What do you do when your feelings are irrational, yet existent nonetheless?
I prayed. I read my Bible. I journaled. I talked to my husband. Nothing helped. I went into enduring mode.
All at once it occurred to me this anxiety could not be from God. It was not warning for some impending disaster, for there was nothing to do. The uneasiness could only be coming from one place.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong., firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:8-10
Another lesson in resisting (YUCK!), but how do you stop yourself from feeling? I came up with a battle plan.
I started with my mind.
You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.
I need a steadfast mind that dwells on God instead of the anxiety. I have to quit thinking about things which bring it on. It's SO MUCH EASIER said than done, requiring constant effort. It takes a lot of practice to force your thoughts elsewhere, but it is absolutely necessary.
I focused on Truth.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I presented my requests to God. I prayed for peace.
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, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Resisting is no easy task. It takes EFFORT, lots of it, but the payoff is worth it. Without some resistance, Satan will continue picking. If I don't push back, I make myself an easy target. I can wallow in misery or I can fight. If I don't resist, Satan will snuff me out and rob me of the joy God intended.
It is war, but I don't fight alone.
As the verse says, "the God of grace. . .after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
Does the suffering last longer if we succumb to it, letting ourselves worry and stew? Does peace come more quickly if we resist?
I'm not sure, but in choosing peace and joy, I will resist. Satan will flee. And God will restore me.