1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (KJV).
Perfect love and anxiety cannot coexist, for perfect love casts out fear. Anxiety is a form of fear and has nothing to do with the new nature. A question to ask our selves when facing anxiety is: “From which position am I approaching the circumstance I am in that causes me to feel anxious?” The old nature invites anxiety and embraces fear. It offers no real peace. At best, it offers self-preservation, which is inward focused. The old nature looks within for its resources, which in part, is based on pride. The new nature looks to God while maintaining a humble posture. In Christ Jesus we are seated in heavenly places (see Ephesians 2:6). Our citizenship is in heaven. Guess what, anxiety does not exist there! Ideally, a believer should never experience anxiety, but it still happens. However, as we mature in the Lord, it should happen less and less, with shorter periods in each moment. We should learn to quickly enter into peace should there be such an occurrence. Perhaps, we can mature to the point where we never have an anxious moment again. How do we approach anxiety?
When anxiety knocks at our door, we must realize that we do not have to let it in. God’s grace enables us to keep the door shut. In fact, His grace repels anxiety. Anxious moments afford us the opportunity to receive strength from on High, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness (see 2Corinthians 12:9). Does that mean we have to be anxious in order for Him to be strong in us? Absolutely not! It means we approach life from the standpoint of humility. Instead of taking things on ourselves, we rely on God. Since Jesus made us more than conquerors (see Romans 8:37), we should view every obstacle we face from the standpoint of success. John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (KJV). We have the victory in Christ Jesus before we even face our trials. He made the provision for our circumstances long before we even existed. Jesus told us that even in the thick of it, we can have perfect peace.
People often say that the opposite of fear is faith. To a large degree that is true, but the True opposite is Love. As already stated in our opening verse, “Perfect faith casts out fear.” Without love, faith will not operate in our lives because faith works by love (see Galatians 5:6). That means having faith may not be the issue in relation to fear and anxiety. The issue is love. As we surrender to the Holy Spirit, perfect love will manifest as well as faith. Guess what else manifests. Peace! Love, faith and peace are part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). It is part of our new nature. So, when anxiety tries to make its way into your heart, take a deep breath and surrender to the Holy Spirit. Who or what you surrender to will be the one you serve. If you yield to fear, it will rule in your heart. If you yield to the Lord, He will rule in your heart (see Romans 6:16). Because of the grace given to us, we have the ability to let either fear or the Lord rule over us. One of the lies of the enemy is that you cannot stop fear from entering into your heart. Furthermore, he would have you to believe that once anxiety grips your heart it will maintain that grip unto the day you die. Grace says differently! 1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all (KJV). Since God is Light, darkness cannot dwell in His presence. Fear and anxiety are from the kingdom of darkness, and have no business in our hearts. If the Lord dwells in us, what place does darkness have?
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (KJV). When facing difficulties, instead of running to people for solutions, run to Abba (Daddy). He absolutely loves you and has your best interest at heart. Remember, God is Love, which means the more you have of Him the less anxiety has of you. The Father gives peaceful solutions. In His love for us, He is not anxious for our wellbeing, and neither should we. Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (KJV).