In various lessons here in El Paso we have discussed emotions, stress, facing mental turmoil, etc. We have identified Scriptures in our studies that teach us how to deal with worldly anxieties (I Samuel 30:6, Psalms 56:1-4, Isaiah 26:3, Matthew 6:24-34, John 14:1-3, II Corinthians 4:7-5:13, II Corinthians 10:1-5, Ephesians 4:23, Philippians 4:6-9, and Colossians 3:15). We have studied at various times how that the greatest of faithful men have faced internal struggles and various emotional stresses from life in this world (Mark 14:32-42, John 11:1-36, Romans 9:1-3, II Corinthians 6:1-5, II Corinthians 7:5, and Hebrews 4:14-5:9). It is not my intention in this study to repeat those lessons.
The word anxieties means: “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome” (New Oxford American Dictionary). The word effect means: “a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause” (New Oxford American Dictionary). Therefore, we are going to discuss how worldly anxieties change us in certain ways. The word of God reveals that the effect of worldly anxieties can be seen in our physical, emotional, and our spiritual well-being. That is, anxiety changes our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. We are going to start with looking at what the Scriptures teach regarding the changes in our flesh from things relative to worldly anxiety.
Anxiety’s Effect On Our Physical Well-Being
Worry, unease, etc. is harmful to your physical body. Solomon wrote: “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad… A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 12:25 and Proverbs 17:22). Sometimes people end up in an emergency room with chest pains thinking they are having a heart attack. After tests and bloodwork, the doctor comes into the room and informs that person that they are or have had a panic or anxiety attack. Panic attacks are more severe than anxiety attacks. However, they both come from forms of anxiety. The medical world says: “Both panic and anxiety can involve fear, a pounding or racing heart, lightheadedness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and irrational thoughts” (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307863.php). Therefore, our Lord and our doctors will agree that worldly anxieties have a negative effect on our physical well-being (Psalms 102:3-5). We need to be taking reasonable care of our bodies, brethren (I Corinthians 6:20). Now, how about our emotions?
Anxiety’s Effect On Our Emotional Well-Being
Life in this world brings about “tribulation” (John 16:33). The word translated “tribulation” in that passage means: “pressure (literally or figuratively): — afflicted(-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble” (Strong’s # 2347). So what happens to us when we feel pressure, anguish, troubles, etc.? When facing tribulation some have become overtaken by emotions and erred because of their being overtaken by emotions (Numbers 20:1-13, Jonah 1:1-4:11, and Luke 8:22-25).
There are normal responses to tribulation that can be harmful to us. Normal responses to tribulation are anger, wrath, fear, worry, sorrow, depression, bitterness, feeling offended, etc. Aren’t all of those emotions dangerous? Think about this. Study this. Anger is dangerous (Proverbs 14:17, Proverbs 29:22, Ecclesiastes 7:9, and Ephesians 4:26). Wrath is dangerous (James 1:19-20). Carnal fear is dangerous (Matthew 10:28 and Revelation 21:8). Sorrow is dangerous (Proverbs 15:13 and II Corinthians 2:7). Bitterness is dangerous (Hebrews 12:15). The feeling of being offended is dangerous (Mark 4:16-17). On we could go, but you should see that when anxiety effects us emotionally we can easily be in a lot of trouble. That trouble is what brings about the effect anxiety has on our spiritual well-being.
Anxiety’s Effect On Our Spiritual Well-Being
In what is known as the Parable of the Sower, our Lord stated this: “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19). It is a fact that “cares [anxieties] of this world” choke the word. Make sure you read that carefully. It is not anxieties in general, but rather those anxieties that are worldly. This is consistent in various ways throughout the Scriptures. Being entangled with the affairs of this life prevent us from being effective soldiers in the spiritual kingdom of our Lord (II Timothy 2:1-4). Thinking carnally prevents us from pleasing our Lord (Romans 8:1-8). Brethren, focus away from the things of the world that cause carnal anxiety. Set your thinking on things above (Colossians 3:1-4).
It is vain to worry (Psalms 127:1-2). We all know that time and chance are going to happen no matter how much we worry about things we cannot control (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12). Live faithfully to the Lord and let go of things that you cannot control. If you don’t anxiety will have a negative effect on your health, mind, and soul. In closing, think on this: “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart” (Psalms 32:10-11).
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