Attitudes that Help Overcome Anxiety
Anxiety is what was described as the emotion of the generation, seeing how it seems to affect a large number of people. This week, we learnt from Mr Ardi the three attitudes we are to undertake when dealing with anxiety as we turn to Philippians 4:6.
Attitude 1: Acknowledging God’s Sovereignty
Our first attitude involves submission to recognise God’s sovereignty. So we look to Philippians 4:6, which says “Do not be anxious”(NIV).This is a command that we should acknowledge the full sovereignty of God, completely and actively surrendering of our lives to Him. But how? This requires self-denial, as our role model, Jesus, displayed in His ministry. Self-denial is the distinction between a follower and a disciple. Self-denial separates the ones who just follow the movement of Jesus and those who walk in His ways (Matthew 16:24). But, self-denial isn’t easy in practice. It’s about putting aside our sinful nature and genuinely trying to imitate Christ. While it’s difficult because of our fleshly nature, doing so means we’re opening ourselves to doing God’s will on Earth. Being disciples means that God’s will is then also our will. But we could only know God’s will by interacting and receiving the Word of God.
Attitude 2: Declare Everything in Supplication
We must understand this: everything that happens is meticulously supervised by God (1 Peter 5:7). But that doesn’t mean we stop praying. We pray in all situations to see God’s intervention on our behalf. Prayer shouldn’t be whining, but it’s specific in requesting God’s intervention. Even though God is all-knowing and knows our every need, He still waits on us to ask Him. God seeks active communication with us (Jeremiah 29:12). His answers might vary but there is no prayer that goes unheard (Daniel 10:12). We see this prayerful attitude in Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). Despite being a man named after the “pain” and “sorrow” of his birth, his prayer to God was genuine and specific. So, God was pleased with him and answered his prayer.
Attitude 3: Thanksgiving in Every Situation
Philippians 4:6 says we must give thanks “in every situation.” This means we need to be ready to surrender to God. But is it just God, or Jesus or the Holy Spirit? Mr Ardi posed some interesting questions: Do we understand thanksgiving within the context of the Trinity? Are we to thank the Father, Spirit, and Christ every single time we pray? Paul enlightens us with how the gratitude flows to and through God, from one part of the Trinity to another. First, gratitude is given to God the Father through Jesus Christ. This means Jesus is the ‘channel’ for gratitude; giving thanks to Jesus means we automatically give thanks to the Father. Paul also tells us that God is revealed to people through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) allowing a human to express their gratitude to God. Therefore the flow of thanksgiving comes from the Holy Spirit, channeling through Christ and finally reaching God the Father.
These three attitudes don’t come to us naturally. We don’t always let go when God tells us to, we don’t pray when it counts the most, and we’re not always thankful in every single situation. However, trusting in the Holy Spirit, we know these three attitudes can be ours.
Dear Lord Jesus,
We thank You that You are a mighty and powerful God,
We ask that in our battles with anxiety, You may continue to reveal Your sovereignty,
And that we may continue to come to You and be thankful for all that you have done.
Instill in us Your Spirit so that we may be able to deny ourselves to walk in Your ways.