Even before the world was struck with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people already struggled with anxiety. However, this pandemic seems to have exacerbated those feelings of worry, uncertainty, nervousness, and fear in both Christians and unbelievers.
The difference between us and those who are lost is that we can hold onto God’s truths for our lives even when we feel like we are in utter despair.
Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
3 Things we can do to Combat Anxiety
Remind them of God’s faithfulness
Not only in their lives but in the Bible. When days are dark, all of us need to be reminded of what God has done before because the God who delivered Daniel from the lions’ den is the same God we worship today. The God who can do ALL things is by our side! (Deut. 31:6) This might be most helpful for believers and their experience with anxiety provides a great opportunity to share the Gospel with those who don’t believe they might be suffering from crippling worry. We have the power to speak life into people who are hurting from the afflictions of this world.
I find that I always want to encourage and remain positive during any situation. Over time, I had to learn to say less and listen more. Sometimes a person who is anxious just wants to be heard and sometimes that might mean sitting with them in silence.
While God may respond with immediate relief, we must understand that this might be a life-long process for some. We may not know what God’s plan is for this person but we do know that we are called to pray as a way to fight the battle, according to Paul in Ephesians 6:18.
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints”
Even when people don’t believe, their time of need might lead them to seek help from a God they might not know. Odds are that if you offer to pray with them, they’ll be more likely to accept prayer. Even if they reject prayer, we can always lift them in prayer during our time alone with God.
Encouragement for you
Loving someone with anxiety can weigh heavily on our hearts, especially when we are closest to them. With a desire to be a good daughter, sister or wife, we can find ourselves struggling with what to say, pray or do. It is during these moments that we must understand that God is in control.
I think of the four men who brought a paralyzed man to Jesus, in Luke chapter 5 v.18.
Whether these men were friends or not we can only guess, but we do know that they had enough faith to bring the paralytic through a roof to Jesus so that He could heal him. We see that these men faced opposition, not just physically but also spiritually. Luke tells us that these men could not bring the stretcher into Jesus’s view inside the house (v.19) but they also encountered doubt from the Pharisees that were present (v. 21).
Like these men, who brought this lame man to Jesus, we can also bring our loved ones, who are crippled by their anxiety, to the Lord. Our faith could greatly help them get through a storm. Luke continues to say that after being healed, the paralytic man “went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying. ‘We have seen extraordinary things today’” (v. 25b-26).
How great will it be when those we hold near and dear to our hearts can rejoice in the Lord and glorify His name after being restored from their present troubles; that we may ALL attest to the wonders has God done in their lives. And even if they are not healed on this earth we can fully trust that those who believe will weep no more in heaven.
As the Apostle Paul assures us, let us lean instead on the “Holy Spirit who helps us in our weakness.” (Romans 8:26) Throughout the New Testament Paul encourages the churches, (and us!) During moments, in which we might see our loved ones suffer, I pray that we are able to hold onto these exhortations and keep the following verses in your heart and mind.
Titus 3:14 “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” (ESV)
Hebrews 10:23-24 “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works,” (CSB)
2 Corinthians 1:3-4“ He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (CSB)
Dear sisters, when those around us struggle, may the spirit lead us as Isaiah 61:1-3 mentions to bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, comfort all who mourn, to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourning, and garments of praise instead of a faint spirit so “that he may be glorified.”
About the Author
Meagan Funaro is a kindergarten teacher in New York City. She is married to her best friend and together they love to travel and eat good food. In her spare time, Meagan loves to serve others and enjoys reading! She writes for tirzahmag.com.