What comes to mind when you think of the word ‘anxiety?’ For most of us, it’s a negative connotation relating to fear, trepidation and nervousness. We’ve all unconsciously fed into this stigma where anxiety is something we desperately need to rid ourselves of.
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (New International Version, Proverbs 12:25)
Have you ever stopped to think about the good anxiety can produce? I challenge you to think about anxiety through a different lens where it can be used for good, producing positive outcomes.
Let me give you a few examples that have challenged my own thinking and played out in my life…
- Anxiety can be a catalyst for spiritual and personal growth. It can generate self awareness and spur us into action, developing character and self improvement.
- Anxiety can grow our relationship with God 100x by learning to surrender and rely on Him daily. It serves as a reminder of our need for a Savior. It pushes us to challenge and reframe negative thoughts with scripture. I often ask myself, would I be this close to God and have this faith if I didn’t battle anxiety? Definitely not.
- Anxiety can develop resilience in the long term. You can let it shape you instead of consume you. As you learn to move through it, you will develop strength, tenacity, and resilience. Hang in there! It will be worth it.
- Anxiety gives God an opportunity to heal and redeem you. I’m not saying it’ll be gone forever, but I assure you when you continue to trust God and press into Him, you will be transformed. The Bible makes that promise. He doesn’t want you to suffer; He wants you to go to Him.
- Anxiety can be used for God’s glory! It can encourage you to prioritize your health, pray daily, share your story and be a light to others.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” (Psalm 94:19)
So how can we reframe the way we think about anxiety? I got my own start by reading, The Anxious Christian: Can God use Your Anxiety for Good? By Rhett Smith. I highly recommend this book!
He was helping me to begin seeing anxiety as a tool for growth in my life, rather than the source of pain it had always been. Viewing anxiety as a negative force only left me paralyzed in a prison of fear and shame.Rhett Smith
I’ve seen God use anxiety in my life as a catalyst for growth and transformation. He has given me opportunities to break free from my anxiety. He has pointed me towards remedies that really work for me. And He has used His Word to provide encouragement through the difficult days.
God is always at work even when we can’t see it. Now looking back, I’m starting to see how He has brought beauty from the pain in my life.
When we seek Him and place anxiety in His hands, He can do the impossible with it and use it for good.
Without our anxiety, we do not become who God desires us to be. Begin to embrace it on your journey with God.Rhett smith
Reflect: How will viewing your anxiety differently change the way you manage it?