As we continue our series on feelings and emotions, today we are going to look at anxiety. I would define anxiety as a lethal combination of worry and fear that dominates your mind, saturate your heart, and devastate your soul. We are abiding in fear. It is that feeling that continues to linger long after the actual threat or fear has dissipated. It is a far greater intensity than just worry. People use worry and anxiety interchangeably. However, they are very different psychological states. According to Psychology Today, “Worry tends to be more focused on thoughts in our heads, while anxiety is more visceral, in that we feel it throughout our bodies.” The good news is, a man with flesh and blood, sitting in a Roman prison, facing certain death, knowing he probably wouldn’t get out of that prison alive and not knowing what day he would die understood anxiety. In a book called Philippians, he gives us a four-step process on how to calm your nerves.
Emotions in America are running from sky-high, to barrel low, and feelings affect all of us. If I were to ask you what you were feeling right now, and you were honest, it would be interesting to see if you would say things like “angry, lonely, bitter, depressed, fearful and worried.” That is why we are going to enter into a series that we are calling “No Hard Feelings.” It is amazing how much God’s Word has to say about our feelings and how we can control our feelings rather than have our feelings control us. Learning how to handle our emotions is crucial, not just our emotional health, but our physical health. So that’s exactly what we’re going to learn how to do over the next several weeks of this series.