Anxiety and the Christian

“Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my
anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead
me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 You know the feeling,
as kids we called it butterflies. As adults we ignore it or avoid
situations that create it by all costs. It is anxiety. Perhaps the
clinical word makes it sound like something for those diagnosed…
It can be the adrenaline rush right before you jump out of a plane,
or the shaky hand you get before speaking to large groups of
people, or (the long forgotten) feeling of introducing yourself on
a first date. We have all had anxious moments of life and feelings,
but how as Christians should we live in light of anxiety? Maybe the
question is better asked, how should we live in light of Christ?
Brennan Manning suggests that “the troubled eyes and furrowed brow
of the anxious believer are symptoms of a heart where trust has not
found a home.” Has trust found a home in us – are we embracing the
call to peace and assurance in Christ? This is challenging me
today. It is no secret that I am an extrovert and fairly boisterous
but sometimes I am anxious – how will bills be paid – what will
people think of my presentation – will I fail… the truth (that
which Manning suggests needs to find a home in my heart) is that I
am a failure outside of Christ. Without the empowerment of the Holy
Spirit I am nothing more than a bag of words and chuckles. When we
are faced with that anxious feeling I think we need the immediate
reminder that our life is no longer our own, we have new life in
Christ thanks to his sacrifice on the cross. We no longer live by
standards that lend themselves to anxiety. We live by a standard of
peace and victory. Colossians 3:15 clearly instructs us to “let the
peace of Christ rule your hearts.” I am determining to do just
that. Next time we face that anxious feeling, those distracting
thoughts, let us be drenched in the peace of Christ and peace that
comes as our trust in him finds a home in our hearts.