<< Previous | Index | Next >>
                        "FAITH IS THE VICTORY!"

                         In Overcoming Anxiety


1. With faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, we can overcome
   the world! - 1 Jn 5:4-5
   a. As we saw in our previous study, we can overcome SIN...
      1) Both the guilt of sin, and the power of sin
      2) Through the blood of Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit
   b. For such blessings are available to those who truly believe in 
      Jesus! - cf. Ac 2:36-39

2. But in overcoming sin, we must also deal with the "aftershocks" of 
   a. Such as the lingering consequences of sinful conduct
   b. Or the residues of sinful thinking; i.e., attitudes and 
      perspectives that conflict with a life of faith in Jesus
   -- I have mentioned some of these in previous lessons:  anxiety, 
      boredom, despair ,etc.

3. With this lesson, I would like to begin taking a look at each one of
   a. Seeking to gain a better understanding of what they are
   b. Hoping to provide an appreciation of how faith in Jesus can help
      us to overcome them!

4. Beginning with "anxiety"...
   a. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)...
      1) More than 23 million people suffer from anxiety disorders
      2) People with anxiety disorders are heavy utilizers of emergency
         rooms and other medical services
      3) Anxiety disrupts work, family, and social lives, with some 
         becoming housebound
      4) It is the most common of all the mental disorders
   b. Christians certainly are not immune to the problem of "anxiety"
      1) Jesus anticipated that His disciples would have it, and 
         provided solutions to it
      2) Just as anxiety disrupts work, family, etc., so it can hinder
         our service to the Lord

[It is imperative as Christians that we overcome "anxiety" in our 
lives.  Where do we begin?  Perhaps with...]


      1. According to the American Heritage Dictionary:
         a. A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future 
         b. A state of intense apprehension, uncertainty, and fear 
            resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or 
            situation, often to a degree that the normal physical and
            psychological function of the affected individual is 
      2. According to NIMH, there are different kinds of anxiety 
         a. Panic Disorder - Repeated episodes of intense fear that 
            strike often and without warning. Physical symptoms include
            chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, 
            dizziness, abdominal distress, feelings of unreality, and 
            fear of dying.
         b. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder - Repeated, unwanted thoughts
            or compulsive behaviors that seem impossible to stop or 
         c. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Persistent symptoms that
            occur after experiencing a traumatic event such as criminal
            assault, war, child abuse, natural disasters or crashes. 
            Nightmares, flashbacks, numbing of emotions, depression and
            feeling angry, irritable, distracted and being easily 
            startled are common.
         d. Phobias, of which there are two major types
            1) Specific - In which people experience extreme, 
               disabling, and irrational fear of something that poses 
               little or no actual danger; the fear leads to avoidance
               of objects or situations and can cause people to limit
               their lives unnecessarily.
            2) Social - In which people have an overwhelming and 
               disabling fear of scrutiny, embarrassment, or 
               humiliation in social situations, which leads to 
               avoidance of many potentially pleasurable and meaningful
         e. Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Constant, exaggerated 
            worrisome thoughts and tension about everyday routine life
            events and activities, lasting at least six months. Almost
            always anticipating the worst even though there is little
            reason to expect it; accompanied by physical symptoms, such
            as fatigue, trembling, muscle tension, headache, or nausea.

      1. A perceived threat, as to one's...
         a. Personal safety
         b. Self-esteem
         c. Relationship with others
      2. Pressures presented by conflict, for example...
         a. Having to decide between two desirable but incompatible 
         b. Faced with a desirable goal, but concerned about 
            undesirable consequences (such as whether to accept a good
            paying job, that may force you to relocate)
         c. Faced with having to choose between two undesirable 
            alternatives (such as suffering pain, or an operation that
            may in time relieve the pain)
      3. An underlying fear, such as being fearful of...
         a. Failure, or even achieving success
         b. Rejection, intimacy, conflict
         c. Sickness, death, loneliness
         d. The future, meaninglessness in life

      1. Medication - Useful for relieving symptoms, they include 
         antidepressants and are usually administered through trial and
         error to see which medications and dosage are beneficial to a
         particular patient
      2. Psychotherapy - Two different forms have been found the most
         effective in treating anxiety disorders:
         a. Behavioral therapy - Tries to change actions through 
            techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, or through 
            gradual exposure to what is frightening
         b. Cognitive-behavioral therapy - Teaches patients to 
            understand their thinking patterns so they can react 
            differently to the situations that cause them anxiety

[Treating anxiety with medication can only relieve symptoms; it does 
not deal with the causes of anxiety.  Even behavioral therapy focuses
primarily on handling the symptoms.

What is called "cognitive-behavioral therapy" appears to address the
underlying causes of anxiety, and it is in this realm that I believe
faith in Jesus can really help one to overcome!]


      1. Certainly because of how it affects our lives and our service
      2. It is also a reflection of "little faith" on our part
         a. E.g., worrying about things like food and clothing - cf. Mt
         b. E.g., worrying about preserving one's life - cf. Mt 8:25-26
      3. "The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; and the
         beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety."  (George 

      1. That one has a strong conviction or trust in Who Jesus Is
         a. The Son of God - Mt 16:16
         b. The only source for life eternal - Jn 6:68
      2. That one has a strong conviction or trust in What Jesus Said
         a. That He speaks the words of truth, which can make one free 
            - Jn 8:31-32
         b. That whatever He says is true, for grace and truth come by
            Him - Jn 1:17
      3. That one has a strong conviction or trust in What Jesus Did
         a. That He died on the cross for our sins - 1 Co 15:3
         b. That His death is an adequate sacrifice for our sins - 1 Jn
            2:2; 4:10
      4. That one has a strong conviction or trust in What Jesus Is 
         a. That He is preparing a place for us - Jn 14:2
         b. That He is even now interceding for us - He 7:24-25
      5. That one has a strong conviction or trust in What Jesus Will
         a. That He will come again one day - Ac 1:9-11; Re 1:7
         b. That He will receive us unto Himself - Jn 14:1-3
      -- This kind of faith in Jesus comes from the Word of God! - Ro
         10:17; Jn 20:30-31

      1. By reminding us of God's providential love and care - Mt 6:
         a. He who provides the body and life, can surely provide food
            and clothing
         b. He who provides for the birds and flowers, can surely 
            provide for His children
         c. If worry (anxiety) can't make us grow taller, how can it 
            affect the future?
         d. God is mindful of our true needs, and is able to provide
      2. By teaching us where to place our priorities - Mt 6:33
         a. The kingdom (rule) of God in our life is the most important
         b. Put Him first, and He will provide for our true needs
         c. As Jesus said to worried Martha, "one thing is needed"
            - cf. Lk 10:38-42
      3. By revealing our own limitations - Mt 6:34
         a. Don't worry about the future, we can only handle what we 
            face today
         b. In keeping with what Jesus said, here are some thoughts 
            from others:
            1) "Your ship is equal to the load of today; but when you
               are carrying yesterday's worry and tomorrow's anxiety,
               lighten up or you will sink." (Unknown)
            2) "God never built a Christian strong enough to carry 
               today's duties and tomorrow's anxieties piled on top of
               them." (Theodore Ledyard Cuyler)
            3) "Man, like the bridge, was designed to carry the load of
               the moment, not the combined weight of a year at once."
               (William Arthur Ward)
      -- When we truly accept what Jesus taught, many of the causes of
         anxiety are gone!

      1. His actions in the past
         a. By dying on the cross, He has paid the full price for our
            1) Any anxiety about our guilt, past actions, can be
               relieved through forgiveness!
            2) A forgiveness that cleans even the conscience! - He 9:14
            3) Such forgiveness comes to those who believe on Him - Ac
               10:43; 2:36-38
         b. By rising from the dead, He has demonstrated power over
            1) Ensuring our own resurrection, of which He spoke - Jn
               5:28-29; 11:25-27
            2) Freeing us from the bondage of the fear of death - He
      2. His actions in the present
         a. Interceding as our High Priest
            1) Making it possible to find mercy and grace when needed 
               - He 4:14-16
            2) Providing an avenue of peace to dispel our anxiety 
               through prayer - Ph 4:6-7
         b. Reigning as King of kings and Lord of lords
            1) He is truly the "ruler over the kings of the earth" 
               - Re 1:5
            2) He is the One who holds "the keys of Hades and of Death"
               - Re 1:18
            -- He is in ultimate control, and we are in His hands!
      3. His actions in the future
         a. He has promised to never forsake us - Mt 28:20; cf. He 13:
         b. He has promised to take us one day to be with Him - Jn 14:


1. When one has faith in Jesus...
   a. Willing to change their thinking patterns and conduct to reflect
      His teachings
   b. Believing in what He has done, is doing, and will do
   ...they will be attacking the underlying causes of anxiety!

2. Jesus certainly desires that we not let such concerns control us...
   a. By rendering us unfruitful - cf. Lk 8:14
   b. By making us unprepared for the Judgment to come - cf. Lk 21:

3. But He has made it possible to overcome anxiety...
   a. Through faith in Him, which comes through the Word of God - Ro
   b. By the peace of God, which comes through Jesus Himself in prayer 
      - Ph 4:6-7

Are we willing to believe and heed Jesus?  If so, then "Faith Is The
Victory!", even in overcoming anxiety...
<< Previous | Index | Next >>

Home Page
Bible Study Guides | Textual Sermon Series | Topical Sermon Series
Single Textual Sermons | Single Topical Sermons
Search The Outlines

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2001