Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 9) - Anxiety (Part H)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, October 15, 2023.
Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 9) - Anxiety (Part H) 8. The Bible refers to anxiety as restlessness. A. Definitions i. Disquieted ppl. adj. – Disturbed; rendered uneasy or restless. ii. Restless adj. – 1. a. Deprived of rest; finding no rest; esp. uneasy in mind or spirit. iii. Uneasy adj. – 1. Not conducing to ease or comfort; productive of physical discomfort. b. Causing mental discomfort or disquietude; unpleasant, disagreeable. c. Characterized by absence of ease or comfort; suggesting or manifesting want of ease in body or mind. iv. Uneasiness n. – 3. Discomfort, trouble, or anxiety, as affecting one’s circumstances or welfare. c. Mental discomfort; anxiety, apprehension. B. Paul and his companions suffered with anxiety at times. i. They had no rest, but were troubled on every side (2Co 7:5a). ii. This is restlessness by definition which is synonymous with disquietness and anxiety. iii. Without were fightings and within were fears (2Co 7:5b). iv. God comforted Paul and his companions when they were cast down by sending them Titus, their friend and fellow minister (2Co 7:6). a. Not being able to find Titus was another source of anxiety or restlessness for Paul (2Co 2:13). b. Titus comforted them by telling them about the Corinthian church’s fervent mind toward him (2Co 7:7). c. Knowing that the church loves me, appreciates me, and is concerned about me is comforting. v. God sent me a dear friend to comfort me when I was suffering a great affliction in the previous church I pastored. vi. This is an example of how God gives us a way of escape from our anxiety so that we are able to bear it (1Co 10:13). C. Job experienced the restlessness of anxiety. i. Job’s body could get no rest because of the terrors which pursued his soul (Job 30:15-17). ii. Anxiety keeps the mind running and often prevents sleep. a. I have experienced this on a couple of occasions, and it is miserable. b. To mitigate this, don’t read, watch things, or talk to people who are going to stress you out late in the evening. c. Spend time in the evening relaxing, reading the Bible, praying, or reading a good book before going to bed. d. Once in bed, read a book until you fall asleep. D. David suffered with restlessness when he was suffering for his sin (Psa 38:3). E. Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, experienced restlessness. i. He had grief and sorrow that caused him to faint and sigh and have no rest (Jer 45:3). ii. Baruch was suffering with grief and restlessness because of the word of the Lord that he had written at the mouth of Jeremiah (Jer 45:1). iii. The prophesied judgments of God in the book of Jeremiah had caused Baruch anxiety. iv. The Lord comforted him, telling him that though He would destroy the land of Judah, He would preserve Baruch’s life wherever he went (Jer 45:4-5). v. The Lord gave him a way to escape that he might be able to bear the tribulation he was facing (1Co 10:13). F. Anxiety attacks are like hell on earth. i. Those in hell are utterly consumed with terrors (Psa 73:19). ii. Those in hell have no rest day nor night (Rev 14:11; Isa 57:20-21). iii. They have neither physical, mental, nor emotional rest. iv. They are restless, which is uneasy in mind, which is anxious by definition. v. Those who have suffered with anxiety in this life have had a little foretaste of hell. vi. Thank God that the only restlessness and anxiety that we will endure is in this life, not the next. 9. The Bible refers to anxiety as being distressed. A. Definitions i. Distress n. – I. 1. a. The action or fact of straining or pressing tightly, strain, stress, pressure; fig. pressure employed to produce action, constraint, compulsion; less usually, pressure applied to prevent action, restraint. 2. a. The sore pressure or strain of adversity, trouble, sickness, pain, or sorrow; anguish or affliction affecting the body, spirit, or community. b. with adj and pl. A sore trouble, a misfortune or calamity that presses hardly; esp. in pl. straits, distressing or strained circumstances. ii. Distress v. – 4. To cause pain, suffering, agony, or anxiety to; to afflict, vex, make miserable. iii. Distressed ppl. adj. – 1. a. Afflicted with pain or trouble; sorely troubled; in sore straits. Applied spec. to a person living in impoverished circumstances. b. Of actions or conditions: Pertaining to or showing distress; in straits, sorely straitened. B. To be distressed is to be sore afraid (Num 22:3). C. Being distressed makes your bowels and heart (your inner man) to be troubled and turned (Lam 1:20). D. Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed when he heard that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men (Gen 32:7). i. We can learn some lessons on how to deal with anxiety and fear by Jacob’s example. a. Jacob firstly took action and divided his people and animals into two bands (Gen 32:7b). (i) He did this to mitigate the damage that Esau could do to his family and herds (Gen 32:8). (ii) Doing something that will alleviate our worries and concerns is a good way to calm our fears and anxiety. b. Jacob then prays to God and reminds Him of the promise He made to him (Gen 32:9). c. He next and confesses that he is not worthy of the least of God’s blessings (Gen 32:10). (i) This was act of humility which brings God’s help and grace to us, which is exactly what a distressed person needs (Jam 4:10). (ii) This was also an act of praising God for all He had blessed Jacob with. 1. Praising God brings strength (Mat 21:16 c/w Psa 8:2). 2. Strength is exactly what a distressed and fearful person needs (Deut 31:6). d. Jacob then admits his fear and prays to God for deliverance (Gen 32:11). (i) Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom 10:13). (ii) God will deliver men from their distresses when they call upon Him (Psa 107:6, 13). e. Jacob then again reminds God of His promises to him (Gen 32:12). f. The Lord honored Jacob’s faith and humility and delivered him from his distress and fear. (i) Esau’s heart was softened, and he met Jacob in peace (Gen 33:1-4). (ii) When a man’s way please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be a peace with him (Pro 16:7). g. After God delivered him from his distress, Jacob purged his house of false religion and built an altar to worship God (Gen 35:1-4). ii. If we do as Jacob did and take whatever action we can to deal with our fears, pray to God for help in humble faith, admit our fear to God, and remind Him of His promise to deliver us from our distresses, we will likewise be saved from our distresses. iii. When God delivers us from our distress, let us be sure to purge our lives of sin and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
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