The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting some 40 million adults. Furthermore, Americans spend about $40 billion annually on depression drugs. God has something to help you with fear and anxiety and it’s not in a pill bottle. It’s the Book of Matthew. Take one passage as needed for relief of disquietude. Note: works more effectively with faith.
Matthew 6:25-34 – Birds and flowers. Your income is low and your bills are high. It is hard NOT to worry when your bank balance is tiny. Does God punish you for your lack of faith? Nope. He knows your weaknesses and limitations and loves you anyway. Jesus himself said, “(God) will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
Matthew 8:5-13 – Just say the word. Real faith knows that Jesus will deliver more reliably than FedEx. A Roman officer was so confident in Jesus that he told the Messiah, “just say the word and my son will be healed.” The same Jesus that healed this man’s son is waiting to hear from you right now.
Matthew 8:23-27 – HELP! It’s a big storm and your small boat is about to capsize. Everyone will drown. HELP! You need somebody. HELP! Not just anybody. HEEEELP!!! Preach it, Beatles! You yell for Jesus and the storm dissipates. Relief doesn’t always come immediately, but it will come. Meanwhile, Jesus asks, “Why are you afraid?”
Matthew 9:1-8 – Mat-Man. Determination and faith are like caramel and sea salt; they go great together. These dudes in Matthew 9 REALLY believed Jesus could heal their friend and the Lord rewarded their faith. Don’t let Satan discourage you. Overcome the obstacles, block out the distractions. Get to Jesus.
Matthew 9:19-22 – Just a touch. God is way more powerful and capable than we often understand. A woman who had been ill for 12 years knew that just touching Jesus’s garment would heal her. The combination of humility and faith will bring results.
Matthew 14:22-33 – Get out of the boat. Faith is so much easier when life is smooth and easy. When turbulence comes along you begin to get nervous. You see Jesus and step out in faith, but things get even worse. Yikes! Fortunately, Jesus takes your hand and saves you, sometimes miraculously. It’s scary, but you need to experience storms so you can learn to rely on God.
Matthew 21:21-22 – Moving mountains. “Faith can move mountains!” That’s a Bible cliché, but if you believe in God and His Word, He will move ‘em. An example: Milton Hatcher was an alcoholic who became a follower of Jesus. In 1967, he looked around his hometown of Memphis and saw hundreds of alcoholics and drug addicts who were homeless and hopeless. He decided to start a shelter, even though he had no money, training or resources. All he had was faith. Fast-forward 50 years: Calvary Rescue Mission has provided overnight lodging and hot meals for more than a half-million men. Thousands have become Jesus followers! BTW, Milton died in 1995, but there are dozens of people carrying on the ministry. God moved many mountains for Milton and Calvary Rescue Mission. He also has moved mountains in the lives of thousands of homeless, addicted men. He can move one for you.
“But the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”’” – Matthew 14:24-31