Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 4) - Anxiety (Part C)


Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 4) - Anxiety (Part C) G. Joshua and Israel were troubled (suffered with anxiety) because of Achan’s sin (Jos 7:25). i. Joshua’s bout with being troubled can tell us much about the nature of anxiety. ii. Israel was under the judgment of God because of Achan’s secret sin (Jos 7:1). iii. Not aware of what Achan had done, Joshua sent a relatively small army to smite Ai (Jos 7:2-3). iv. The men of Ai smote, chased, and defeated them in battle (Jos 7:4-5). v. This experience troubled Israel and Joshua (Jos 7:25). vi. Their experience is typical of an anxiety attack. a. The hearts of the people melted (Jos 7:5). (i) In other words, they became very fearful and lost their courage (Jos 2:11; Jos 14:8 c/w Num 13:30 – 14:4). (ii) There was no more spirit in them (Jos 5:1). (iii) They lost their strength (Psa 22:14-15). (iv) Their hands became faint, they were afraid, pain and sorrow took hold on them, they were amazed (stunned and stupefied), and their faces were as flames (Isa 13:7-8). 1. This is characteristic of an anxiety attack. 2. One becomes weak. 3. Fear takes hold on him with a frightening grip. 4. One feels pain in his chest and other places in the body. 5. It is often accompanied with sorrow and depression. 6. One cannot think straight. 7. Amazed adj. - 1. Driven stupid; stunned or stupefied, as by a blow; out of one's wits. 2. Bewildered, confounded, confused, perplexed. Of things: Thrown into confusion. 8. One’s face becomes flushed and hot. (v) Their hands and legs became weak as water and their spirits’ fainted (Eze 21:7). b. Their hearts became as water (Jos 7:5). (i) Becoming as water denotes becoming weak (Eze 7:17; Eze 21:7) and unstable (Gen 49:4). (ii) They were no longer valiant, but were weak and unable to make sound decisions. c. Joshual overreacted and assumed the worst (Jos 7:7). (i) He assumed that because they had lost one small battle that God was going to deliver them into the hands of the Amorites to be destroyed. (ii) He second-guessed himself and wished that they had never crossed the Jordan. (iii) He was not thinking rationally. (iv) God had promised to give them the land of Canaan (Jos 1:1-7). (v) This is typical of an anxiety attack 1. One becomes fearful of something. 2. He assumes the worst which makes him more fearful. 3. He stops thinking logically and rationally. 4. He second-guesses himself and wants to give up. d. Joshua then began to panic about what might happen in the future (Jos 7:8-9). (i) He feared as he thought about what he would say when Israel flees before their enemies again? (ii) He again jumped to conclusions and assumed the worst. (iii) He was already convinced that the Canaanites would hear about it and would annihilate them. (iv) And furthermore, he panicked about how this would bring reproach upon God’s name. e. What Joshua needed to do was to stop worrying about what might happen in the future and take care of what needed dealt with in the present (Jos 7:10-13). (i) Once Joshua did what needed to be done, his anxiety went away, and he was strong again (Jos 7:25 – 8:3). (ii) If the cause of our anxiety is something that we can take care of, then we need to do so. (iii) Once the source of worry and concern has been addressed, the anxiety may go away if there are no other things contributing to it. (iv) Dealing with present problems will help to alleviate worry about possible future problems. H. King Saul was troubled by an evil spirit from the Lord (1Sa 16:14). i. This was a judgment against Saul for his disobedience (see 1Sa 15). ii. Saul’s servants came up with a plan to have music played for Saul when the evil spirit was troubling him in order to give him peace (1Sa 16:15-16). iii. Saul called David to play the harp for him when the evil spirit was upon him, which caused him to be refreshed and well, and the evil spirit departed from him (1Sa 16:23). iv. Listening to classical music when feeling anxious might be helpful. a. Good classical music has a calming effect on the mind and brings peace and happiness. b. And a merry heart does good like a medicine (Pro 15:13; Pro 17:22). c. I have been listening to classical music while I work, which has helped me considerably. d. Listening to Handel’s Messiah is sure to lift one’s spirit. I. Job was troubled by Satan, whom God allowed to afflict him as a test of Job’s faith and integrity (Job 4:5 & Job 21:4-6 c/w Job 1:6-12 & Job 2:1-8). i. Prior to Job being troubled in body and mind he strengthened others and upheld them with his words and instruction (Job 4:3-4). ii. Now it was Job’s turn to be weak and anxious (Job 4:5). a. The Lord allowed Satan to reduce a good, upright, and wise man like Job to a point of misery, weakness, and despair. b. If it happened to Job, it can happen to any of us. c. God did this to try Job and prove the integrity of his faith. d. This experience also gave Job personal experience with anxiety and weakness that he would be able to use in the future to comfort others who suffered similar affliction.
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