Forty million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by some form of anxiety disorder — roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Probably many countries today have similar statistics. Think of the millions spent on medications and appointments with medical health professionals. Plus consider the relational and social implications for each person who suffers from being depressed or anxious.
Could there be a spiritual element that could work along with other forms of therapy?
God created us and understands our deep complexities better than we do. Through that wisdom, He provides instructions, found in scripture, which both protect us and provide for us. For example, when it comes to our tendency to be anxious, He commands us to seek peace ― both internally and externally ― in our heart, mind and soul, plus in all our relationships.
We humans have limited power to control the world around us but we can have control over our internal world. Peace can seep into our souls in moments of anxiety when our minds focus instead on God’s total sovereignty over the affairs of the nations and our lives (Isaiah 40:12-25).
God, in His perfect wisdom, promises that we can experience peace if we focus our thoughts on Him. Jesus comforted his disciples by telling them not to fear by relaying to them that God knows when sparrows fall to the ground and that they are of greater value than many sparrows (Matthew 10: 29-31). We can take comfort in the fact He is a personal God who knows us and the details of our lives, and loves us deeply.
We cannot control our circumstances but we can turn to the one who controls all things. Peace will spread deep within us as our focus shifts from circumstances to the one who governs all.
Jesus I need your peace deep in my soul. Thank you that you are the Prince of Peace, the fruit of your Spirit's work is peace and you promised to give your followers a peace that the world will not understand. I claim that peace today. Amen.
Going Deeper ― Reflect on passages in this devotional and on ones that focus on God’s role and character. Some suggestions are Psalm 18 and Psalm 46. Record key thoughts, and then thank God for His presence and work in your life.