“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear, trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
What a powerful picture this paints of the effect of worry, stress and fear on our lives when it is left unchecked.
When worry becomes “a channel” in our minds all our good thoughts and positive experiences are drained away and we are robbed of joy.
In fact, Chuck Swindoll has wisely observed that three of the greatest “joy stealers” in life are “worry, stress and fear”.
This unhealthy trio have the unique ability to make all things worse than they are and when I look closely at myself, it is a classic description of me at times!
I read in Philippians 4:6-7 that I am to take all my worries and troubles to God, but I forget so quickly what I learn and seem to need constant reminding of this truth.
But let’s remind ourselves again about the author of this statement, Paul, and his own personal circumstances when he penned this letter.
People were envious of his ministry, he was under house arrest in Rome awaiting trial and it was quite likely the verdict would come down against him, condemning him to death.
He had plenty to worry and stress about and which had the potential to rob him of his joy in Christ and life generally, yet he never succumbs to despair.
Instead, he lets the Philippians (and us) in on his secret in chapter 4, verse 13:
“I can do all things through Him (Jesus) who strengthens me.”
No matter what life threw at him, Paul met it head on in the power, strength and grace of Jesus!
I am learning this too.
When my mind heads in the direction of my worries, I remind myself of Philippians 4:13 – that Christ’s power, strength and grace is available to me also!
And I pray something like this:
Help me to not give in to worry, stress or fear. I renounce them in Jesus’ Name!
Help me to live in your peace.
Help me to trust in the good work you have begun in me and in the fact that you will bring it to completion.
In Jesus’ Name, amen.”
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – The Apostle Paul.