Overcoming Anxiety in the New Year

Stop for a moment and think about the relationship between bad actions/attitudes and our anxiety.

Anxiety about finances can give rise to coveting and greed and hoarding and stealing. Anxiety about succeeding at some task can make you irritable and abrupt and surly. Anxiety about relationships can make you withdrawn and indifferent and uncaring about other people.

Anxiety about how someone will respond to you can make you cover over the truth and lie about things. So if anxiety could be conquered, a lot of our bad behavior would be overcome.

Let us follow the pattern of Jesus and Paul. Today, battle the unbelief of anxiety with the promises of God. Here are nine of those promises:

1. When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with the promise: “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

2. When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise, “So shall my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not come back to me empty but accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

3. When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9), and “As your days so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).

4. When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

5. When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us who can be against us!” (Romans 8:31).

6. When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise that “tribulation works patience, and patience approved-ness, and approved-ness hope, and hope does not make us ashamed” (Romans 5:3–5).

7. When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).

8. When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself; if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living” (Romans 14:8–9).

9. When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promise, “He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “He who calls you is faithful. He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). “He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

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Goals: Why Can I Not Achieve Them?

On the first day of every year, people make resolutions about how things are going to be different this time around. Unfortunately, few of those resolutions ever make it to January 7.

The two of the top resolutions involve losing weight and managing money. But every year, the results are the opposite of what we hoped for: Our waistlines get bigger, and our net worths gets smaller! To be honest, resolutions are a joke! We know life would be better without extra pounds and credit cards, but we just can’t say no. Why can’t we follow through with our January 1 resolutions?

No teeth. Without teeth, resolutions are nothing more than wishes we make to ourselves.We can give them teeth by sharing them with someone else. It’s called accountability, and it’s one of the most powerful motivators for change you can imagine.

In Proverbs 15:22, Solomon challenged his readers to build accountability into their lives. He understood that the worst crashes often happen when we’re flying solo.

We can make a lot of plans, but the chances of failure increase when we try to go it alone. On the other hand, “many advisers” (otherwise known as accountability partners) lead to success. When we are willing to hear and heed the advice of others, we can prevent a landslide of future headaches.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we let someone else run our lives or that we have to follow through with every suggestion. But it does mean that we let others speak into our lives and – for a moment, at least – entertain the idea that we don’t know everything about every situation. We’re teachable.

Who are some people you trust? Family members, lifelong friends, pastors, fellow church members, leaders and co-workers can all serve as guides for your life questions. Find a few key people and let them help you reach your goals.

Don’t set yourself up for failure. Hold yourself accountable and ask God for His continual help … and it works!