Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 6) - Anxiety (Part E)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, September 24, 2023.
Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 6) - Anxiety (Part E) K. Belshazzar king of Babylon experienced some of the markers of a classic anxiety attack. i. He held a drunken, idolatrous party in which they drank wine out of the golden vessels of God’s temple (Dan 5:1-4). ii. During the party he saw part of a hand writing on the wall of his palace (Dan 5:5). iii. Belshazzar became very afraid and experienced what would today be called an anxiety or panic attack. a. The king’s countenance was changed (Dan 5:6a). (i) Countenance n. – 1. Bearing, demeanour, comportment; behaviour, conduct; sometimes spec. behaviour of two persons towards each other. 2. Appearance, aspect, look (obs. exc. as transf. from 4); also, a show or semblance of anything. 4. The look or expression of a person's face. (In early use often not easily distinguished from 1, 2, and in later use difficult to separate from 5.) (ii) The fear could be seen on his face. b. His thoughts troubled him (Dan 5:6b). (i) In other words, his thoughts brought him anxiety, uneasiness, and fear. (ii) His mind likely immediately began racing, thinking things like: 1. What is that hand? 2. Is it a ghost? 3. Am I going to die? 4. What have I done? 5. What am I going to do? c. The joints of his loins loosed and his knees hit together (Dan 5:6c). (i) He starts to shake uncontrollably. (ii) His legs become weak. (iii) Fear has completely taken him over. d. He cries out in desperation to bring in his astrologers and soothsayers to read the writing (Dan 5:7). e. When his wise men could not read it, he becomes greatly troubled (Dan 5:8-9). (i) His fear begins to spiral out of control (Dan 5:9a). (ii) The look on his face went from scared to terrified (Dan 5:9b). (iii) His lords then became overwhelmed with fear as well (Dan 5:9c). (iv) Astonied adj. – 1. Stunned, stupefied, deprived of sensation; primarily by a blow, but subseq. also by anesthetics, cold, etc.; insensible, benumbed, paralyzed. 3. Bewildered, filled with consternation, dismayed. (v) Dismayed ppl. – Overwhelmed with fear, etc.; appalled. f. The queen finally comes in and calms him down by telling him about Daniel who could interpret dreams, show hard sentences, and dissolve doubts (Dan 5:10-12). iv. It always helps to have a calm, level-headed person to calm one down when he is having an anxiety attack. L. The psalmist Asaph was severely troubled (suffered with severe anxiety), which he recorded in Psalm 77. i. He did the right thing and cried unto God and sought His help in his trouble (Psa 77:1-2a). ii. His sore ran in the night and ceased not (Psa 77:2b). a. Sore n. – 1. Bodily pain or suffering. 6. Mental suffering, pain, or trouble; grief, sorrow, anxiety, or the cause of this. b. His mental suffering and anxiety continued through the night as he tried to sleep. iii. His soul refused to be comforted (he could not calm himself down and put his mind at ease) (Psa 77:2c). iv. He remembered God and was troubled (Psa 77:3a). a. God was allowing this to happen to him, which was troubling. b. God was not helping him immediately, and this caused him further anxiety. v. He complained, and his spirit was overwhelmed (Psa 77:3b). a. Overwhelm v. – 1. trans. To overturn, overthrow, upset; to turn upside down. 3. fig. a. To overcome or overpower as regards one’s action or circumstances; to bring to ruin or destruction; to crush. b. To overcome completely in mind or feeling; to overpower utterly with some emotion. b. The emotion of fear had completely overpowered his spirit, and he could not stop it. vi. He was not able to sleep (Psa 77:4a). vii. His anxiety was so severe that he could not even speak (Psa 77:4b). viii. He begins to think on the past when he was well and wonders if he will ever be well again (Psa 77:5-6). a. He wonders if God has cast him off forever and will never show him favor again (Psa 77:7). b. He questions whether God’s mercy is gone and if His promises will fail (Psa 77:8). c. He ponders whether God has forgotten him and if He has shut up His mercy towards him because He is angry at him (Psa 77:9). d. He has now reached rock-bottom in his anxiety and depression. ix. He then reaches a turning point. a. He accepts that he is being afflicted with anxiety (Psa 77:10a). b. Instead of focusing on his suffering, he turns his attention on God’s sovereign rule from heaven (Psa 77:10b). (i) When we are anxious or depressed, we should likewise remember that Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Eph 1:20). (ii) Jesus is reigning from heaven and is doing so for the benefit of His church (Eph 1:21-23). (iii) He is the blessed and only potentate (1Ti 6:15), and therefore He has the power to help us through our troubles. c. He remembers and thinks on God’s works (Psa 77:11-12). d. He begins to praise and worship God (Psa 77:13). e. He praises God for doing wonders (miracles) and delivering His people by His great strength (Psa 77:14-20). x. By the end of the Psalm, we can assume that Asaph has been delivered from the spirit of fear which had overwhelmed him and was restored to a sound mind (2Ti 1:7). a. He did so by accepting that God had permitted his anxiety, turning his attention on God instead of his problems, remembering God’s great works of old, and praising God for delivering His people. b. By reminding ourselves of the mighty power of God, and by trusting Him to save us from our distresses like He has many times for many people in the past, we will find mercy and be strengthened to overcome our fears. M. Our Lord Jesus Christ was troubled (suffered with anxiety) at the thought of His approaching crucifixion, suffering, and death (Joh 12:23-27a). i. Jesus was so troubled that He asked God to save Him from having to undergo it (Joh 12:27b; Luk 22:42). ii. Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto God who was able to save him from death (Heb 5:7a). a. He was heard in that he feared (Heb 5:7b). b. He feared the horrible, agonizing death that was coming. c. But He feared God His Father more than the pain and suffering, and therefore He prayed that God’s will be done. d. He was heard because He prayed for God’s will do be done (1Jo 5:14-15). iii. Despite being severely troubled in mind, Jesus kept the Father’s will in His foremost thoughts, saying “for this cause came I unto this hour” (Joh 12:27c). iv. Even while suffering with anxiety, the Lord Jesus’ chief aim was that the Father’s name would be glorified (Joh 12:28). v. Let this be a lesson to us to always have the glory of God as our chief aim, even when suffering. N. Our Lord Jesus was also troubled at the thought of one of His 12 disciples betraying Him (Joh 13:21). i. Jesus was well acquainted with grief (Isa 53:3). ii. He understands what it’s like to suffer with anxiety, and He can therefore help us when we suffer with it (Heb 4:15-16). O. News of terrible events such as wars and rumors of wars can cause of us to be troubled, but we shouldn’t be (Mat 24:6). P. Take that worry, along with all others, to the Lord Jesus Christ.
|Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 6) - Anxiety (Part E), 9-24-23.mp3||33.6 MB|