Luke 21:34-36. Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation [corruptness] and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Jesus instructed his disciples to be on guard and be alert so that during the years leading up to his return, we keep ourselves from sin and the personal concerns that emanate from evil in the world. The clear instruction is that prayer is the answer to being able to have the strength to escape what will happen now and to be ready to take our places before the Son of Man. Worries of this life, we are warned, can cause us to stumble and be unfruitful. Explained by the parable of the seed sown among the thorns (Matthew 6:25, 26), we learn that the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the Word out of our lives.
The National Institute of Mental Health1 conducted research which reported that anxiety disorders are the number one mental health problem among American women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. During the 1990’s, panic and anxiety disorders climbed to epidemic proportions and are still climbing. Over 50 million people in the United States are unable to function socially and unable to work, due to panic attacks, phobias, and other anxiety disorders in just one year.
Most debilitating anxiety is thought to be the result of cumulative stress over time. One reason given for increases in stress is the burgeoning wealth of information that bombards us constantly due to technological changes. We absorb stress at alarming rates due to our culture of technology that keeps us informed of all the disasters, wars, and evil in the world.
Frequently, anxiety is induced by being unsure of our circumstances and feeling lack of control. With the onslaught of worldviews and values promoted by the media, people are left to determine for themselves what is important, right, and just. All of this causes an erosion of a person’s ability to manage everyday occurrences let alone the ever-present city, state, country, and global issues that surround us.
Godlessness is rampant, and anxiety multiplies and strangles people’s lives. Christians are not immune to the unbelief of anxiety. We need to strengthen our minds with prayer and Scripture each day. Dealing with offenses, losses, difficult people, and sin patterns of loved ones distract Christians from their faith and trusting in
Matthew 6:25-27. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you being worried can add a single hour to his life?
If we as Christians have been given the ability by God to not worry about our lives or to be entangled with daily cares (2 Timothy 2:4), we have no need to be anxious for our safety, food, clothing, jobs, and health. We have Yahweh who provides for us, protects us, and has eternal life awaiting us.
Philippians 4:6-7. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Training our minds to be at peace is a difficult process when we do not have a disciplined mind to begin with. But with the help of God and the holy spirit, we can become disciplined. Just as we exercise our body muscles to be strong, we have to exercise our brains to think the way they were designed to think—the way that Christ’s
Jesus gave us fair warning (Mark 13) to trust in the holy spirit and to not be deceived by the senses. As we become more knowledgeable about the Scriptures, we begin to develop a personal relationship with God through Christ. Through this process, we will find that our anxiety will dissipate because we will be trusting
Anxious thoughts are those that are contrary to what the Word says. Every thought is to line up with the Word. The time to start training our minds is now. When adversities happen, we need to have our thoughts and faith already in order. We cannot delay a minute longer. Read, study, and pray to be able to have peace and the strength to stand strong in the evil day.