The War Between Anxiety & Faith
Day 4 of Calm My Anxious Heart, Lord
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
(John 8:31-32, ESV)
“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord: that he looked down from his holy height; from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die.” (Psalm 102:18-20, ESV)
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:13-18, ESV)
For a believer, anxiety is war. Have you ever seen a movie or a show where one of the characters had the power of invisibility? Their opponent confusedly swats the air, hoping beyond hope that they land a blow on their invisible foe. Well, anxiety is like that. Anxiety is fighting tooth and nail with a force you can’t see. You don’t know when or where it’s going to attack, and when it does, you feel powerless against its strength. The question is, how do you fight something you can’t see? Faith. Simple enough and yet immensely difficult. So, let’s get ready for war.
Every detail in the Bible was intentional, from the chosen passages to the organization. Armed with this knowledge, let’s look at the first piece of armor we are asked to put on in Ephesians 6. That’s right, the belt of truth. Before we go to war, we have to know the truth. We must learn the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the battle. Who are we fighting? The lies anxiety feeds us. What is the reason for the battle? To take away the power anxiety has over our minds. Where will this battle occur? Maybe in class, in the car, in church, in bed. The answer to that question is much more specific to where your anxiety is heightened. When will the battle begin? This one is harder to answer, although the more aware you are of the signals your body gives when anxiety is rising, the better you’ll be at knowing before it strikes. Why must we fight? Because not fighting means the battle is already lost. How can we win? With God and the truth of His Word.
God does not leave us in the battle. He hears our cries for help, equips us for battle, and fights by our side. He gives us the belt of truth through His Word. He tells us again and again through Scripture that we are known, loved, and chosen. He reminds us that He is with us always, and has plans for good and not evil. He gives us the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from corruption. He provides for us the shoes of the gospel to keep us going on our journey. He lays out the shield of faith for us to block the arrows of the enemy; the shield reminds us in the face of the impossible that our God is greater. He blesses us with the helmet of salvation to protect our minds. With our minds focused on the grace and goodness of God through salvation, we can have peace in the midst of the battle. Finally, He forges for us the sword of the Spirit that alone can judge the wicked and defend us against the devil’s assaults. It is our choice to put on the armor of God, and we must do so to fight.
You may not win every battle, so do not be disheartened when anxiety wins. Rather, stand up again with the strength of the Lord and know that the war is already won. Have faith that even when you fall, God, in His loving kindness, can and will lift you back out of the miry bog and set your feet on firm ground. I encourage you today to keep searching for truth and keep the faith.