Anxious for Nothing, Day 5 by Max Lucado
Paul’s final instruction in his prescription to anxiety is to meditate on the things of God. In other words, pick what you ponder. Picture your thoughts as airplanes in the sky above a busy airport. You are the air traffic controller of that airport. You get to decide which thoughts land and which ones fly away. Want to be happy tomorrow? Let the thoughts of happiness land today. Want to be miserable tomorrow? Let thoughts of guilt, worry, and fear land today.
Healing from anxiety requires healthy thinking. In truth, your challenge is not your challenge; your challenge is the way you think about your challenge. Likewise, your problem is not your problem; the way you look at the problem is your problem. Satan knows this, which is why he is always seeking to plant lies in your thinking. He wants to influence the way you perceive your struggles or uncertainties. But remember that he is not the master of your mind.
Furthermore, you have a power he can never defeat, for you have God on your side. When anxiety threatens to weigh down your heart, you can simply call on God. This slaps the handcuffs on the culprit and marches it before the One who has all authority. This denies worries and fears to have a platform to influence your mind. This guards your thoughts as you trust in God your Father.
Of course, saying this and doing this are two different things. You may want to resolve that today you will think only on things that are true, honorable, and right. . . even if it kills you. But who can really do this?
There is a simpler way: just make it your aim to cling to Christ. Abide in him. Go to him as your source of strength and the One your thoughts need to obey. Read God’s Word. Listen to sermons. Worship him. Set aside distractions and claim time for him. Understand that if anything good comes into your life, he will be the conduit.
The dominant duty of the disciple is to cling to Jesus. And when you cling to Jesus, you fill your mind with God’s truth. You disarm the enemy and keep anxiety at bay. You receive God’s truth. And that truth sets you free—free from fear, free from dread, and, yes, free from anxiety.
Having anxiety just means you are human. It does not mean you are emotionally underdeveloped, stupid, demon possessed, or a failure. It does not mean your parents failed you, or vice versa. And—this is important—it does not mean you are not a Christian. Yes, even Christians battle anxiety. Jesus himself battled anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane. But he didn’t stay anxious. And neither should you.
A new day awaits you. A new season in which you will worry less and trust more. A season with reduced fear and enhanced faith. Can you imagine a life in which you are anxious for nothing?
God can. And, with his help, you will experience it.
How has your understanding of God’s sovereignty over your problems helped you to keep your thoughts on good things? When has this been a struggle for you?
What does setting your eyes on Jesus mean to you? How does doing this help you keep your thoughts captive and obedient to Christ?
What strategy can you set up for the next time anxiety tries to take over your heart and mind?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Philippians 4:8
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.2 Corinthians 10:5