Max Lucado’s book, Anxious for Nothing – Week 6 Review
Strategy 1: Rejoice in the Lord’s Mercy
Confront the Chaos– “Lists of anxiety triggers typically include busy schedules, unrealistic demands, or heavy traffic. But we must go deeper. Behind the frantic expressions on the faces of humanity is unresolved regret.” Do you agree with the above statement? Why or why not?
Choosing CALM—So, where do we go from here? Once we have identified our guilt, how do we move forward in a healthy way? There is good news for those who can address their chaos head-on: A happy saint is one who is at the same time aware of the severity of sin and the immensity of grace. Sin is not diminished, nor is God’s ability to forgive it. The saint dwells in grace , not guilt. This is the tranquil soul.
Strategy 2: Let Your Gentleness be known
Confront the Chaos– Anxiety increases when we feel we are losing control. This is amplified when we feel that everything is up to us or we are the only ones who can fix a situation. Hence, anxiety is amplified when we feel alone. When do you feel most alone? Is there someone you go to when you feel alone?
Choose CALM– When others have let us down, the friendship of the Lord is sweetest (Psalm 25:14). To feel truly known and understood by another human is rare—it is a luxury, not a birthright. Read Psalm 139. How does God know you?
Strategy 3: Present Your Requests
Confront the Chaos– God doesn’t delay. He never places you on hold or tells you to call again later. God loves the sound of your voice. Always. He doesn’t hide when you call. He hears your prayers. Is it hard for you to believe that God wants to hear your prayers? Why or why not?
Choose CALM– Prayer takes discipline and dedication. It takes effort to make the time, and it takes belief to be consistent. If we don’t believe that God is hearing us or that he cares, our determination to pray will quickly fade. I Peter 5:6-7 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Notice—this verse does not ask you to forget or set aside your anxieties. It acknowledges that your anxieties are real. Instead of pushing them aside, you are putting them literally on God. He tells you to transfer the burden from yourself to him. How might this imagery guide the way you pray?
Confront the Chaos– Consider the question, “Does it seem the good life is always one if only away? One purchase away? One promotion away? One election, transition, or romance away?” What’s the if only you have been distracted by lately? Sometimes the things we desire are good but our obsession with getting them becomes consuming. Good things turn into bad things when they become the ultimate things.
Choose CALM– Make two lists: the list of if only and the list of already. What are some things for which you are grateful?
Contingent contentment sounds tiring and anxiety producing. If you kept your focus on gifts that you already have and that you cannot lose, how might your attitude change?
Strategy 5: Meditate on These Things
Confront the Chaos– Have you ever considered that Jesus struggled with anxiety? Read Luke 22 and notice how Jesus walked through his most anxious moments on earth. Althought Jesus was intimately acquainted with anxiety, he never let anxiety sway his purpose. He acknowledged it and brought it before his Father (Luke 22:42) but chose his actions based on predetermined will. He walked to Calvary anyway.
What decisions did you make based on your anxiety? How might the outcomes of these situations have been different if you had acknowledged your anxious thoughts but not given them power over your actions?
Choose CALM– We are encouraged to meditate on good things (Phil. 4:8-9). What practices can you implement that will daily remind you of what is true, good and beautiful?