Discontent comes because we are focused on a particular prize we don’t yet possess. Being thwarted somehow creates discontent and anxiety. That means discontent is an inner indication that my mind is set on the wrong things.
When the things we fear continue into a more general, sustained, long-term uneasy state of mind it becomes anxiety. Anxiety is distracting care. While there are legitimate daily concerns about things like health, safety, and relationships, anxiety is a state of mind where our thoughts are continually pulled to dwell on circumstances.
Behind anxiety is the basic assumption that God isn't involved in our situation for our good. Looking at things from that perspective, our nature is to think and respond to things apart from God in the picture.
The Lord tells us not to be anxious. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:6-9 NIV).
You can’t escape the trials of life, but you can choose how you react to them. When you choose to give your worries to God, you stop allowing life to intimidate you.
Sensing the troubled hearts within His disciples, Jesus calmed the men with tranquil words that turned their thoughts toward a place of safety and love—the presence of God in His heavenly home.
When we live God’s way, we experience the Fruit of the Spirit in good times and bad. Because it’s a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit, this fruit is not tied to things of the world, emotions, health, or anything else.
The Apostle John addressed the struggle of our conscience. He offered all of us some advice that is not only helpful, it is inspired by God.
Resolutions are what we determine will happen, based on convictions, personal disciplines, strong purpose, clear vision, or a sense of mission. Predictions are things we anticipate might happen. These are based on assumptions, opinions, trends, or feelings. When you think about it, predictions and worry have a lot in common...they both forecast the future based on assumptions or feelings. They waste your energy and rob you of the joy of living today.
When you worry, it’s like you’re carrying around a heavy burden. You’re weighed down with anxiety and you can’t think clearly. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to give your burdens and worries over to God? He says He’ll take it and will give you peace in return. That’s a pretty good exchange.
You know what causes stress? Anxiety. Do you know how to rid your life of anxiety? Rest. Resting in Christ is the quickest way to rid your life of harmful stress. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
If you want to relax and get rid of anxiety, you need to lighten up. Are you typically harsh or critical? Try cultivating a more gentle and understanding approach to life. “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.”
We don’t like to think about death, but the Bible says believers have nothing to fear—we have a Shepherd, Jesus, who will walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death when the time comes.