Are you struggling with anxiety?

New Zealand Ministry of Health data shows that increasing numbers of New Zealanders are struggling with anxiety, with an estimated 442,000 people diagnosed with anxiety during 2019.  That has increased from 142,000 people in 2007.  The numbers are likely to have been higher in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus and the increase uncertainty it has created.

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The media often doesn’t help.  While social media is often criticised for the false and misleading stories that are circulated online, mainstream media has not done well in 2020.  In March and April some economic forecasters were predicting house prices were going to fall by 10 – 15% and that unemployment was going to reach 11%, and were given plenty of coverage by the media.

Fortunately, those predictions were wrong, but they caused considerable anxiety for people who were unsure whether they would keep their job or could continue to pay their mortgage

Why do we get such alarming forecasts and the media seem so willing to give them extensive coverage.  Sadly, news that predicts disaster catches our attention.

Strongholds are false beliefs and bad philosophies. These happen frequently when it comes to money.  Worry is a financial stronghold that affects every single one of us, and certainly some more than others.

Worry is a feeling of anxiety or unease about future uncertainties. It is that feeling you get when your mind is taken over by fear and doubt.

Worry is actually rooted in a lack of confidence in God.  That is why we are taken captive by worry because it keeps us from fully trusting God.

God Will Provide

Satan wants to keep you bound up by worry, especially about money. That is why in Matthew 6: 24-26, Jesus tells us not to worry.

“No one can serve two masters.  For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.  Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing.  Look at the birds.  They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

He also promises that he will provide our daily needs. This doesn’t say we shouldn’t work but clearly that we should not worry.

Let’s get practical. When you worry, use it as a reminder immediately to cast your fears and doubts upon Jesus. He is in charge of your future; you are not. Resign as master of the universe. He asks you to be set free of anything to do with tomorrow and to live one day at a time. I hope you are feeling better already!

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Peter Crawford

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