This month I have been feeling somewhat anxious at times. It is something I do struggle with regularly. I wonder if you are like me? Do you panic when a deadline looms near? Does anxiety strike when the right words just won't come?
Too often when I get anxious I focus on whatever I am anxious about. I look at it. I try to work out a solution by myself. I try to analyse it. Two counsellors have told me I have a tendency to over analyse things. I am sure they were right. The more I do all these things the worse the anxiety gets.
Last Sunday I was reminded of this verse,
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18
In my moments of fear and anxiety I forget His love, His perfect love, which drives out fear. The anxiety has deafened and blinded me to His love. I know God's love intellectually but at a heart level I am no longer aware of it. I have shut it out and allowed fear to creep round my heart with icy fingers and lying whispers.
Perfect love comes from our Father God in heaven, in His Son who died for us and in the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. The antidote to anxiety and fear is to look at how much God loves you.
I remember hearing Francis Chan speak at New Wine in the summer of 2012. One of the sessions stands out in particular. He was talking about the greatness of God. He told us how reminding ourselves of how great, loving and strong God is will increase our faith. He spent most of that session giving us a description of God based on the Scriptures. I tell you, by the end of the session my faith in His love for me was much stronger than it had been for ages.
Unfortunately, when trouble comes, when fear raises it's head, I start to look at the fear not at God. May I encourage you to look to God first. I confess I don't always practise what I preach but when I do remember to do it the anxiety disappears like morning mist in the rising rays of the sun.
|Morning mist over Hounslow Heath, Middlesex|
This week has been better than last week because I have been spending more time looking at God and His love rather than staring fearfully at the problems. His perfect love really does drive out fear.
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
Remember His great love today.
Lynda Alsford is a sea loving, cat loving receptionist/administrator and writes in her spare time. She is also administrator for ACW. She has written two books, He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. She writes a newsletter, Seeking the Healer, in which she shares the spiritual insights she has gained on her journey. Sign up for this at her website,www.lyndaalsford.com.