Bad Problems Need Good Theology

In my seven years as pastor of Gateway Community Church, I have seen many people robbed of the joy that Jesus provides due to a multitude of factors. But out of all these factors, the single biggest culprit has been anxiety.
           Anxiety is a strange thing. We can get anxious about things that happened in the past, problems we’re facing right now, or—most commonly—troubles we fear are just around the corner.
           The one thing I’ve learned, however, is that bad problems need good theology. So often, much of our anxiety is due to incorrect thinking or doubts about God and his role—or lack thereof—in our struggles. Doesn’t God care? Did I do something to deserve this? These are question that often plague us and contribute to our apprehension.
            So if you struggle with anxiety (and who doesn’t?), here are six theologically sound statements with corresponding Bible verses that you can keep in your Bible as a reminder whenever anxiety strikes:
1. God Cares About Your Anxiety “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
2. Prayer is the Best Answer to Anxiety “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
3. You May Need to Repent “If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:15-16).
4. Then Again, You May Not “And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:2-3, also see the book of Job).
5. God is Greater than Your Fears “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1)?
6. God is Not Distant when You’re Anxious “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:1).