Celebrations and resolutions. Goals and reflections.
For most, this is an exciting time of year. It’s a time to look back with satisfaction and look forward with eager expectation.
But for some, ushering in the New Year can bring an onslaught of anxiety. We seem to cast off comfort and familiarity, trading them for all things new and unfamiliar. Even things we look forward to—such as new goals, challenges, jobs, and upcoming family changes, the anticipation of forthcoming weddings, births, milestone birthdays, and other celebrations—can bring dreadful feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and apprehension.
Moving toward unknown situations can spur a level of unease. Not only that but in the US, it’s also winter. That means less sunlight, fewer outdoor activities, and healthy farm-to-table food options which help us to naturally battle heightened fear and angst.
Finding the Right Focus
During any time of year, one significant way to calm anxiety is to fix our focus firmly on the Lord. It’s important to remember that when we feel anxious we’re allowing our circumstance to take a higher priority in our lives than the character God and our relationship and reliance on Him. The solution is to refocus and allow God’s truth to fill our hearts and minds.
Today we kick off a short blog series titled 7 Days toward Calming Anxiety. Each day in the upcoming week, we’ll examine a Bible verse in which the Holy Spirit points us toward the peace and calm we experience in the Lord’s presence.
Calm Anxiety with Today’s Verse
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (HCSB).
In different Bible translations, the term fearfulness is expressed as fear, timidity, and even cowardice. It conveys a lack of bravery, courage, and confidence. The Lord did not give us such disposition. Instead, as this verse teaches, God provides us with a spirit of power, love, and sound judgment.
We do not find power in our own strength, but through the power of Jesus Christ that resides in us. This is the same power that raised our Lord from the dead (see Ephesians 1:19-20). It is capable of far more than we can imagine, giving us the strength to face all circumstances and accomplish all that we encounter.
God gives us love, which is the greatest of Christian qualities. It’s not fleshly, emotion-based love, rather it’s the perfect love of Christ, which as 1 Corinthians 13:7 states, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (HCSB). This love helps us withstand trails, difficulties, fears, and anxiety.
Lastly, God provides sound judgment, sometimes translated as self-control. This pertains to our thoughts as much as our actions. Because we have the mind of Christ, we have the divinely-given ability to see ourselves as Jesus does: powerful and able as we walk in His strength.
As your stay mindful today in calming anxiety, work toward memorizing 2 Timothy 1:7. Write it on a notecard or in your journal, then say it repeatedly until it begins to sink deep into not only your mind but your spirit. Let the truth of God wash over your anxiety and bring you His perfect peace.
Have a blessed, calm, and peaceful day as you allow the Word of the Lord to give you strength.