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Published by api-3693997

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Published by: api-3693997 on Oct 14, 2008
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An Anxious Heart
Scripture Focus:
Proverbs 12:18-28
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs12:25). “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer . . .” (Philippians 4:6).
Who among us has not had anxious moments when our peace fled and our mindschewed on thoughts, like a dog worrying a bone? Those anxious thoughts keep usawake, and we simply can't turn them off.
When I’m hurting or deeply troubled about a matter, I walk a mile through myneighborhood. As I walk, I talk to the Lord, laying the matter all out before Him. Bythe time I return home, things look and feel much better.I have always been an encourager, but there are times when I'm in desperate needof encouragement. As I cry out to God, He meets me at that point of desperation.He may bring to my mind the words of a hymn or point me to a Scripture verse, or He may simply speak through a comment in a phone conversation with a friend.I’m still learning to let go of a matter and place it squarely in God's hands. I'm stilllearning to run into His presence when I'm hurting and let Him calm the fears and fillmy heart with His gift of peace.
: At the center of anxiety is a core of fear. But there is One who can calmyour troubled heart. His name is Jesus.**************************************************
Daily Anxiety
Scripture Focus:
1 Peter 5:5-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up indue time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 
(1 Peter 5:6-7).
I don't remember what I was worried about, but as I had my morning devotions Iwas pointed to today's Scripture by three different devotional writers. I knew I had
better listen to these very familiar words and do exactly what they said.
“Cast” - It would take concentrated effort to literally throw my anxiety on Jesus.“All” - I dared not keep even one portion to try to handle by myself. That wouldmean total freedom from worry.“On Him” - I needed to throw it all on Jesus, the only One who could truly carry myburden.Why? “Because He cares for me.” Jesus really loves me and will take care of me,no matter what happens. He is still in control of my anxiety-producing situation andwill bring great good out of it in my life and in the lives of those I love.My part is to believe and obey, to stand back and watch Him work.Too simple, you ask? Yes, but sometimes difficult to do.
Simple obedience to God's Word brings freedom from the cares whichwould drag us down. Easy to say - hard to do. But it is the key to enjoying Jesus'gift of peace.**************************************************
Future Anxiety
Scripture Focus:
John 14:1-14
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father'shouse are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2)
Trust and anxiety cannot abide in the same place at the same time. We are either trusting or worrying. The Psalmist said, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm56:3).
Something which can cause us deep anxiety is our fear of the future. I recallworrying about how we would get through the teenage years with our three sons.More recently I have worried about retirement. Would we have enough income tocontinue to live in our home? My husband's Social Security would not even begin tomeet our needs. Now I am faced with his diagnosis of early Alzheimers. How long
will I be able to take care of him? When do I take the car away? What will I do for income when I have to give up my day care? So many questions! I dare not look tothe future and try to carry its worries.Jesus tells us that we must live one day at a time, trusting the uncertain future toour Father in Heaven. When we do that, we enjoy His provision of peace.
: What a glorious certainty! Jesus is preparing a place for us and He willsee that we get there in His perfect timing. So kiss worry about the future good-by!**************************************************
Depression and Anxiety
 Scripture Focus:
Psalm 42
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope inGod, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast withinme” (Psalm 42:5-6).
When my father died suddenly of a heart attack, I was plunged deeply intodepression. I despaired of ever getting through the grief process. I wondered if Icould ever look forward to life again. My zest for living was gone, and I simplyendured the days. That was a dark, hopeless time.
During those days I memorized Psalms 42, 43, and 51. Every day I prayed thoseverses back to God, especially the plea that God would restore his joy (see 51:12).God answered those desperate cries for help. After a year of counseling with agodly pastor, I was back on my feet. I became an encourager again instead of being the needy one.One day I looked more closely at today’s verses and noticed that depression andanxiety often go together. We are disturbed, we hurt, we withdraw. Hope hangs bya slender thread.Begin to look up and praise God for who He is. Lift your eyes off yourself and your problems and look to the only One who can really help. As you praise Him, He willfill your heart with His peace.
: Praising God, even when you don't feel like it, begins to chase away theblack clouds of depression and anxiety.

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