It’s true that leading people can become stressful.
Many of us can say that we’ve experienced times in our life where we were excited and full of anticipation for the things God has in store for us, or the people we’re leading. When doubt seeps in, however, we are prone to feel anxious about what the future might hold. Anxiety is a feeling characterized by tension and worry, and it is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder. When I think of the ways feelings of anxiety have been present in my own life, I think of times when the enemy has morphed my hopeful anticipation for the future and turned it into fear or dread. Even for those of us who do not experience anxiety to the extent that it regularly interrupts our daily functioning, it is important to recognize when we feel anxious so that we can take authority over it.
3 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Anxiety
1. Remind Yourself that Jesus Has Already Overcome Anxiety
Philippians 4:6 tells us to be anxious about nothing but to pray and let our request be made known to God. Since God does not ask us to do anything that is not possible for us to do with his power, His command for us to not be anxious means that he has already made a way for us to overcome anxiety. Jesus overcame anxiety when he died on the cross and now we have the ability to walk in the freedom that he has already purchased for us.
Anxiety can make us doubt, back away from what we believe God is calling us to, or even cause us to avoid certain situations for fear that our worries might come to fruition. While anxiety causes us to retreat, faith and obedience lead us to walk into the future believing that God is faithful to fulfill his promises to us. Faith is often connected to obedience and the more we walk in obedience, the more we will be able to see our faith grow.
2. Meditate on the Things of God
Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:8 to meditate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. What are you meditating on? Especially as a leaders, we should be assessing our thoughts and the meditation of our heart (Psalm 19:14) every single day. When thoughts enter our mind that are contrary to the things mentioned above, we have to surrender them to God. We should be intentional about filling our minds with things that are in line with God’s promises to us and not things that contradict these promises. We must be mindful about the music, movies, social media accounts, and friends we allow to have a presence in our lives. Each of these has the power to impact our thoughts whether it is in a positive way or a negative one.
3. Challenge the Lies of the Enemy
An important question to enter into prayer with when we find ourselves feeling anxious is, “God, why am I feeling anxious?” Many times, I have found myself feeling worried but not being able to pinpoint exactly why I am feeling this way. At the root of anxiety exists a lie that we have begun to believe. It may be a belief that we are not capable or it may be doubt that God will actually meet our needs. Once we can uncover the lie that is causing us to feel anxious, we can challenge it with God’s truth. It is helpful to recall times in the past when God has enabled you to overcome a similar situation or similar thoughts. Remember his faithfulness in the past and bring it with you into the future.
Anxiety is real and it can be debilitating, but the good news is that Jesus is more powerful! Greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Lean into God’s truth and He will prove himself faithful.We love you and we’re praying for you!