3 Ways to Fight Anxiety in the Midst of a Crisis
To feel anxious is a bit of an understatement when your world has been flipped upside down. When life as we know it comes to a screeching halt, it seems our natural reaction is to feel anxious. This COVID-19 crisis is certainly no exception. It’s not enough to feel anxious about getting the virus yourself but there are warnings that anyone could be a carrier and pass it along without even knowing it. Not to mention the economic halt that has shut down business, cost people their jobs, and tanked the retirement accounts. All of this would be bad enough but to top it off, our churches cannot meet due to government mandates for health and safety and there is no clear indication when this will lift. To say that this crisis is a breeding ground for anxiety is an understatement. Yet, when our world is flipped upside down, when we have lost our money or our jobs and are physically cut off from our community, the questions remains, is it possible to fight back against this overwhelming anxiousness? The answer is yes! Yes, we can fight back but to start with we need to put our faith into action. This means that we must take what we know of the Bible and about the Bible and put it into action, trusting that since this is the very Word of God, we can bank on what it says. By doing this, we can look at 3 ways to fight this anxiety.
1. Take Your Thoughts Captive.
To start with we need to take our thoughts captive. Peter puts says this well in 1 Peter 1:13.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The phrase “preparing your minds for action” comes from the Greek meaning to gird up the loins of your mind. Peter tells us to take our thoughts captive and be ready for action. Anxiety can have a crippling effect; it can easily control your thoughts where your thought life becomes unfiltered and the downward spiral quickly begins. You can begin to fight this by taking your thoughts captive and not letting them control you. Don’t let the worst-case scenarios cloud your judgement. Take a moment, pray your request to the Lord (Phil. 4:6-8) and then make a plan on how to proceed next. This is how you can be sober minded. Where you no longer try to fight the anxiety by anything other than Jesus. Why Jesus? As Peter says, we are to set our hope fully on Him! If we think back to Jesus, who loved us so much that He took our sin punishment and died for our sins on the cross, it helps to view what we are anxious about through this gospel perspective. If He loved us so much that He would die for us, can’t we then trust Him with whatever it is that is making us anxious? By taking our thoughts captive, we can begin to turn over our anxiety to Jesus and set our hope fully on Him and not of the things of this world. As we have seen the last few weeks, this world will fade away, but our Savior will not.
2. Saturate Your Heart in Jesus.