Let me clarify from the outset that I feel compassion for any of you that struggle with debilitating anxiety, as I have been in those shoes.
Occasionally, the suggestions and symptoms of anxiety try to rear their ugly head in my life.
That being said, I’m absolutely tired of accepting ongoing anxiety as the normal course of life. It is not His Will for you to continually wrestle with anxiety. Period.
Yet we, as a culture, have become so accustomed to living with anxiety that in an attempt to destigmatize it and comfort those who struggle, we’ve thrown up the white flag and made a bed for it. Hell no.
And I meant those words just as I wrote them.
In my morning prayer and reading time last week, the Lord showed me some insights regarding anxiety that were liberating for me. Directly after, as I checked my Facebook feed, this was the first ad served to me. I understand the approach and recognize that normalizing something can take some sting out of its effects. The problem is, many times, what we normalize, we tolerate, and what we tolerate eventually dominates.
By no means am I saying that you’re not spiritual enough if you take medicine for anxiety. In fact, taking medicine for anxiety is actually because we recognize anxiety is not normal. I am not even going to get close to giving you medical advice. What I am saying is, stop letting any voice tell you that anxiety is “normal.”
I teach the Word of God, so that’s where I must go above all else. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that anxiety is not meant to be your “normal” because Jesus paid not only for your sins but your entire person, spirit, soul, and body.
Isaiah 53:5 says “The chastening for our [fn]well-being fell upon Him,”
Well-being is salom (shaw-lome), a loaded word in Hebrew. Among other things, it means peace, quiet, tranquillity, and contentment.
Directly before this verse, the Word tells us that Jesus carried our “sorrows”, the Hebrew word Makob (mak-obe’), which means physical and mental pain.
Isaiah 53 is the atonement passage, the passage that describes His substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf. It is clear through just a basic study of this passage that your anxiety and mental health was paid for by the blood of Jesus. He carried its weight, and you now have the receipt that it is paid for! You do not have to bear the weight of it any longer. You do not have to accept it as normal. If He paid for it to be dealt with in His own body, then by God its answer is mine.
Some Sources of anxiety
I recognize that anxiety can come from many sources. I’ve taught that anxiety can come from a disproportionate focus on spans of time you can’t control.
I’ve also seen many people whose anxiety is just straight demonic. You may not accept that as the truth if you are of a more liberal(theologically), cessationist, or deist persuasion. However, the enemy would love nothing more than for us to ignore this reality of the spirit realm. Demonically empowered anxiety does not go away with medicine or counseling. It must be dealt with in the spirit. I’ve personally seen the demonic manifestations of anxiety when they are exposed, and it ain’t cute. Sorry if that doesn’t butter your biscuit, but I’ve done enough deliverance to see how evil it is.
There is another source of anxiety that we rarely ever talk about because at surface level, the two concepts don’t seem to go together at all. In my previously mentioned devotional time with the Lord last week, I read a well-tread proverb in my bible:
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25
Sometimes, when I am reading the Word, the Lord will highlight a specific word to me and invite me to look it up, not just in the original language, but to look up the word picture constructed by the letters that make up the word. Sometime later in this blog, I may dive into some of the cool picture studies I’ve done.
The word picture included an open door, a pathway, and Pride. Immediately upon seeing this, God reminded me of a time back in November of last year when He told me that there is a link between pride and anxiety, but I didn’t understand in my dullness. This moment reawakened me to the pathway between the two, and I began to see it clearly.
Though symptoms of anxiety look weak and would tend to suggest anything other than our puffed-out chest understanding of pride, sometimes pride is the culprit, and what the Word says about pride is true whether we recognize it or not.
Pride manifests in anxiety with inner thoughts like:
“Let’s be honest; if this thing is going to work out, it’s ultimately in my hands.”
“If I let my cares/anxieties go, they won’t get solved.”
In other words, I’m ultimately more powerful or in charge than God is in my life. We believe in our core that at the end of the day, we care more than He does. And if we stop caring, everything will fall apart. At that point, you’re the center of the world, and let me tell you, your shoulders aren’t big enough to handle that responsibility. If I’m the end-all-be-all of my own world, it’s pride.
Self-help culture perpetuates anxiety in many ways putting man at the center, the solution to all problems. You don’t need self-help; He is the “very present help” in times of trouble.
Let’s Take it to the Word Again
Do I have a verse for all this? Glad you asked:
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you. – 1 Peter 5:6-8 New American Standard Bible
Do you see what I’m seeing? I can assure you, that He cares even more about your well-being than you do. He proved it in the Atonement. Because we know He cares, we cast all our anxiety on Him. Notice 6 and 7 are continuous thought, and most translations agree. Why would we be instructed to humble ourselves as part of casting our anxiety on Him if pride were not a factor? What’s the opposite of pride?
I’d be willing to bet, that at the root of your resistance to casting all your anxiety on Him is pride.
Colin Smith, an American Pastor from Chicago, states, “The root of all worry and anxiety lies in the belief that what happens is ultimately in our hands.”
I’m not ready to claim pride as the sole source, but I know there’s a clear path between the two. The good news is, no matter the source, Jesus paid for me to be well.
I’m not trying to over-spiritualize it; I just have a responsibility to lead you to the Word.
I am not blaming you for your anxiety. There’s nothing worse than when you have anxiety, and someone tells you not to have anxiety. It gives your anxiety anxiety.
Both of these ideas are simply not true. If you were in survival mode as a child, this can be so hard to let go of. Do it anyway. Put your concerns in His hands and forsake the idea that you can hold it all together. You can’t. Just break and let Him rearrange the pieces.
Jesus paid for your anxiety. It is not your normal. Wholeness is. Bless you.
I am a Pastor, Author, and Teacher based out of Kansas City, MO. I am passionate about the message of the Kingdom, Grace, Healing and the renewing of the mind. I have been following God since age 18 when I was radically transformed and inserted into revival. I have learned some hard lessons and seen some wonderful fruit in the Kingdom, and my goal is to impart wisdom and grace to you to walk in fullness. I have a walking miracle for a wife and three amazing boys.