Lifeline Christian Counseling Center
There are only two things you need to KNOW (believe) in order to have peace and joy in the middle of any situation: 1) God is Sovereign, and 2) God is Good.
God is Sovereign. He created every molecule of the universe and He has not now magically lost control of any of it. As R.C. Sproul says, "if there is one random molecule running around the universe, then God is not sovereign". This is wonderfully true, because there is not one molecule of which He has lost track. How could He create matter out of nothing and then lose control over it? That doesn't make sense, does it? It is not true. He remains in perfect control over all He has created while allowing free choice - only an awesomely sovereign God can do that.
Meditate on Genesis 1:1
God is Good: Every time we sin, we buy into the same lie that Adam and Eve bought into - that God is not good. that He is withholding something good from us; that He has a hidden agenda; that He wants to keep "the good stuff" from us; that He cannot be trusted. When God created the world, it was perfect. It could not be otherwise, as imperfection cannot come from Perfection. If it was perfect when He created it, then it cannot get better than that. His greatest desire is that we would have life just the way He created it - perfect, abundant life. "God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good."
Meditate on John 10:10; Genesis 1 and 2
Fear and anxiety are never Godly emotions. God never suffers from fear. Of what would He be afraid ? He created everything. He parted the Red Sea at least three miles wide so His people (2 million in number) could cross over on dry land in one night. He created food out of thin air for 40 years. He rules over every molecule of His creation. The Lord tells us over and over again in His Word to not be fearful or anxious. This is only possible when you live in the reality of who He is; not who we are. Many things are impossible for us - nothing is impossible for Him. When we are weak, His strength is expressed through us. When these truths become real to us, fear and anxiety melt away.
Meditate on Phil. 4:6-7; Psalm 27:1; 2 Tim. 1:7; Phil. 4:13; Deut. 31:8; Isaiah 41:10; I John 4:18
We should not live according to our emotions - they are the shallowest part of us. If we do not believe in our hearts the truth of God's Word, then the resulting emotions will be misplaced (ex: depression; anxiety; shame; etc.). The Christian life is about disciplining ourselves to live in the TRUTH, whether it feels that way or not. To live life vertically, focused on the Lord, rather than succumbing to the obsessions of ourselves and of our circumstances (horizontal). We also cannot live according to appearances. To the apostles it looked like all was lost on Friday night, but the truth is that the greatest victory in the history of mankind was won that day on the cross. This became clear to them two days later on Sunday morning - their fear and despair on Friday night came from incorrect conclusions based in appearances rather than the facts. Facts come from God's Word; our emotions sometimes come from lies.
Meditate on Psalm 37:8; Proverbs 12: 25; Psalm 139:23; Matthew 6:34
Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is about what may happen in the future; faith is historical. Has God ever really let you down? Have any of your real needs (vs. wants) ever been forsaken? We actually need very little - water; food; sleep; clothing; shelter. Has the Lord ever failed to provide for our needs? No. Our faith is based in the Biblical truth of Who He is, and His perfect record of providing for our needs. As the marquee says, ""Rich is not having the most but needing the least". The one who needs nothing but fellowship with the Lord and the love of family is wealthy indeed. Joseph provides a striking example of someone who kept his eyes focused on the Lord, His sovereignty, and His faithfulness to keep His promises - in spite of all evidence to the contrary. He never believed that God had "lost his file", even when circumstances pointed toward that view. He knew Who God was regardless of what dungeon he found himself in. His faith drove away fear, even when he had good reason to be anxious and discouraged.
Meditate on Genesis 41, Psalm 27:1
Idolatry is putting anything, or anybody, in the place where only God should be. Idols can take many shapes. In fact, an idol (or false god) is ANYTHING that we rely upon to feel better or to cope with life's pressures other than the one, true Living God. For some people their idol is control. They need to be in control in order to keep from feeling anxious. This is a futile pursuit for several reasons: first of all, there is only one God, and we are not Him. He is the only One who controls all things. If the Lord is all-powerful (Omnipotent), how much power does that leave for us? Secondly, God has designed life in a way that we cannot control it. Unexpected things happen. Unpredictable events. Many unexpected, unpredictable things. Our anxiety rises as we attempt to control the uncontrollable. Attempting to do so is playing God. It is putting your security in our feeble ability to control life. There is never any peace in looking to anyone but God to control the events of life.
Meditate on Job 12:10; Isaiah 40:10; Psalm 111:2; Jeremiah 32:17
The world promotes a "passive heart" model - that your peace and joy come from your circumstances. That if all the aspects of your life line up right - your marriage is going well; your kids behave; you have good health; your bank account is sufficient - then you can have peace. This is a tenuous proposition, at best, as any of those pieces of your life can change in a moment. God's Word says nothing about a passive heart - it promotes, from cover to cover, an "active heart" approach to life. Joy and peace are Fruit of the Spirit. Those are God's attributes, not the world's. The Fruit of the Spirit do not come from this world - the world cannot give them to you, and the world cannot take them away. You play an active role in whether you have joy and peace, and you make active choices each day as to your emotional and spiritual well-being. Our circumstances, no matter how pressing, do not dictate our ability to have joy and peace. Jesus told us to be "overcomers" - to overcome our circumstances, knowing that He holds them in His sovereign hands. To overcome this world, it's pressures and temptations. His Word tells us to "be anxious for nothing". Is this possible? Yes, if we live in the truth of His Sovereignty and His goodness!
Meditate on Philippians 4:11: Habakkuk 3:17-19
Meditation For Fear and Anxiety