Benefits of Anxiety
I never thought I would say this: “Anxiety is not all bad. It has positive side effects.”
Benefit #2: It makes me desire the word of God. I have studied scripture since I became a believer. I studied it for 34 years of ministry to write expository sermons. When the shockwaves of anxiety produced by the impact of a trial hit me, it drives me into the word of God for comfort. I seek comfort first and then I seek to understand. When anxiety attacks, I cling to the promises of God written in scripture. I memorize scripture. I do not take time to memorize scripture when everything is safe and secure. I memorized Psalm 91 during the COVID19 pandemic and prayed it daily. I memorized Psalm 23 during a time of fearful transition when I felt the shadow of death. The Psalms are fear-fighting scriptures. Psalms emphasize the importance of God’s word: 119:11: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 28: My soul melts away from anxiety and grief; strengthen me according to your word! 67: Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 97: Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all day. 105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Read all Psalm 119.) “It is written” from the Psalms is the best way to resist the fear-inducing anxiety of evil spirits.
After receiving comfort from God’s word, I seek to correctly understand and apply it. Anxiety got me to exegete Philippians 4:5b-7: The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. “The Lord is at hand,” therefore, do not be anxious. This means the Lord is near. He is close and ready to help. Confirmation from Psalm 46:1: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. The Lord sees. The Lord saw Hagar twice when she was rejected and helped her and Ishmael (Genesis 16 & 21). Hagar gave the Lord a name, “El Ro’i,” “the God of seeing” (16:13).
Is there a difference between prayer and supplication? The GR word for prayer is a general term. The GR word for “supplication” is specific and it is used with requests (e.g. Lk 1:13). “Let your requests be made known.” Supplication is intense because it may be combined with fasting (e.g. Lk 5:33).
The peace that surpasses human understanding is a spiritual gift from God. We cannot produce it or induce it. We give our requests to God and He gives peace in exchange. The peace of God is like a security guard at the entrance to a bank. Satan wants to break in and steal our security. God’s peace stands guard at the gate to our hearts and minds. God’s peace only guards the hearts and minds of those who take refuge in Christ Jesus; that is, those who are in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Benefits of Anxiety