Christians believe that God loves humanity and wants to have a relationship with everyone.
Anxiety is a fact of life. The modern world is full of stress and pressure. Very few people are immune from worrying about something at some point in life. But fundamental to Christianity is the belief that, whatever people face, they do not need to face it alone. They do not need to find solace in alcohol, drugs, food, shopping or a thousand other distractions. Christians believe that God loves humanity and wants to have a relationship with everyone. Part of that relationship is talking to him by praying – and asking him to help with issues which concern us. The Bible book Philippians says, ‘do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God….and the peace of God… will guard your hearts and minds….’ But God is not a cosmic slot machine offering instant solutions. Being a Christian does not make worries disappear but it can help to get a different perspective and to see a new way of dealing with difficult situations. Christianity teaches that God always hears prayers – but he may not answer them in the way that is expected.
Being part of a church provides an opportunity to share concerns and worries with others and ask them to pray too. They can also provide practical support and advice.
Jesus Christ talked about worry during his three years of teaching as he travelled around the Middle East 2,000 years ago. At one point, he spoke to a huge crowd and set out what might be thought of as a Christian manifesto or manual for life. It is known as The Sermon on the Mount. In the Bible book, Matthew, he says, ‘Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body…. Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap… and yet your heavenly Father (God) feeds them…Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you can add a single hour to his life by worrying?’ And he finishes by saying, ‘Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’
Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap… and yet your heavenly Father (God) feeds them.
For some people, anxiety is more than a periodic nuisance, and is a serious medical condition. For such people, medical care and psychological support are important. Nobody should be made to feel bad if they have serious struggles with anxiety. Being a Christian does not make a person immune from mental health issues, any more than it makes them immune from physical illness. Nonetheless, the wholeness of life that God desires for all of us is that we walk free of anxiety, just as he longs for us to be healthy in our bodies.