Overcoming Stress in an Anxiety Infested World

Lesser_Coat_of_Arms_of_Ukraine_svg “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

I will be leaving tomorrow from Chicago to fly across the world to Kiev, Ukraine. You might ask: “Why are you flying to an area of war and political dissension?” The reason is family. My wife, son, and I will be visiting our Mother and Father-in-law, grandparents, and Son-in-law for two weeks on the western border. Fortunately, we are far from the city of Donetsk, the region surrounded by much of the conflict.

Recently, security officials announced that government troops had taken over Yasinuvata, a town just north of Donetsk. In this city there is an important railway junction, which would allow the rebel army to cut off weapon supplies from the west. Furthermore, city officials estimate that 200,000 people in Donetsk have left their homes because of the violence. It’s evident that pro-Russian separatists are gaining ground in the Eastern region of Ukraine.

I would be lying if I told you I am not anxious about our trip to Ukraine. There is always the possibility of Pro-Russian separatists getting closer and shooting missiles into civilian territory. However, I don’t allow dangerous circumstances to prevent me from living my life because God is in control.

That doesn’t mean we tempt God and put ourselves in vulnerable situations. My wife and I prayed about it for weeks before we made the final decision. We concluded that no matter where we are, God is sovereign and He is protecting us from harm. Do you believe that? Here are a couple of spiritual disciplines you can incorporate into your lives to remind yourself not to worry or be anxious about anything.

  1. Make a daily practice of listing the things for which you are thankful. Give thanks for several items and meditate on them when you are tempted to be anxious.
  2. Memorize and put to practice Philippians 4:8.
  3. Keep a daily journal of times you are tempted to be anxious. Record what you were doing, what was happening, what you did, and what you should have done.
  4. Study the following verses and then write down everything they indicate about anxiety (Luke 10:38-42; Proverbs 28:1; Ezekiel 4:16; Psalm 77:4).

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