leave or forsake us. God promised to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. God has a plan for our lives that is not for evil but for good. God said to draw close to Him and He would draw close to us. God said the tongue has the power of death or life.
We must speak ‘life’ into our prayers and circumstances. When we speak ‘life,’ our physical brain starts flashing with color. When we speak ‘death’, our physical brain creates blackness. Our whole body responds to our thoughts and words either negative or positive.
God tells us not to worry about anything – to pray about everything – make our needs known to God with thanksgiving and the peace of God that passes all understanding will enter our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!
Philippians 4:6-7 The Message (MSG) 6-7 “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Philippians 4:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT) 6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Notice verse 7 says – “His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus!” God knows our battle is in the mind.
Whatever unknown and uncertainty you are facing, start thanking God for the answer, direction, guidance, provision and wisdom right now. Praise Him for His goodness for His provision in the past and for what He will do in the future.
If you need to make changes in your life, then do so. Seek godly counsel. There is safety in counsel. When we have done all, then we are mandated by God to stand!
We are facing some major needs for my ministry. I’m thanking God daily for the answers. I do not know when the answers will come, but I’m making a choice to trust Him and thank Him. I’ve done all I can do, so I choose to stand on His promises no matter how I feel. It is a choice to speak His Truth. I do prayer journaling to God. I’m gut honest with Him on what I’m thinking and feeling. I give Him praise and thanksgiving for His daily blessings and for His future provision and guidance. I write out the specific requests in detail.
Even though I’m not residing on the ‘easy street’ of life and have no concrete natural hope in this life, I choose to trust in God for His provision, guidance, and wisdom daily. When the devil knocks on my mind with a toxic thought I say, “Away with you, Satan! Greater is He that is in me than he that is in this world!” I go to God’s Word and read His promises and choose to believe them. There is no other alternative – the devil has nothing to offer!!
We are in a spiritual warfare and I choose to put on the whole armor of God: Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT) – 10 “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
An old chorus says, “I trust in God. I know He cares for me on mountain peaks or on the stormy sea. Though billows roll, HE keeps my soul. My heaven Father watches over me.”
© Carol Clemans – www.carolclemans.org – read ‘about ministry’ page for counseling and teaching ministry nationwide (636) 448-0121- teaching CD’s, DVD’s, book: God’s Design for Marriage soft cover or eBook: amazon.com. Teaching on Carol Clemans YouTube channel. FB: LIFE ENRICHMENT MINISTRIES, INC. (501c3), Carol Theobald Clemans, join Growing in God Spiritually, Emotionally and Relationally. Ministry ref: Pastor Daniel Batchelor, Dupo, IL.