Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 7) - Anxiety (Part F)


Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 7) - Anxiety (Part F) 6. The Bible refers to anxiety as being vexed. A. Definitions i. Vex v. – 1. trans. To trouble, afflict, or harass (a person, etc.) by aggression, encroachment, or other interference with peace and quiet. 3. To afflict with mental agitation or trouble; to make anxious or depressed; to distress deeply or seriously; to worry with anxiety or thought. (cites Dan 5:9 in the Coverdale Bible) ii. Vexed ppl. adj. – 1. Troubled, harassed; kept in a disturbed or unquiet state. Distressed, grieved; affected with vexation; annoyed, irritated. iii. Vexation n. – 3. The state or fact of being mentally troubled or distressed, in later use esp. by something causing annoyance, irritation, dissatisfaction, or disappointment. b. In the phr. vexation of mind, spirit. 4. A source or cause of mental trouble or distress; a grief or affliction. B. The Egyptians vexed the children of Israel in Egypt (Num 20:15). i. They set taskmasters over them and afflicted them with burdens (Exo 1:11). ii. They had to serve with rigour, and their lives were bitter with hard bondage (Exo 1:13-14). iii. This would certainly be a cause for anxiety. iv. The Israelites cried unto the LORD, and He delivered them from their vexation in Egypt (Num 20:16). a. God saw their affliction, heard their cry, and knew their sorrows (Exo 3:7). b. In all their affliction, God was afflicted, and in love and pity He delivered them (Isa 63:9). c. Likewise, when we cry unto the LORD, He will deliver us from our distresses (Psa 107:6). C. Vexation is one of the curses with which God judges His disobedient children (Deut 28:15, 20). i. This happened to Israel repeatedly during the times of the Judges (Jdg 2:17-18; Jdg 10:6-9, etc.). ii. When they repented, God delivered them from their vexation (Neh 9:27). D. The soul of the Shunammite woman was vexed within her because her son had died (2Ki 4:27). i. She went to Elisha the man of God with hopes that he could restore her son’s life (2Ki 4:20-23). ii. When Elisha saw her coming, he sent his servant to ask her if she, her husband, and her child were well (2Ki 4:26a). iii. She replied to the servant that all was well (2Ki 4:26b). a. It is not uncommon for people who are suffering with anxiety (or other things) to put on a good face in public and tell people they are well when they are not. b. In many cases, the sufferer replies “good” to those who ask “how are you doing?”, even when he is not doing well. (i) He does this because most people who ask really don’t want to know how he is doing, but are only uttering a greeting, not really asking a question. (ii) He also does this because he doesn’t want to open up to just anyone and tell them about his anxiety problems. iv. When she got to Elisha, all pretenses of being well were shed, and she clung to his feet, desperately seeking help (2Ki 4:27). v. Elisha raised her son from the dead and delivered her from her vexation. vi. When you are suffering with anxiety, do as the Shunammite woman did and seek out a person who has the ability to help you. a. The most important person to seek for help is the Lord Jesus Christ. b. Jesus cares and has the power to help you (Heb 4:15-16). E. There was a time in Israel’s history when they had been without the true God, the scriptures, and a teaching priest (2Ch 15:3). i. They had forsaken God, and He had forsaken them (2Ch 15:2). ii. During that time, they had no peace, but great vexations (2Ch 15:5). iii. God had vexed them with all adversity (2Ch 15:6). iv. In their trouble they turned to the LORD and sought Him and found Him (2Ch 15:4). v. They were told to be strong and to not let their hands be weak, and their work would be rewarded (2Ch 15:7). vi. There is a striking parallel between Israel’s situation and ours today. a. Most Americans are without the true God, the Bible, a church, and a pastor. b. They have forsaken God, and He has forsaken them. c. They are living their lives according to their own ideas, and not seeking or acknowledging God. d. They are therefore in a state of vexation and have no peace. e. Is it any wonder that over 40 million American adults suffer with anxiety? f. The solution is to turn to God and seek Him. g. If the people of our country would do that, I suspect that the number of cases of anxiety would decrease significantly. F. Stressful situations can cause bouts of anxiety. i. David pleaded with God for mercy because his body and soul were sore vexed (Psa 6:2-3a). ii. He was weak, which is a byproduct of anxiety (Psa 6:2). iii. He recognized that he needed healing (Psa 6:2). a. Anxiety is a mental illness (an illness that affects the mind). b. Mental illnesses need healed just like physical illnesses (Mat 4:23-24). c. People with broken hearts needed healed as much as people with broken bones (Luk 4:18). iv. David asked God how long his soul would be sore vexed (Psa 6:3). a. The pain of anxiety feels like it will never let up. b. This is one of the reasons that it is such a dreadful affliction. v. David asked God to deliver him from his vexation (Psa 6:4). vi. He reminds God that he cannot praise Him if he is dead (Psa 6:5). a. David thought that his bout with anxiety was going to kill him, and he was therefore pleading for his life. b. It is common for people when having an anxiety or panic attack to think they are going to die. vii. David’s anxiety was accompanied with groaning and weeping (Psa 6:6). a. It is also common for anxiety to weaken a man so that he cannot control his emotions and therefore cries uncontrollably. b. Crying is actually helpful for healing, so don’t try to suppress it. viii. David’s eye was consumed with grief (Psa 6:7). ix. David’s consolation came because he believed that God heard his prayers and would answer them (Psa 6:8-9).
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