Anxiety is a fact of life. There will always be times when we struggle to control our reaction to hurdles we face. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and can get to the point where it affects daily life. Everyday tasks seem impossible. Meeting with family friends makes you want to burrow under the duvet. It affects your faith, it can feel like failing to trust in God to feel so down and worried about life.
So how do we combat this? Can we combat it? Well, if we turn to scripture, we can see examples of how to face this sometimes silent battle.
We are introduced to Hannah in the book of Samuel. Elkanah, Hannah’s husband, questions her as to her demeanour
And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad?” 1 Samuel 1v8
This description of Hannah’s state of mind would be something we would class today as depression, or anxiety. Her husband was concerned enough to ask after her. Reading on we know that she took her worries to God in prayer. Her demeanour in prayer was such that Eli, in charge of the temple, saw her and presumed her a drunken woman. Mental anguish can run so deep that it affects how others perceive us, it can bring very unpleasant personality changes that are hard on those around us. God, however, looks on the heart and knows the real us.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139v1-3
We are cared for
The Bible tells us that even the very hairs on our head are numbered, that our worth is more than many sparrows, yet God cares for even them. It can be really hard to remember how loved we are. One of the best ways we can tackle this is through prayer. This doesn’t need to be a long, lengthy prayer with fancy words like you may have heard from a platform. Coming to God in prayer can be like talking to a friend. He is the best listener around!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4v6-7
One final point, please never allow yourself to think that feeling anxious, unhappy, worried or depressed means you are lacking faith. This cannot be the case. Look through your Bible and see Moses, Hannah, David, Job and many others suffer with feeling these through their lives. They are a human condition that we can turn to God to help us through and He will be there
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29v11