No Anxiety Formed Against You Will Prosper
You’re happily going about your day when you feel your phone buzz. Your heart skips a beat when you see who it’s from, but you open it anyway. You finish reading the text and set down your phone with shaking hands. You didn’t see that coming. Now your heart is beating so hard you can hardly hear your own thoughts. Sweat begins to bead on the trembling palms that just held your phone and your mind races through a hundred worst case scenarios. In a matter of minutes one text has torn through you like a bullet. Most people have experienced something similar to this situation, in fact, it’s more common than you may realize. It’s anxiety.
Anxiety is a plague running rampant across the globe. When asked to rate their mental health, only 34% of Americans answered that they felt it was excellent in a 2020 Gallup Poll. Anxiety is the fear of a perceived threat and our inability to conquer that threat.
Anxiety doesn’t stop at church front doors. In fact, a Lifeway Research study revealed that 23% of pastors acknowledge they have personally struggled with a mental illness. It’s time Christians begin to look to the Jehovah Rapha, our God the Great Physician, for complete healing. After all, anxiety ultimately stems from fear and fear is Satan’s secret weapon.
Fear is a weapon of Satan
The fear that drives anxiety disrupts our faith and causes us to doubt. It leads us to believe that God cannot or will not be there for you in your time of need. This disbelief separates you from Him and that is exactly where Satan wants you to be: alone.
When anxiety is building in the pit of your stomach, the panic you feel prevents you from feeling God’s peace. We know that this is from Satan and not God because God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and good judgement (2 Timothy 1:7). In fact, God’s perfect love casts out the fear Satan tries to wage against us (1 John 4:18 ). We can walk through life full of confidence that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). In doing so, we can rest assured that Satan will not overpower us, for we are not unaware of his plans to kill and destroy (2 Corinthians 2:11, John 10:10).
No weapon formed against you will prosper
Since fear is merely a weapon waged by Satan, we already have victory over him and anxiety. God has promised us that no weapon formed against us will prosper. This is our inheritance as Children of God (Isaiah 54:17). The Message explains to us how God handles troubles that comes our way:
You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, far from any trouble—nothing to fear! Far from terror—it won’t even come close! If anyone attacks you, don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them, and if any should attack, nothing will come of it. I create the blacksmith who fires up his forge and makes a weapon designed to kill. I also create the destroyer— but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged. Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what GOD ’s servants can expect. I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best. [This is] God’s decree. (Isaiah 54:11-17 MSG)
There are a few things to take away from this. One: God protects you. Two: God himself created all weapons and enemies, including fear and Satan. Therefore, He has control. Three: God will work everything out.
Fighting Fear with Faith
It is not God’s will for us to suffer from anxiety and He did not leave us without a fighting chance against it.
No good soldier goes into battle without a weapon. One of the strongest tools we have as Children of God is the Sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. The Bible is alive and active. It is sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Swords are special because they can be used for defense or offense. In the same way, we can use Scripture to defend against anxiety attacks and counter attack the lies of Satan. While in the wilderness with Satan in Matthew 4, Jesus repeated the three words “it is written” before reciting Scripture. Like a double-edged sword, this tactic defensively struck down the lie Satan was trying to use to bait Jesus and offensively wounded him, preventing further attacks, simultaneously.
Like Jesus, we should yield the Sword of Truth. When facing circumstances that threaten to unnerve us, we can take a deep breath and recite a scripture over our lives and the situation. Speak a verse - or even just the name of Jesus - over the enemy’s lies and watch him flee (James 4:7).
Find the scripture that combats your anxiety and say it out loud when you feel fear start to rise. Or better yet - combine a few verses into your own mantra. Keep reciting the scripture until your mantra becomes your battle cry and your anxious thoughts dissipate.
Put feet to your faith and stand to fight, Child of God. Smile, because you have reason to: no anxiety formed against you will prosper.
Father, Please forgive me for all of the times I doubted you. I believe that you are faithful and good to keep all of your promises. Please protect my heart with your peace. Thank you for going before me to prepare my way, walking beside me to hold my hand, and following behind me as my rear guard and reinforcement. I rejoice in your love! In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.
Old Testament: Isaiah 54:17
New Testament: Matthew 4