Anxiety is a monster. It can cripple you or make you act in ways that you would never otherwise act. It causes you to believe the most incredible of lies, and can even keep you from the things you care about the most.
Anxiety even has the ability to make you forget the things you know to be true.
Here are six things we often forget when anxiety takes over.
YOU DON’T KNOW THE FUTURE.
What makes anxiety so powerful is the thing that should conceivably make it powerless: namely, the unknown future.
We don’t know what’s going to happen. Yet we act like prophets, predicting a gloomy future. We convince ourselves that particular events will take place which, in reality, rarely do.
Usually we turn out to be far more pessimistic than prophetic.
That’s why Jesus tells us, “Don’t worry about these things, saying [to yourself], ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs” (Matthew 6:31-32).
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
When we become anxious we forget that there are people who care about us and will not leave us alone.
Whether it is your family, your church or your community, you are not alone. There are people you can turn to who love you, who will listen to you and who truly want what’s best for you.
Above all, you have a Heavenly Father who promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
YOU FORGET THAT GOD HAS NEVER FAILED YOU.
Anxiety makes us forget all the ways God has come through in the past. When we were in need before, God has always provided.
Why do we still not trust Him?
We need to remember God’s faithfulness in the past. May we declare with faith, “I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25).
GOD IS BOTH GOOD AND SOVEREIGN.
Most of us can believe one or the other. God is either good or sovereign. But when life hits you hard, it becomes difficult to see how He can really be both.
For those of us who have an easier time believing God is sovereign and is strong enough to keep bad things from happening, it’s easy to begin to doubt His goodness when He doesn’t seem to help us the way we would like Him to.
For those of us who trust that He is good, we struggle to reconcile His goodness with His sovereignty. After all, He doesn’t always seem powerful enough to stop the bad stuff.
But God is both good and sovereign.
He is in complete control of your life and He works all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). We may go through difficulty, but He will walk through it with you and give you grace to get through it. His “grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
There is nothing to fear because the Almighty God is on your side.
GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS.
It’s hard to have faith when it seems like so many of our prayers go unanswered.
Is God even listening?
But I wonder how often it is that our prayers actually are answered and we are just not paying attention?
Some of the most encouraging seasons in my faith are the times when I kept a prayer journal. I would write down my prayers and leave space to come back later and write down the answer. Flipping through the pages some time later, I would constantly realize how many prayers God had answered that I had forgotten I ever prayed.
Keeping a prayer journal gives you something tangible to see that God hears you when you pray.
Our God always hear us. And He encourages us to “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
THERE IS VALUE IN SUFFERING.
Even if what you fear does happen to you, you have to remember that your suffering isn’t wasted. God uses every event in your life for your benefit (Romans 8:28).
When a hard season comes, it’s often all but impossible to be confident that there is anything of value in it. But there is always promise in the pain.
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
We never rejoice for our sufferings but we can rejoice in our suffering. God is always working in the background to use our pain to make us more like Him and bring us closer to Him.
Suffering in itself isn’t good, and it certainly isn’t enjoyable. It’s painful.
But suffering has value because it often bears such wonderful fruit in our lives that we are, in a sense, thankful for it after we have come through it.