We know what it means to worry. We worry about ourselves—job loss, terminal illness, or simply surviving traffic on the way home. Or we worry about someone else—a daughter consistently making poor decisions, a friend going through a divorce, or a parent getting older. In these situations, we recognize that something is wrong. Being anxious is a negative state. For example, when we tell someone, “I’m worried,” they immediately recognize that we’re not doing well. It’s like telling someone, “I’m bleeding.” That phrase isn’t positive under any circumstance. It’s a phrase that’s often uttered in surprise and dismay. Like bleeding, anxiety causes us pain and steals our spiritual strength.
Why does anxiety steal our spiritual strength? Because our spiritual strength derives from a person—Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a life of trusting and resting in Him. When we fail to do that, our strength fails. We fail to live by faith. Not only that, but when we don’t trust Christ, we trust someone or something else. We trust our money. We trust our family. Or, it sounds strange, but we may even trust nothing. We tell ourselves the lie that there is nothing trustworthy at all. We give up. We become practical nihilists, spiritual cynics. This misplaced trust and lack of faith saps us. Slowly, drop by drop, we grow spiritually weaker. In the end, all anxiety is a failure of faith, and “anything that is not done in faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23).
How can we stop the bleeding? This is where we often go wrong. We try to stop the bleeding ourselves, when what we need is a doctor. And this doctor cannot be just any doctor. He must be a physician capable of healing our broken hearts. Thankfully, our God is just that. He can stop the bleeding (Mark 5:29).
It’s by the wounds of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, that we are healed (Isa. 53:4–5). Jesus Christ bled for our sakes. It’s as we trust and rest in Jesus Christ that we are made well. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). How can we trust and rest in Jesus Christ? One way is by going to Him in prayer. Prayer is one of the most significant and ongoing ways to trust and rest in Jesus Christ. Paul tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). We should pray, and pray often. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). By doing so, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” will guard our hearts and minds. We should pour out our hearts to our loving Father (Ps. 62:8). We should remember God’s promises even as we speak to Him, such as His promise to work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). Our Lord Jesus will come again someday so that we may be where He is (John 14:3). It’s by praying and remembering promises such as these that our great Physician continually binds up our wounds, turns our eyes to Jesus Christ, and calms our fears.