By Pastor Josh Weidmann
All actions and core principles were taken from:
The End of Anxiety: The Biblical Prescription for Fear, Worry and Panic
Core Principle One:
God has a purpose for all things in our lives, even anxiety. If the chief end of man is to glorify God, then we can trust that our anxiety is doing something for our good and God’s glory.
- Act: Make a list of 10-20 things you think God may be developing in you through this season of anxiety. Carry the list with you for the next week, reflecting on it and why a good and all-powerful God would allow you to go through this season. Then share your list with a friend.
- Pray: Spend some undistracted time in prayer asking God to show you what true joy looks like in your current circumstances.
- Memorize: Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Core Principle Two:
Anxiety comes from a variety of sources. No matter its origin, God holds the outcome and offers hope for you through the journey.
- Reflect: Keep a journal of when you feel fearful. Jot down the date, time and circumstance and what you were thinking and saying to yourself at that time. Evaluate what needs to be renewed in your thinking to avoid fear in the future (Romans 12:1-2).
- Read: Psalm 56:3-4 in three different translations and ask God to make this passage a reality in your life.
- Discuss: Find a trusted person in your life with whom you can talk about your fears and ask them to help you believe what is true and what may be mostly in your imagination.
Core Principle Three:
Anxiety, fear, worry, and panic are triggers for greater dependence on God. Running from God when I cannot feel Him will result in forfeiting the peace He offers me in the darkest parts of my life.
- Act: Make a list of what you “believe” and what you “know” about God. Post these on social media and pray them to God, affirming that what you cling to about His character is the very thing that gives Him the right to “overthrow” your situation and emotions.
- Reflect: Where are you dealing with anger or disappointment with God the most? Honestly confess your resentment toward Him and prayerfully ask Him to help you change your attitude and perspective.
- Read: Study Isaiah 40 and see how God comforts His people and encourages us to trust Him.
Core Principle Four:
God created my emotions, and He invites me to process my feelings before Him so He can interact with me, calm me, and change me.
- Act: Is there someone you need to go confess your sin to, own- ing where you went off course and caused them pain? Take time to make that call, meet with them, or write that letter acknowledging your own wrongdoing and asking for their forgiveness.
- Memorize: Commit 1 John 1:9–10 to memory.
- Repent: Repentance is when the Holy Spirit enables a supernatural change of our motive, thoughts, and behavior. What areas need to change in your life? Ask God to help you recognize and repent.
Core Principle Five:
Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and the sin of doubting God’s sovereignty can weigh us down. It’s our sacred responsibility to be honest about where our doubts and anxiety may lead us and build our foundation on our Savior and His Word.
- Reflect: Read Romans 5:3–4 again, and for each mention of the words “perseverance,” “character,” or “hope,” write down at least three corresponding ways you see God develop- ing you in these areas.
- Discuss: Meet with a friend and discuss what sin of doubt may “so easily entangle” you and what you could do to stand strong the next time you face those doubts.
- Read: Get a copy of Elyse Fitzpatrick’s devotional Doubt: Trusting God’s Promises. Start this thirty-one-day journey to learn how to battle doubts.
Core Principle Six:
When it comes to finding peace, we often look to counterfeit comforts. We look for things that will bring us momentary pleasure or ease our pain. The power of God offers joy and peace, no matter our emotions or circumstances.
- Act: Write down your anxiety, fear, or worry on a card and then give it over to God. In the end, destroy the card, knowing that God will stay true to take care of what you entrust to Him.
- Reflect: The reason we can have joy and peace is because of the reality of His future reign and the closeness of Christ. How and where do you sense the closeness of Christ in your life right now?
- Pray: Send a message to a few friends asking how you can pray for them. Spend time taking your eyes and prayers off of yourself by interceding for others.
Core Principle Seven:
While anxiety is deeply personal, it cannot be fought by ourselves. We must find the help we need through Christ in community, biblical counseling, and the Body of Christ to find inner peace.
- Act: Is there someone you need to reach out to and support right now? Pick up your phone and call or text someone to let them know you are here for them. The timing of your message may be exactly what they need right now.
- Reflect: Where are you trying to do things on your own and not letting others help you? Who could you choose to trust and let in a little bit more, letting them know what you are facing and how you need their help?
- Act: Find a way to do three acts of selflessness by serving someone else and showing random kindness to another person. Pay attention to how helping someone else affects your emotions. Now be open to letting someone else do the same thing for you.
Core Principle Eight:
God gives me hope and help to renew my mind when my thoughts get off track, so that I never have to replay the same tracks again. Trusting God in times of turbulence demands that I cling to what is true. The Bible says, “Whatever is true, noble and right … think on such things” (Philippians 4:8).
- Act: Create your own stack of three-by-five cards as described in this chapter. Start replacing the lies you believe with the truths of Scripture and what you know about God and His perspective on your situation.
- Reflect: Are you living in a constant state of “hyper-vigilance” and living in fear more than peace?
- Memorize: Commit Romans 12:2 to memory and remember that you can renew your mind by the power of Christ working in you.
Core Principle Nine:
It is possible to regain stability and find security, but it will only come by changing our motives, thinking, and behavior. Doing what you’ve been doing will only give you the same results.
- Reflect: Where are you experiencing “awe amnesia” and forget- ting the goodness of God in your life? Reflect on where God has shown you who He is and what you know to be true of Him. Now evaluate your current fears in light of what you already know about God and His goodness.
- Act: Write down which name of God you identify with the most from Isaiah 9:6—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace—and why.
- Memorize: 2 Timothy 1:7 reads, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Core Principle Ten:
There are two kinds of fear: (1) fear of God, and (2) fear of reasonable danger. Both types of fear demand that we cultivate awe for God that compels us to run to Him, not away from Him.
- Reflect: Identify what fears you may be exaggerating in your mind and ask a friend to help you see the reality of your situation.
- Read: Look up James 4:13–17. Write a paragraph of what this passage means for your life today. Where are you boast- ing in your own plans? Where are you worrying about the future that you can’t control?
- Discuss: Ask a friend to listen to your anxious thoughts and ask them to help you see where God is working positively, despite your negative thoughts. Evaluate with a friend where your fears are reasonable and where they are unreasonable and need to be corrected in light of trust- ing God.
Core Principle Eleven:
God’s steadfast love for me is true even when He allows suffering in my life. The pain I am going through is making me more like Christ and securing my identity in Him.
- Reflect: Address lifestyle rhythms that may be influencing or intensifying your anxiety. Choose one or two areas of your daily life, such as your diet, sleep, work schedule, recreational time, or exercise, and make a manageable goal to change that area. For example: “I will work out after work for forty-five minutes three times this week,” or “I will try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.” Pruning can involve changing your daily rhythms.
- Act: Write out your life purpose in one sentence. Don’t overthink it. What is the unique purpose God has placed you on this earth to fulfill? Is your purpose compelling you to serve Christ and others in the future rather than worrying about failures of the past?
- Mediate: In Christ, God is for us (compare Romans 8:31–34). List twelve ways you know this is true in your life now.
Core Principle Twelve:
Depression and anxiety are closely related and often experienced as a one-two punch to our hearts. Having the right perspective is essential for fighting and overcoming both through the power of Jesus and the peace of the Holy Spirit.
- Read: Study the whole book of Philippians at least one time through. Take note of how we are to have joy in all circumstances.
- Memorize: Commit to memory Job 13:15, which says, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.”
- Act: Make a “think and do” list of profitable things you can think and do when you are feeling down to lift your heart and redirect your focus back on God. (Hint: keep the list with you for quick reference.)
Core Principle Thirteen:
Dealing with anxiety demands that I find healing from Christ for my sin and begin healing from the hurt caused by others.
- Act: Seek forgiveness from someone you sinned against by confessing your sin to them and asking forgiveness. Also, identify where you have chosen to stay in unforgiveness and bitterness and ask God to help you forgive.
- Read: Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns will help you to better understand biblical forgiveness and find answers to many related misconceptions.
- Memorize: Commit to memory Ephesians 4:32, remembering you have been forgiven much so you can forgive much.
Core Principle Fourteen:
The antidote to anxiety is not sourced from our hearts. It can only come from the perfect peace found in Jesus, our Savior. No amount of “bootstrapping,” self-help, or “I’ll fix it myself” can compare to the peace of God that our hearts can barely comprehend.
- Connect: Ask a friend to pray with you and help you see God’s goodness through the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your life.
- Reflect: Take a prayer walk and thank God for what the Gospel reveals to you about His nature and character. List these attributes out and be specific. For example, “God, you are merciful because…” or “God, your power is real to me because…”
- Read: Study Romans 1–4 and keep track of four essential elements, marking them or highlighting with different colors: God’s role, sin’s role, Christ’s role, and our necessary response. Be reminded of the true power of God through Christ that will save you.
Core Principle Fifteen:
I don’t have to be anxious about being anxious ever again. Tomorrow has enough worries of its own, so I will focus on being bold and courageous today with the presence of Christ in my life.
- Act: List your objections toward God’s call to action in your life and humbly ask Him to change your perspective.
- Reflect: Does your anxiety come from a deep desire to get what you want or to not lose what you already have? Does it consume you? Do you obsess about it? Do you sin to get it or keep it? Ask God to help put your desire in its rightful place. Better yet, ask God to help you ensure He has His rightful place in your life as Lord and supreme over all other desires.
- Memorize: Commit Hebrews 4:15–16 to memory. Write down how your confidence can be strengthened by knowing that Christ empathizes with your weaknesses.
Core Principle Sixteen:
Waiting upon the Lord means that I bind myself to Him and His purposes. It can give me the ultimate confidence and strength that can only come from His ever-present Spirit.
- Pray: Ask for God to break any disillusionment that may be blocking you from seeing God’s faithfulness in your life. Affirm to Him that you are willing to wait on His best plan for your life.
- Reflect: Remember what you are waiting for: God’s way to win in your life. What promises from God are most helpful to you in your waiting? How have you seen the Lord’s presence and activity as you wait?
- Act: Next time you are feeling anxious, worried, or fearful, commit to acting and thinking biblically before fear takes over. Think about the last time you experienced worry, fear, or panic. Where was your focus? What could you have done prior to the spike in anxiety that would have allowed you to handle those circumstances better? Commit to actions such as going for a prayer walk, writing in a prayer journal, or listening to a worshipful song.
- Discuss: Meet with another Christian friend who will help me deal with my anger. Ask him or her to ask me weekly if I am getting better or worse and to hold me accountable to take action to control my anger toward others.
- Act: Make a list of 25 good things God has given me and share the list with others in order to redirect my heart to praise rather than worry or bitterness.
- Memorize: 1 John 4:18 and make a list of ways you can show love to those around you. By loving others, you can replace your worry or wallowing with actions and impact. Set a goal to do at least two of the loving deeds on your list this week.