The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith and the beginning of faith is the end of anxiety.
George Muller Massena, one of Napoleon’s generals, suddenly appeared with 18,000 soldiers before an Austrian town that had no means of defending itself. The town council met, certain that capitulation was the only answer.
The old dean of the church reminded the council that it was Easter, and begged them to hold services as usual and to leave the trouble in God’s hands. They followed his advice.
The dean went to the church and rang the bells to announce the service. The French soldiers heard the church bells ring and concluded the Austrian army had come to rescue the town. They broke camp and vanished before the bells had ceased ringing.
It seems that we are in uncertain times. Political unrest in much of the world, Russia and North Korea seem to be getting more aggressive, continual deployments, conflict with Family members are all reasons to be anxious.
But there is one reason not to be anxious, and it is the trump card, God is still in control.
Either you have faith in him and there is no reason to worry, or you do not have faith in his control and thus you worry.
I do not believe worry and anxiety have a place in the military. If a Soldier worries on the battlefield it could cause him or her not to perform the duties properly. If a commander worries it may cause that commander to hesitate to make a decision, or even make the wrong decision. Those who hesitate to act often cause training accidents.
Don’t misunderstand me. It is good to have a healthy fear of repelling out of a helicopter. That type of fear keeps us on our toes and helps us pay attention to detail. However, when that short moment of fear turns into a long-term period of worry or anxiety we may enter into unhealthy habits such as sleeplessness, abusing drugs and alcohol or shortness of temper.
Philippians 4:6-7 reads: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This verse not only tells us not to be anxious, but it also tells us how to overcome it. We do this by prayer and petition. Every circumstance, not matter how great or small, can and should be lifted to God in prayer.
When we pray to him, we must remember to give thanks for the blessings we have already received. This not only shows gratitude to our creator for what he has done for us, but it may help to ease some of the burden of anxiety on our lives.
We must also present our request to God. Be specific while praying. He already knows what we need and will give it to us if we ask. Remember, however, you probably don’t need a new Corvette. He will give us what is good for us and what will bring glory to himself. Knowing this will give a peace that only those who know him will understand.
In 480 B.C. the out-manned army of Sparta’s King Leonidas held off the Persian troops of Xerxes by fighting them one at a time as they came through a narrow mountain pass. Commenting on this strategy, Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, an Englishman known as the prince of preachers in the 1800s said, “Suppose Leonidas and his hand full of men had gone out into the wide-open plain and attacked the Persians – why, they would have died at once, even though they might have fought like lions.”
Spurgeon continued by saying God’s people stand in the narrow pass of today. If they choose to battle every difficulty at once, they’re sure to suffer defeat. But if they trust God and take their troubles him one-by-one, they will find their strength is sufficient.