When Anxiety Threatens To Steal Your Christmas Joy

I am excited to welcome Andrew Adams into our community.  Andrew is a husband, father, Missionary Associate through the Assemblies of God, and blogger at heinspiredme.com. He is passionate about seeing people enter into life with God and helping them become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. He writes regularly on a wide array of Christian living topics.

 by Andrew Adams

 

The holiday season is upon us (unless you are reading this after the fact…but it’ll be back soon enough!) and anxiety is filling the air. Everywhere I look I see busyness and worry amidst the joyful atmosphere. A smiling face is lost amongst the endless stream of shoppers.

 

I’ve always enjoyed celebrating Christmas. My wife looks forward to Christmas for months. Just thinking of Christmas fills her mind with songs, movies, lattes, hot chocolate, presents, and extravagant meals.

 

Many, however, dread December. This festive, joyous month becomes hectic, filling them with anxiety, a feeling of torment. They feel rushed and worried. Shopping, decorating, and cooking somehow steals their joy.

 

The Biblical Answer for Anxiety (Whether It’s Christmas or Not)

 

Matthew 6:25-34 is one of the strongest passages to use in the combat against anxiety. Jesus, in His infinite wisdom calmly and clearly tells us, “Don’t be anxious about what you will eat, drink, and wear. Life is more than food and clothing.”

 

We might respond, “Sure Jesus, but you never celebrated Christmas!”

 

But He goes on to paint a picture for us. Imagine a bird in overalls, plowing the field as his bird wife slaves over dinner and the kids. Or imagine a flower stressing out about which shirt to wear or if it matches it’s leaves. Do you see what Jesus does? He uses an absurd picture to point out what we ourselves do. His point? God provides. He feeds the birds. He clothes the flowers. Being anxious seems silly. It shows a lack of trust in God because we’ve taken our focus off of Him as our provider.

 

Jesus proclaims, “Don’t be anxious, God knows.” Instead, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and what you need will be provided.

 

Three anxiety killers:

 

God’s Truth

 

God has a love so pure, so real and so TRUE, that it fills us with peace and joy. When we embrace Jesus Christ as Savior, our problems begin to disappear. He goes with us into our darkest times. We have a friend and savior to turn to. Whatever we fear, whatever we have done, and anything that has been done to us cannot compare to His endless love and peace.

 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

 

We must face our fears with truth, proclaiming ultimate truths and praying for help. But don’t be fooled. It won’t be easy. We live in a world of lies.

 

James 1:5-8 (MSG) states, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”

 

Faith

 

It’s easy to trust ourselves. We have control over what we say and do. We have faith that we will do what we say we’ll do. It’s an entirely different situation to have faith or trust in God. Saying it is easy enough. But acting on it takes…faith!

 

Applying truth to overcome anxiety means we trust that God will lead us in the right direction and that He’s bigger than our fears. In faith, we know that God wants better for us than we want for ourselves, even when we do not understand it.

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)

 

When we don’t have God at the center, the world competes for that spot, and that’s when we become deceived.

 

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) tells us to “cast all of our anxieties on Him because he cares for us.”  It takes faith and trust to take our situation to God and lay it at His foot, trusting that He will work in the situation. And in these moments, our faith can grow. It’s not comfortable, but transformation takes place.

 

Thanksgiving

 

Being thankful during a moment of anxiety sounds and feels counterintuitive. But it’s the key that  allows us to recognize the truth and grow in faith.

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.(Philipians 4:6, NKJV)

 

God is faithful and he wants the best for us. When we trust that, we do not need to fear evil.

 

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

 

Without God, we are left vulnerable to the  tormenting anxiety that grabs a hold of us. Let God be the one who grabs ahold. We turn to Him and say, “I need you Lord” and He is there.

 

Psalm 56:11 says, “in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

 

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV)

 

God’s Truth.  Faith.  Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

16 Comments

  1. Patricia Holbrook

    December 15, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    Beautiful post! Visiting you from Kelly Balarie’s linkup!

  2. Thanks for sharing Andrew’s words here!

    Andrew, this is a beautiful reminder that we are celebrating the Prince of Peace! Whatever else we contrive to make of Christmas, we are blessed by His arrival here and by His living in our midst today.

  3. Great Post! I love the visual of a flower worrying about matching a shirt with it’s leaves! As silly as that seems is our worry to God! A great reminder of the confidence we need to have in our Saviour! Have a Blessed Christmas!

  4. Great post to remind us that God is with us in our anxiousness and will se us through. Thank you for introducing us to Andrew.

  5. Thank you for sharing Andrews words Lisa. I have been letting anxiety surrounding the unknowns we are facing and the lack of being able to celebrate Christmas how I would like swoop in and steal my joy this year. I am turning that around and praising Him that He is working in our lives, we have a home to be in, and we have Jesus to celebrate! 🙂

  6. I have to tell you Lisa, I came across your post last night and read half of it. The title grabbed me. Then, you were next to me today on the Linkup. I think God wanted me to read what you wrote yet again. What stood out to me was “FAITH”. That beating anxiety comes down to the faith that God will bring you through what is threatening you in a way where you say, “I know that I don’t know, but God does and for that reason I can be okay.” Thank you for this Lisa. I really appreciate this. Visiting from Hollys site. Much love friend.

  7. Great encouragement today! Visiting from Tell His Story!

  8. I appreciate the words of truth given here. For me, much anxiety comes from half-truths that I ‘feed’ and let live in my mind. When I filter life through God’s truth, a very different picture comes through – a clearer, more light filled one. Thanks for this post. Visiting from Purposeful Faith.

  9. Loved this insight! We don’t have to know everything … we just have to trust that God is working it all out in His timing. We may not see the fruit now, but one day He will reveal all. These truths can take our anxiety away. Joining you from Holley’s site today! Blessings to you in the journey.

  10. Mary Dolan Flaherty

    December 17, 2015 at 6:53 AM

    Andrew/Lisa–thank you for sharing such great biblical advice on how not to let anxiety steal our joy. I love the visual I got about the bird in the overalls! Christmas blessings to you both!

  11. Such a good reminder about anxiety and the power we allow it to have in our lives, the power to steal and rob the good that God in His grace and mercy fills us with…all gifts He gives are good. In my devotional today I read, ” Worry takes God off the throne and puts something else in His place.”, and I while anxiety has a hold we place worry in the place of God and we tell ourselves, and ultimately God, that we have more faith in what we see than what we don’t. Hebrews says it the other way, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen. ”

    Great reminder to let His Word be our constant guide as we let go of the anxiety, dethroning worry, and trust God with thankful hearts.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  12. Thank you Lisa for sharing Andrew’s Post with us today. I love Christmas but there have been years where it leads to much anxiousness. I know for many, Christmas doesn’t bring joy, but fear, rejection, and anxiousness. I pray people will find God’s peace this season.

  13. The Grinches of the world will work double time this time. We need these so reminders so much.

  14. Great post, Andrew! I especially your anxiety killer of TRUTH. Lies can’t coexist with it.

  15. Andrew,
    Perfect words. I too have now found the peace of Christmas. Slow down. Don’t do it all. Focus on Jesus and where God is leading me. Thanks for linking to Word of God Speak.
    I tried to find your Twitter but the link at the top goes nowhere.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  16. Bonnie Lyn Smith, Espressos of Faith

    December 21, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    Such a great topic to offer, especially at the holidays! Thank you for this. Tweeting, sharing, pinning! Well done! Coming to you from #EspressosofFaith via #DanceWithJesus.

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