Sunday, September 25, 2011

THINK ON THESE THINGS - SUNDAY MESSAGE


TWICE AS MANY WOMEN SUFFER ANXIETY THAN MEN!
CONQUER ANXIETY, CONQUER FEAR!



Witnessing Anxiety Attacks close up, with a loved one, is very nerve-racking. It is not only an occasion for all parties involved to panic, but an occasion for self-diagnosis…and if there ever was a time when people are not only wound up tight but completely stressed out – it is now!

I like how the British Broadcasting Service defines Anxiety and then distinguishes it from what Panic and Phobias are. The BBC says “Anxiety is the feeling of fear we all experience when faced with threatening or difficult situations. It helps us to avoid dangerous situations, makes us alert and motivates us to deal with problems”. In my opinion, this may be classified as the “good” kind of anxiety –This is actually more profound in word independence than say, Anticipation.

The good part of anxiety shows up when we eagerly await the birth of an infant, while pacing the hospital floor….or the posting of the Graduation List on the College website, to see if you’re graduating or not!

But there is the bad type of anxiety.  It is the one causing stress, heartburn and sleepless nights to many in our current circumstance.

TYPES OF ANXIETY
There are several types of anxiety and they all are capable of causing serious damage. 

The most common one is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This affects almost 7 million American adults according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Twice as many women than men suffer from GAD.

GAD is the product of incessant worry…worry about gas prices…worry about food prices…worry about cost of a college education for little James…worry about getting passed over for promotion for someone younger and less committed…worry about declining health…worry about parents growing old and needing more attention…worry about layoff, the bad economy and even worse politicians!

Then there is the OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where a person cannot make it through a day without a daily ritual of hand washing; certain kinds of thoughts and actions and anything that reoccurs.

Other types of Anxiety Disorders are Panic Disorders; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (or SAD).

The Panic Disorder is the next common one. Having witnessed a couple, I vouch for the following symptoms – stomach upheaval; nausea; chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become increasingly problematic to U.S. servicemen and women returning from the Combat Zones if Iraq and Afghanistan. The NIMH gives the official definition a disorder developed due to “exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat”. 

Our dear soldiers are under so much stress these days with long tours of duty in an unending war on Terrorism and broken families back at the base that the incidences of suicides and divorce have skyrocketed. Drug abuse has also increased.

Finally Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a sort of fear of having to perform – public speaking or singing – to the point of developing into a phobia!

ARE THERE CURES?
Medication
All of these five disorders have to be diagnosed and treated individually and with a different approach, in the natural realm.  America and the western world have attempted to limit the resulting behavior of these disorders by prescribing medication.

t one point in the past years, Prozac was the most purchased drug in America! Xanax and other anti-depressants abound. Beta-blockers are serious heart condition drugs (like Inderal). Yet some doctors administer this to those suffering with SAD, who may have a problem with public speaking for their job or something similar!
                                                Psychotherapy
Even the above drugs can never treat an Anxiety Disorder. There is no treatment for this but something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is increasingly used to attempt to combat Anxiety.

Some surface success can be had by hours or up to 12 weeks of CBT with patients from any of the five anxiety disorders. This can range from Group Therapy for social phobias to intensive counseling facing up to flashbacks from the combat zone.
The problem with every single man-made cure here: from medication to psychotherapy; is this – they all address the wrong symptom!

LACK OF FAITH?
Every single Anxiety disorder comes from an uneasy soul….a spirit which does not live in rest or which does not abide in the Lord. For us believers, it will be those who are not walking in the Light of Christ!

It is my contention that Worry and Fear stems from a lack of Faith…even if the person says they believe and trust in the Lord.

The great Mark Twain once said "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear". Therefore, does it mean that Fear is a lack of courage? Believe it or not, Jesus thought and said so in Mark 4:40 (NASB) "And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

To grasp this fully, let's look at the two original Greek words Jesus used: "AFRAID" (Delios) means to be timid, even cowardly! It is the negative kind of fear...not the positive way we are supposed to "FEAR THE LORD"! Then Jesus said His disciples had no FAITH (Pistis). This is not just faith or Trust but also a lack of confidence!

It recalls when 
Moses sent out a spy party of 12 men to scout the Promised Land - Canaan. Sure enough, they came back with proof of the Faithfulness of God and even called it "A land flowing with milk and honey".....but then 10 of them wimped out about they fear they had of the size of the giants occupying that territory. 

God had promised them that Land. He allowed them safe passage in to get the fruit and take it back as evidence to Moses and Aaron. But they grew timid and lost their trust and confidence in the Promises of God.

Have YOU lost that same total confidence you had in Him?
Have YOU let Human Reasoning replace the Loving Trust and opened shiny-faced trust you had in Him before?
Have YOU allowed Fear, of so many well...fearful things...in today's world...so overtake you, that it ROBS you of the POWER 
Christ 
gave you....to DEFEAT THAT SAME FEAR???!!!

This is the kind of humanistic thinking and surrendering to the flesh which brings on these mind disorders.

FEAR NO EVIL
WORSHIP YOUR WAY OUT OF A CRISIS, IT WORKS
On the surface, modern life appears more like vaulting through the valley of despair than the standing on the Peaks of Possibility! In fact, sometimes it seems that every time we have a "mountain top" experience, where we really connect with God and Christ and our Faith, the very next day - something really stupid happens!

But in this life, it is a given that we spend most our lives down in the valley. Like Moses, the mountain is where we receive Encouragement, Exhortation and the Examples to live by, from God. Also like Moses, we then have to come down from the top of the Mountain of God and live among the people.....and the thing about down here folks is - down here we have hate, greed, poverty, crime, pornography, vile acts, drugs, devastation, destruction and despair!

The laws of God - His Moral Laws - are written on our very consciousness.  We have a spiritual heart which MUST connect with our Creator in order to live the Life He call us to. His Life is laid out for us in a Plan. He said so in Jeremiah 29:11 (MOFFATT) " “For I keep in mind my purpose for you, a purpose of weal (prosperity or happiness), not of woe, to let you have hope for the future…” 

However, we can choose to deviate from this God Ordained Plan and make things harder on ourselves if we so wish! And we do this all the time. It is now time to return to the Blueprint! Sure we can LIVE in the Valley while on earth, because we have no choice. But we do not have to participate in its filth and darkness.

It is now HIGH TIME to realize that while we were once part of the Dominion of Darkness, now we are co-inheritants of the Kingdom of Christ.
Now is the time to realize that the Valley of the Shadow of a disgusting DYING world is just a training ground. 
Now is the time to realize we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Now is the time to realize - FEAR NO EVIL for He is with  you and I - He promised it! Now - FEAR NO EVIL BECAUSE AS THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION SAID  - WE LET HIM, HE WILL BE RIGHT BESIDE US...TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS...NOW, ISN'T THAT A COMFORTING THOUGHT?!! 

Think of all the phobias and panic attacks we can do away with, if we just trust and obey His Word!

(Images by Google Images)
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