Calm for the anxious mind

‘Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.’
(Jodi Picoult)

I know worrying doesn’t get me far , but still I sit & rock.

‘Worry pretends to be necessary, but serves no useful purpose.'(Eckhart Tolle)

That’s true too. But it’s hard NOT to worry isn’t it?

What can we do instead? When we read our Maker’s Handbook it tells us:
‘Don’t worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank him for all he has done.
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.’
(Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Turn worries into prayers & God’s peace will displace our anxieties:
‘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 ‭MSG‬‬)

We can bring our concerns to God:
‘Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.’
‭‭(1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’
‭‭(1Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

His love can dispel our fears {if we let Him} for:
‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.’
‭‭(1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

We have a powerful God to turn to -Who is greater than all things:
‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world'(1 John 4:4)

We need to focus on God rather than our problems. For:
‘Anxiety & fears are like baby tigers. The more you feed them the stronger they grow’
(Billy Graham)

We need to tune into God’s whispers rather than our insecurities:
‘When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul’(Psalm 94:19-KJV)

‘Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.’
‭‭(Proverbs‬ ‭1:33‬ ‭ESV)

‘Forget about self confidence- it’s useless –
cultivate God- confidence’
(I Cor 10 MSG)

There’s plenty to worry about – but worry doesn’t diminish any stress. We don’t have capacity to deal will anxiety- but God does:
‘For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.’
‭‭(1 John‬ ‭3:18-20‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

In this world there will always be trouble. Bad things happen to good people. We are living in a broken world where it feels like no news is good news. But no matter what,we can place our confidence in God.

‘You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.’
‭‭(Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

We can place our hope & confidence in God & thrive rather than just survive:
‘But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.’
‭‭(Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

‘Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.’
‭‭(Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

I like that phrase- serene & calm – though often I’m the opposite. We can gain calmness by being rooted deep in Him.

Often we worry about things that haven’t happened & that might never happen. When we do, we’re just sitting on that rocking chair getting nowhere!

‘So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.’
(Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

‘Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.’
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭6:30-34‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

‘Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.'(Charles Spurgeon)

We have choices to make to maintain a tranquil mind:
‘Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.’
(Henry Ward Beecher)

If you’re like me, it’s not just the tomorrows you worry about- it’s the yesterdays. Overthinking what’s already happened is futile. We need to leave it with God who understands our situations & forgives us quicker than we forgive ourselves.

Take heart:
‘The Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.’
(CS Lewis)

So, be present:
‘Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.’
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Keep looking up:
‘Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow;
the same Everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day.
Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace then,
and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations’
(St Francis De Sales)

‘Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD, the LORD is the Rock Eternal’ (Isa 26:4)



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