You’re afraid. You’re anxious and upset. So you pray. And pray some more. But what about when your fear and anxiety are still there? Does being afraid mean your spiritual life is somehow weak? What are you doing wrong?
The connection between spirituality and fear (or no fear) is not always a simple one. As a believer you know God has an answer to your problems, so when you feel anxious or afraid you go to Him for a solution. There may be times when you feel as though He is really helping you. Your prayers seem to calm your mind or help you rest better. You’re grateful. God has come through.
At other times you may feel even worse when you pray. You start grasping at anything you can think of to try and get relief from God for how you feel. You read your Bible more, go to church more, or practice some spiritual warfare technique you’ve read about. You try to get help from other believers or at a special Christian event. But it feels like a vicious cycle; the more you struggle to find God’s answer, the more upset and anxious you become.
Fear, Anxiety, and Miracles
If you are a part of a community of faith that teaches and believes that the miracle-working power of God is available for us today, you may struggle with this even more. The harder you pray for a miracle, the more anxious and disappointed you feel when it seems God is doing nothing for you. Others are getting their miracle, so why aren’t you? Or perhaps you sense times when God’s presence is close to you and you’re sure you have found relief. This time your fear and anxiety is gone! But then you become even more frustrated when hours, days, or weeks later it all rushes back to overwhelm you with more force than ever.
Let me assure you that I believe in miracles. I’ve experienced them. I’ve seen them. I’ve prayed for people and seen God do something miraculous in answer to my prayer. I continue to pray for others and for my own needs, and will do so as long as I’m on this earth. I know without any doubt that God is good, loving, and powerful—and present with us right now.
I have also seen the frustration and disappointment in others and felt it myself when God’s answer does not immediately result in complete relief. Any short answer to that frustration would seem too superficial, but understanding the conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness helps keep that in perspective.
Is this Christian “thing” even Real?
When you struggle with fear and anxiety you may also find it difficult to relate to God at all. If you’ve prayed for healing and you haven’t experienced it to this point, you may wonder if this Christian thing is all just fake. You may ask, “What’s the point of believing God or praying if it doesn’t make any difference?” Let me assure you that God hears your cries, and it’s OK to ask those kinds of questions. He won’t get mad at you. He’ll be with you wherever you are.
You may also feel as though you’re a royal failure as a Christian if you can’t get this under control. After all, the Bible says “Be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). So you must be a real screw-up if you can’t follow those Biblical directions. You say to yourself, “No wonder everything’s wrong in my life. I’m not doing what God told me to do in His Word. I’ve just got to do better.”
And so you try harder and harder, and the more you try, the more your fear and anxiety increase.
The Way Out
There’s got to be a better way, and there is. That’s why you’re reading this. Part of the answer has to do with the integrated way in which God made you. The physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual parts of you all impact each other. If you’re sleep-deprived, for example, you will feel anxious much more easily.
Finding relief from something such as fear and anxiety usually involves all the areas of your life, and each aspect needs to be looked at individually. Cooperating with God in all those areas is part of what He desires for you in your journey toward health and well-being.
Most important, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t believe to some degree that God does have an answer for your fear and anxiety spiritually. Paul said, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7 NKJV) That sound mind is a gift that you can work for, cherish, and experience in your daily living.
Don’t give up! You’ll be glad you decided to hold on to hope, and take the steps necessary to live in the freedom and victory that Jesus has for you.
This post is adapted from a section in the first chapter of Overcoming Fear and Anxiety through Spiritual Warfare. You can get the first chapter FREE right here!
This book will help you understand the root causes for your fear and anxiety, and learn both practical and spiritual strategies to find victory.
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