Where does my anxiety come from? Where did something this frightening get its start? How has it had such control over my mind? If I could just get some understanding as to its causes, maybe I could start to get a handle on how it is affecting me mentally, physically & spiritually.
Anxiety is not a A_______________________, but a B_______________________________! There’s something deeper inside you that is causing the anxiety, the restless nights, the confused mind, the shakiness your body is feeling. It’s important in finding “answers” to anxiety that we consider where these emotions came from, in other words, the “avenues” they traveled to get to your mind & body. Here are five to consider:
First, The Avenue of C___________________________ For most of us, this is the BIG ONE! We have so many fears & they are crippling to us. What are the top 5 fears? Top 10? What are yours? Let’s start with these:
And the list of fears seems endless as well – we could add any of the following & more: poverty or the lack of money, public speaking (I know this one very well), germs, closed in spaces or open spaces, snakes, spiders, the dark, the dentist; heights; needles; & yes, even clowns! Avenues for Anxiety Series: ANSWERS
- The Bible mentions at least 365 times these two words: ”I________________________________” (or, “Do not be afraid!”). A “Fear Not” for every day of the year! Thank you, God!
- Second, The Avenue of J________________________________ People can be so aggravating, pushy, hard to get along with, opinionated, judgmental, irritating, hard to please, difficult to communicate with, etc. As Jesus tells us over & over – we are “love one another”; we are to “love our enemies” & we are to “love our neighbors.” This is an area of growth we need. Remember the apostles’ request to Jesus to “Increase our faith?” This was in the context of dealing with difficult people who sin against us. We need a lot of love & faith!
- Third, The Avenue of K______________________________ Even more devastating than difficult people is to feel you have no one in your life. Who is your “go-to” person? Proverbs 12:25, 17:17, 18:24, 31:10; John 15:12f
- Fourth, The Avenue of L_________________________ This is the path of unfulfilled dreams of how life would be for you – who you would be, who you would have in your life, & the accomplishments you had desired. Anxiety also comes from not living up to the expectations of others – your spouse, your boss, & even the expectations of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s that fear of failure that brings us angst, unhappiness, & disappointments.
- Fifth, The Avenue of M_______________ This covers a multitude of avenues in which the sins of not only fear, but doubt, guilt, greed, self-indulgence, pride, lust, & all forms of disobedience to the will of God. All these & more have the power to destroy your life, to distort your thinking, to misdirect your steps, & ultimately condemn your soul. It is our own sins that are the cause of most anxieties. How many times did Jesus have to say to his disciples, “O You of Little Faith!?” Never underestimate N _____________ power & control over your life.
Note carefully. Anxiety in itself is O_________________! It is a P_______________ response to the uncertainty we face in the situations that play out before us in everyday life. Peak Passage of the Week 1 Peter 5:7
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
Take time this week to do a self-assessment as to where your anxieties are coming from. Take the following five mentioned in the message and write out:
- Some personal observations as well as
- Some positive steps you could take to make this “avenue” less of a threat to your peace of mind.
- The Avenue of Fear
- The Avenue of People
- The Avenue of Loneliness
- The Avenue of Expectations
- The Avenue of Sin