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Overcome anxiety

This 10 session seminar (free) further develops the training introduced here to overcome anxiety.


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Overcoming Anxiety: Lesson #5

Possessing God's Precious Peace

Discipleship Level 2: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity

Paul J. Bucknell

Problem | Broken | Understand | Description | History | Fighting | Steps | Gate


The Source of Anxiety's Problem

Purpose: We need to understand what is broken before we fix it. This is true with anxiety and worry too. This article highlights the source of anxiousness and worry. This is the second of nine sessions on Overcoming Anxiety: Possessing God's Precious Peace which comprise the fifth lesson in the Discipleship Level 2 series: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity.

The Broken Cistern

When we try to solve any problem, it is necessary to understand its basic nature. Some things are rather obvious. For example, when the lights go out in my study, I need to find out if it is just my study, my house or my neighborhood. The way I respond is based first on a query as to what was actually wrong. In a recent case, I discovered it was our local region. I did not need to check my electrical box but only get my wood stove extra hot to keep us warm until the electrical utilities fixed the faulty equipment.

The same is true with our personal lives. When we sense something is possibly going wrong, there are three choices:

These have been defined in an earlier lesson, but they have not been shown how to practically put to use as we hope to in these later lessons. Our trust should be in God (#1). When we do place our faith in our everlasting Father, we can function quite normal even in very threatening or unknown situations. This is what we call normal and good. Making a choiceThe world, however, despises God and instead trusts in their secularistic gods and worry.

We will use the verse Jeremiah 2:13 to highlight the three differences in the source of our trust.

"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13).

  1. Misplaced confidence - A cistern is a rock with some kind of hole that can hold rain water. In this diagram, the phrase 'hew for themselves cisterns' represents the misplaced confidence. They try to get the water they need on their own. The cistern is dependent on external factors and therefore not reliable.

  2. God-focused confidence - The fountain of living waters represents the Lord. He is likened to the stream that never goes dry. His grace is always abounding in favor and more than we could ever need. This is what the Lord intends for our lives.

  3. Lack of confidence - The broken cistern is the cistern that can hold no water. This represents the agony that comes to our lives when what we trusted in does not work. Even the little water we could get before is not received.

We should note that it is not the broken cistern that is the problem. The problem is that they have forsaken the Lord. Trusting in something less than the Lord designed is as He states evil. As long as a cistern works, people will not too much complains. It is only when what he trusts in fails, will he begin searching for a solution.

Worries like all 'lack of confidence' sins point out that our system of trust is broken.

Understanding the Problem

There is a great difference between lack of confidence and misplaced confidence. They are, however, closely related. They reveal to us where a person is at in their trust level. As long as one has confidence in his trust, then he will not be very willing to discuss spiritual things. curse of anxietyWhen his or her idol, the thing in which they trust, is broken, then certain problems are revealed. Anxiety is one resulting problem.

Anxiety reveals several things about our inner lives.

"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD" (Jeremiah 17:5).

In other words, our idol has been broken. Our false confidence is revealed. Our anxiety reveals what great sinners we are by not having trusted in the Lord.

If we had trusted in Him, we would not have been worried. Blessings from trusting GodDifficult circumstances would reveal our trust in our Heavenly Father. Peace would be the result in our hearts. His blessings would be further poured out to us in need. He is the fount of blessing!

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD, for he will be like a tree planted by the water" (Jeremiah 17:7).

Please note that oftentimes we know we have some deep spiritual problem but cannot locate the problem. The problem is often in our inability to spot our disbelief in God and His faithfulness. This will be further clarified in the next article.

Next -> Read the article - Understanding Anxiety