How to Fight Anxiety with Rejoicing
It’s been a while since I’ve written about my anxiety, and there are multiple reasons for that. One reason is that most of the time, my struggle with anxiety is manageable. But it is still there. The second reason is that I don’t want to just talk about anxiety. It is not what defines me; therefore, I don’t want it to be my focus. Though both of those reasons are true, I don’t want to hide my struggle with anxiety if for no other reason but to offer hope to someone else who struggles too. Statistically, that is almost 1 out of 5 people over 18–some 40 million adults in the U.S.
Recently, I’ve found myself revisiting some physiological symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety is a mental illness and definitely impacts our physical bodies, and I’ve been feeling it. And can I tell you, it just makes me mad? I don’t want to deal with anxiety or any of the side effects that come along with it.
I don’t want my family to deal with a wife and mom who struggles with anxiety. But, the reality is I am a broken person who lives in a broken world, and my husband and kids know that.
God knows I’m broken, too, and He still chooses to use me–in fact, He only uses broken people because broken people are all there is.
And that’s worth rejoicing over.
Anxiety is part of my story, but I don’t have to be a victim to anxiety. I can fight back.
And I can fight by rejoicing.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoicing in the Lord is different from just positive thinking or having an upbeat mood. Taking joy and contentment in who holds your today and all of your tomorrows is a weapon against anxiety. Rejoicing in the Lord is a constant celebration of who God is (and everything it means for our daily life and eternity) and the hope that is ours because He is trustworthy and capable of handling every day that is to come.
Anxiety can make it hard to rejoice. It seems like we should only rejoice because we have something to celebrate. The hard is where the fight comes in. Sometimes we rejoice because we’ve had a victory. But sometimes, we rejoice until we see one.
Rejoicing will be a way you defeat your enemy–and the enemy isn’t anxiety–the enemy is Satan. Satan wants to hold you in chains to anxiety. But rejoicing will be what bring you the very freedom you so badly desire.
If you are struggling with anxiety, rejoice!
What? What are we rejoicing over, anxiety? No.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.–Galatians 5:1
You are rejoicing because it is for freedom, Christ set you free. And you have the promises of God upon which to stand firm.
*You don't have to be afraid because God is with you. (Joshua 1:9)
*God has a plan for your life even if you don't understand it. (Jeremiah 29:11)
*God is at work in your life and the lives of those around you, even if you can't see it. (Romans 8:28)
*No weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)
*Greater is he who is within you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
*In all things, you are more than a conqueror through him who loves you. (Romans 8:37)
So, if you are struggling with anxiety, fight back. Rejoice because sometimes you will rejoice because of a victory, but other times you rejoice until you see one.