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Relief Through Trust and Faith in God

I’ve said it before in several ways, but I want to say it again plainly: you have grown comfortable in your fears and anxieties. In a perverse way, they have become the known, the predictable, your comfort zone of behavior and expectation. To use a phrase from the book of Job, your anxieties and fears are “miserable comforts” but comforts still. You are more comfortable giving them control over your life than you are giving your life over to God. You’ve allowed your anxieties to provide you with meager, miserable comforts instead of claiming the true comfort promised by your loving Father. Listen to him argue passionately in his own defense in Isaiah 51:

I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction?

For where is the wrath for the oppressor? The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.

For I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar – the Lord Almighty is his name.

I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand –

I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, “You are my people.”

Do not take meager, miserable comfort any longer in your anxieties; choose to believe God when he says, “I, even I, am he who comforts you.” He is stronger, more powerful, and mightier than the fears and anxieties that oppress you, no matter what lies those fears and anxieties tell you.

There is, of course, another part of this: you must allow yourself to be comforted by God; you must accept his comfort. To do this, you need to reject the tie – the relationship – you have with your anxieties. They’ve become so much a part of you that to reject them can seem tantamount to rejecting who you are. Again, in a perverse and paradoxical way, you’ve developed a relationship, a friendship, with your anxieties that must be broken. This friendship is not grounded in the spiritual realm, in God-reality, as it says in the Message; it is grounded firmly in the perceptions and deceptions, in the lies, of this world. Tying yourself to your anxieties ties you to this world.

To go with God, you have to give up these ties to the world, this relationship you have with your anxieties. James 4:4-10 clearly shows you can’t have it both ways. The world and God are in direct competition with each other for your heart and mind. You already know what happens to your heart and mind when the world – when your anxieties and fears – are ascendant. Day by day, step by step, choice by choice, begin to shift your allegiance from the world of your anxieties, worries and fears to God.

SOURCE: Chapter 14 in Overcoming Anxiety, Worry and Fear: Practical Ways to Find Peace.

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