We live in the age of anxiety. It dominates our thoughts, influences our emotions and drains our physical resources. It’s an unwelcome guest and a disruptive intruder. Anxiety spares no one, but it has its place and purpose.
We’ve always struggled with this, but now even more. The world today is overshadowed by deep-rooted anxiety that feeds our fears and worries. We live in an uncertainty overload.
Anxiety is a painful uneasiness of the mind tied to an impending event. Whether anxiety is triggered by stress or worry—or a mixture of both—it activates the body’s emergency-response system. It’s a response full of fear that includes sweating, muscle tensing, rapid pulse rate, and fast breathing. We experience anxiety in both our minds and our bodies. Anxiety’s close cousin, worry, resides in our minds.
We live in turmoil. Anxiety and worry are joy robbers interfering with our lives.
Habakkuk the prophet explains some common effects of worry and anxiety, “I heard, and I trembled within, my lips quivered at the sound. Rottenness entered my bones; I trembled where I stood,” (Habakkuk 3:16, CSB).
Anxiety is toxic and worry is thinking turned into poisoned thoughts. A small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. This is a misuse of thoughts that we allow to spin out of control. Where our thoughts start and end can be miles apart, due to run away thinking.
Excessive worry can cause suffering and even hinder our lives. It’s as though the worry portion of our brain has a spasm and can’t let go of the perceived problem to see the other side and good news is rejected.
Luke gives a command in 21:14-15, implying that we have the capability of following it. “Make up your mind” means we have a choice as to whether we choose to worry or choose not to worry. “Make up your mind” is translated from a Greek word that means “to premeditate.”
Whatever you choose to think about will either produce or dismiss feelings of anxiety and worry. Those who suffer from worry are choosing to center their minds on negative thoughts in this way.
God has made the provision, but you must take the action. Freedom from worry and anxiety is available, but you must take hold of it. Center your thoughts on God, not on worry.