The Search for Truth
Day 3 of Calm My Anxious Heart, Lord
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26, ESV)
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34, ESV)
Let me begin with a word of encouragement: struggling with anxiety does not make you weak or less of a believer. There, I said it. So many of us live in fear of admitting that we are not okay because of how people may perceive us. As cliché as it may sound, it’s okay not to be okay. Even if you feel judged by peers, I can promise you that our God does not look on you with judgment but with love. Rather than be ashamed of your anxiety disorder, my hope today is that you will seek to understand it and begin to break the cycle.
Anxiety isn’t a lack of faith but an absence of truth. On Day One, I told you anxiety is a lie, but more accurately, it’s an abundance of lies. Anxiety tells you that the what-ifs are a reality. It tells you that your mistakes make you a failure. It tells you that the uncertain is certain. When we believe the lies, we give them power, and the lies shape our mindset. Our anxiety feeds the lies and the lies feed our anxiety in return. We get stuck in this endless cycle that can make it impossible to distinguish the truths from the lies. This is why searching for the truth is vital for combatting anxiety. The more solid a foundation you have built in truth, the less power is given over to anxiety.
Everyone has beliefs, and I don’t mean religious beliefs. Each person has their own core beliefs about life, family, school, work, friends, etc., but most importantly, about themselves. We take experiences and emotions and form ideas that we accept as indisputable “facts.” These “facts” begin to influence our actions and reactions. Don’t get me wrong, we can have normal, truth-based core beliefs, but most often for an anxious believer they aren’t all based in truth. For example, one of my core beliefs was that when I made a mistake, it became my identity. I believed that if I hurt a friend, failed a test, missed a deadline, or disobeyed authority, I would only be seen for my mistakes, and therefore I had to be flawless to maintain a positive image. This once-small lie that anxiety told me became so commonplace that I didn’t even realize it wasn’t true. The truth is that value is not determined by mistakes. How do I know that? God’s Word.
Over and over again in Scripture, we see God using flawed people for His perfect will. Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel, deceived his father and played favorites with his sons. David, a man after God’s own heart, was a murderer and an adulterer. Peter, a great apostle, denied Jesus as He stood trial for sins He didn’t commit. All of these men were used by God to do great things. It’s these truths that drown out the lies anxiety feeds. Worried about the future? Jesus tells us that it’s in God’s hands. Financial uncertainty? It’s in God’s hands. Your greatest asset in the battle with an anxiety disorder is God’s Word. There are definitely other aids that we will discuss in later days, but I can tell you that when I had nothing else, it was God’s Word that gave me peace.
My challenge to you today is to take every thought captive. The biggest struggle with an anxiety disorder is not being able to distinguish the root of your worry. When you feel anxiety rising, pause, breathe, and take account of your environment. Listen to your body, and then listen to your mind. If you can find the root of your worry, look up Scripture that addresses the issue. If your mind is still swirling, I encourage you to read the Psalms. When I was in my lowest place, I read a Psalm daily, and every day I could feel the Lord speaking to my weary mind. Peace truly comes from His Word. Open your Bible, breathe in His Word, and keep searching for truth.