You're just sitting there, minding your own business, when all of the sudden it hits you. Your mind starts to spin, a million thoughts racing through your brain. Your heart is pumping out of your chest, you can't catch your breath. For a brief second, though it feels like years, you feel like you're going to die. Yes, you're having a panic attack.
For people who struggle with anxiety even the simplest of tasks can be crippling. In general, anxiety is produced when there is a feeling of losing control.
The problem with this thinking is we were never in control to begin with. Anxiety causes us to look at the pieces and forget about the big picture.
Imagine having a one thousand piece puzzle and not knowing the image you were putting together. It can be frustrating but possible to put the pieces together. Now imagine that the pieces are so large that you can only focus on one. You can't even begin to see the big picture because that one piece is so overwhelming.
But here's the good news: because of Christ's death on the cross, we have access to the puzzle maker. Not only does He know the complete picture, He's way bigger than that piece that's giving us problems.
God knows our big picture, He is the one in control.
Jeremiah 29 : 11, ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Does that comfort anyone else? God's plan for my future has been designed to give me hope. And that's key.
Romans 5 : 5, ESV
Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
The Gospel makes all of this possible. We have personal access to God through the Holy Spirit within us. We have the Holy Spirit because Christ's death on the cross. The Gospel is what gives us hope.
Lamentations 3 : 21-23, ESV
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
We have to realize that the same God who sacrificed His Son just to have relationship with us is the same God who is control and holds our lives in His hands. Anxiety causes us to forget that God is big enough and God is good enough.
We can have peace from anxiety and hope for the future in the knowledge of who God is and what He has already done for us. God's Word is full of promises He has made to us. Use those promises to remind you of God and combat your anxieties.
Colossians 3 : 2, ESV
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth..
So the next time you are overwhelmed with anxiety, ask yourself, "Am I looking at the puzzle piece or the puzzle maker?"