Just as it takes work to evict a squatter from a property they do not own, removing anxiety from your life, when there are very real problems occurring, also requires our fervent attention and participation.

Evicting Anxiety from Your Day

by Fia Curley
7/23/18 Christian Living

There are some passages of Scripture that seem a little challenging to follow during those uncomfortable episodes that make up life.

Bless those who curse you? Yep, that’s what He says.
Purposely do good to those who have harmed you? Yeah, that’s expected too.
Actually forgiving someone who has maliciously hurt and abused you? Well, the Spirit’s help is definitely needed to fulfill that mandate.

There are also those verses that cause us to cringe, the ones that we don’t quite appreciate because we know we don’t quite follow them; the ones that we quickly gloss over and take as suggestions instead of commands, because we know God couldn’t really expect us to achieve something so. . . impossible.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

With all that is happening in the world today, it’s not surprising that feelings of anxiety seem to creep into our daily lives, attacking our emotions, and warping thought patterns and perspectives of our present and the future.

Terrorism, incurable diseases, random acts of violence, real financial pressures, world leaders with very few answers against the uncertainty of rising world issues, and upheavals in our personal lives don’t do much to help a person stay calm in today’s world.

Suddenly blessing and forgiving the most hurtful offenses begins to look a little easier.

Thankfully, the Lord has made His power available for times such as these.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

The One who sticks closer than a brother calls us “more than overcomers” because of what His powerful love accomplished for us and what He has made available to us.

Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for anyone who chooses Him as Lord and Savior to be secure and established with His power. His word gives us direction. His Spirit gives us the strength and ability to follow His word as we relinquish control and trust the only One who is trustworthy.

Just as it takes work to evict a squatter from a property they do not own, removing anxiety from your life, when there are very real problems occurring, also requires our fervent attention and participation. But the Lord has outlined clear steps that can be followed, because our great Comforter and Helper desires to see His children walk live victoriously in this life.

Refuse Anxiety

Jesus did not allow Himself to be nailed to a cross so that your life could be overrun by anxiety. That was not the “life more abundantly” He envisioned for His followers. His intention for His children is for them to walk in freedom.

“[My] peace I leave with you.” (John 14:27)

The inherent power of Scripture and of His Spirit within is strong enough to overcome every accusation the enemy hurls at believers during times of turmoil.

Yes, there are real dangers and threats in the world, but the enemy often capitalizes on these moments to cause anxiety to arise regarding what could happen, wanting us to forget that we have no reason to fear because Jesus has overcome the world. The Son of God has been given all power and authority; He is the victorious King, who is for you today in the midst of this unsettling landscape. These are the truths the enemy wants to distract us from remembering, so we become overrun by anxiety.  But we don’t have to fall prey to his tactics.

Contrary to popular belief, with God’s power, it is possible to control negative emotions that arise within and not be overcome by them. Emotions are closely connected to thoughts, making what we think a key issue to how we feel about what is going on around us. A diagnosis from the oncologist can be devastating if the power and faithfulness of God is not taken into account and inserted in the situation. What we think and how we think about news of the latest act of terror greatly affects our response and ability to trust the Lord during times of instability.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. . .” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

The verses we memorized as children, the ones we know by heart, they must be our meditation. They must filter up into our minds and redirect our thoughts so that we speak and think differently, causing our actions to align to what the Lord has for His followers.

Pray and Ask

Instead of using energy to follow the enemy’s path into anxiety, that same level of focus can be used to follow God’s path toward life. But it starts with conversation. God doesn’t ask anyone to deny what is happening—He sees all that’s taking place within the lives of His children—but He desires to draw us into truth, to see how He is greater than all things. In situations of sickness, disease, trauma, lack, threats, great need, desperation, betrayal, and uncertainty God is able to intervene and transform situations.

I called on the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. (Psalm 118:5–9)

When we speak to the Lord about the latest event trying to springboard us into the dangerous pool of anxiety, it’s not for the sake of updating Him—God knows all things; He is well versed in every detail of the situation. Instead, when we come to Him, we give Him access to our hearts once again.

Through prayer, we extend the invitation for His involvement in our situation. When we converse with Him, we are better able to see our great need and simultaneously, His great strength. As we sit before Him, we are able to calm our wavering emotions, asserting the truth of God’s character, the strength of His power, and the ferocity of His desire to help us as He shows forth His nature as Father.

As children of God, we have been given that same privilege Jesus has to boldly come to our Father to make requests, and see the Ancient of Days answer with power and strength.

“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” (Psalm 2:8)

Rather than just hoping the Lord intervenes, we can actively request His help, and as a result, have our confidence built in God’s nature as the Helper who responds to the cries of His children; it will allow us to become increasingly certain of God’s goodness, His provision, and His nearness.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

He desires to help us.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  (Hebrews 13:5–6)

Grow in Gratitude

While it’s important for us to present our requests to God with humility, it’s also crucial that we cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Instead of giving into anxiety, we can step back to reflect on how God has exhibited His faithfulness toward us in times past. This time of reflection encourages the heart. The Lord who was faithful in times past and is the same yesterday, today, and forever will be faithful once again. He is One who is never anxious, never worried, never at a loss, and always prevails.

Regardless of what His children feel they are up against, those situations are not greater than our undefeated God. He splits the seas, leads His people to safety, rescues, redeems, renews, and frees. In the worst of situations, He provides hope; in the most trying times, He offers peace that annihilates anxiety; and in the midst of chaos, He supplies answers that create viable solutions for all involved.

Whether it’s His exploits in the days of old, His creative ability within or around us, or His track record of faithfulness as Provider, Healer, and Friend, the Lord is always worthy of praise.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

Regardless of the threats we’re facing, the opportunity to open our mouths and thank the Lord for His ability, strength, and provision is key to overcoming the temptation to be anxious. In these moments we can find that life and death truly are in the power of the tongue.

In His graciousness, the Lord doesn’t just tell us how to handle anxiety, but He builds anticipation for what is to come when we follow His command to evict anxiety from our lives. After removing the tentacles of anxious thinking and pressing through the flurry of “what if’s,” there is space for what the Lord has provided for us. In its place we receive peace, serenity, and tranquility built upon truth.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Exercise: Put Anxiety to the Test

1. Has the Lord ever failed you?
No—Oh, okay. Go to No. 2.
Yes—Oh, really? Skip to No. 4.

2. Has He ever failed to help you or take care of you?
No—Well, then move to No. 3.
Yes—Skip to No. 4.

3. Okay. Has He left you or bailed on you in your time of need?
No—Interesting. Move to No. 6.
Yes—Really? Move to No. 7.

4. And by failed, do you mean disappointed your expectations?
No—Not really? Move to No. 7.
Yes—I see. Move to No. 5.

5. Were your expectations realistic, godly, derived from pure motives and for the good and maturity of everyone involved, for years to come and into eternity?
No—Probably not completely? Move to No. 7.
Yes—I see… Skip to B.

6. If He hasn’t forsaken you, has He ever completely and utterly failed you in some way?
No—Hmmm… Move to No. 7.
Yes—Then move to No. 7.

7. Has He shown Himself to be untrustworthy or unkind to you?
No—Okay, move to point A.
Yes—Fascinating; move to point B.

(A) If the Lord is continuing to show you His goodness, then why are you so anxious? Really? Why allow anxiety to rule your thoughts and actions when the love the Lord has is so great? He loves His children. He is a good Father. And maybe the better question would be, how is your faith? Has your confidence in the Lord been taking a beating lately? Has the accusation against His nature, His ability, and His love for you gained traction in your heart? More pointedly, do you believe God is good? Do you believe He has all power and controls everything? Do you believe He loves and likes you? Because if you absolutely believe these things, if you believe Truth, then fear and anxiety are not your portion. They have no place in your life. They are squatting in the space the Lord wants to grow and birth the miraculous. Shove them aside, replace them with truth. Plant the word in your heart and see the Lord grow it into something beautiful that can withstand the pressures of life, the threats of the enemy, and the uncertainty of what’s ahead as you rest in the certainty of God’s loving hands.

(B) That’s interesting. . . Well then, if you can foresee how one event relates to and impacts all involved, then you’re definitely a top candidate for sustaining all things. Or you could be dealing with a sneak attack of pride and stepping onto a path blazed by Lucifer. Be careful! Because the Lord is clear that His ways are high above our ways. There’s a good chance there is a reason as to why events didn’t work out the way you desired. And before you ever realized the outcome to your problem, God had created a plan for redemption because God is always good. And while that event may have felt disappointing—or even still feels crushing—the Lord’s nature as one who redeems, who causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, will prevail. Then all disappointment will be exchanged for true fulfillment and true joy that will last for all eternity. But it’s your choice to believe that, or not, and respond accordingly.

This message from IHOPKC leader Daniel Hoogteijling is a great reminder of the God we call Father, the one who is able and willing to help us in our time of need.  


Fia Curley


    Fia Curley served on the NightWatch at IHOPKC for many years, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. Currently attending college in New York, she enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.

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