Panic, Anxiety, and Fear: Finding Peace in Emotional Turmoil

Life is full of adversity and difficulty. We may not realize how much extreme effort we are exerting, if anxiety, stress, and "freaking out" is our way of coping with circumstances. Somehow we feel the strain will affect the outcomes. Worried fretting is held to our chests as we agonize, without considering healthier, more objective ways of dealing with challenges. The energy produced, though harmful to our emotions and health, seem a valid way of trying to manage. It becomes part of handling things.

In contrast, when we come to God first in our need, when we lay our agitated hearts before Him, we confront life with truth. We cry out for the whirlwind to stop and for Him to be our peace. Help alone is not enough, however. As we give up the notion of self-sufficiency and trust in God in Christ Jesus to be our enabling and contentment, we become free. There is need for Him to equip and empower, not simply as a nice addition to our lives. This is begun by learning of Jesus. He said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me" (Matthew 11:29a). Grace is more than a onetime event when we are saved; it is God's relationship to us moment by moment.

Relearning unhealthy ways of dealing with emotional states or coping mechanisms is crucial as we seek total trust in the God who tenderly loves us. As I meet each day’s struggle, on the one hand, they may tell me all is disaster. My emotions signal panic, to fret in distress. On the other, I look to the truths of God in Scripture. As I compare them, hope in the character of God surpasses what my feelings project. Will I allow my churning anxiety to define my day, or will I open myself to receiving God's strength in my weakness? The very infirmities we have is the door to intimacy with the God who enables.

Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. In our Father, in His blessed Son our Redeemer, what a sure hope we have. We serve a glorious God who reigns and has each breath we take in His utmost care. God is faithful and unchangeable, surrounding us with loving-kindness in Christ. Through the trials endured, we are filled with God's freely offered grace. He allows them to shape us from the inside out and draw us closer to Him.

As someone who has lifelong suffered from anxiety attacks and social anxiety, there are days when I need to remind myself of these truths over and over. There are times I stumble, when the fire of my panicked nerves burn in me strongly. I have a choice to let this define the truth for me, or the character and work of God, even as these emotions seek to control the moment while I am seeking Him. It seems a precarious balance at times, were it not for God's patient mercy. Praise God for His compassionate love in our Lord.

If you are struggling or going through a tough time, can I pray for you? Visit the Share Your Prayer Request page. All info and requests are confidential.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. Psalm 94:19.

Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a.


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