Written By Kristle Gangadeen, Trinidad and Tobago
“I feel like my whole life has collapsed.”
Despair dripped from the pages of my journal. Confusion. Anxiety. Frustration. A tsunami of emotions flooded me at once.
It had been a challenging two years, involving a move back to my family’s home across the country, uncertainty about my purpose and next career move, varying degrees of unemployment and underemployment, and now, an abrupt end to a relationship.
I felt blindsided, bewildered, and abandoned—struggling to stay afloat as fresh waves of anxiety threatened to pull me under.
Honestly? I felt like God had played me. I trusted Him when I left the business I co-founded. I trusted Him to order my steps towards purpose. And I trusted Him when I prayerfully entered that relationship.
Yet everything seemed to have fallen apart.
Utterly broken, I poured out my fear of the future, my anxiety, and my confusion to the One who hears our prayers and sees our tears (2 Kings 20:5). I dug into my Bible, desperately searching for some comfort and hope.
The battle lines were drawn in my mind—an epic showdown between hope and anxiety; between the truth of God’s promises and the lies of the enemy.
The warfare was real. It was time to take up the weapons at my disposal and head into battle.
If you are also struggling with anxiety as you push through a difficult season, join me in taking up these weapons and using them to fight for victory in Jesus.
Weapon #1: Remembering God’s Faithfulness
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
The Bible reveals God’s faithful character repeatedly. God was faithful in giving Abraham and Sarah the son He promised them; He was faithful in leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the Promised Land; He was faithful in blessing Hannah with a son; He was faithful in giving the world a Messiah.
When I find myself thinking, “How long, Lord?” and anxiety starts gripping my heart, I remind myself of these accounts of God’s faithfulness in His Word and how I’ve seen that same faithfulness in my life over the years, through God’s provision, protection, and His comforting presence.
How to use it: Spend some time writing examples of God’s faithfulness in your past and review them regularly. You’ll see that He really is a good and trustworthy Father.
Weapon #2: Rejoicing and Praising
King David experienced many difficult seasons during his lifetime. For example, when King Saul determined to kill him, David was forced to flee his home and go into exile (1 Samuel 20-27). Later, his own son plotted to overthrow him (2 Samuel 15). But in all seasons, he modeled a heart of rejoicing and praise.
In Psalm 22, King David began by pouring out his anguished heart to the Lord, but by the end of the psalm, he was lifting praises to God. He praised through his struggles because he trusted God.
If David could take his stress and all his feelings to God, it means we can do the same too! Even more easily than texting or calling a friend, we can have a heart to heart with Jesus at any time.
But we don’t stop there. Our faith and strength are renewed through our praise, as our focus shifts from our problems to the greatness of our God.
How to use it: Use your voice to praise the Lord. Find or create a praise and worship playlist on your favorite streaming service, and get your praise on . . . in your car, at the gym, while running errands, at home . . . anywhere!
Weapon #3: Giving Thanks
Life may not always be as pleasurable as the first bite of a slice of cheesecake, but each day God gives us life is a day to thank Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says,
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Focusing on what we don’t have, what we haven’t achieved, or what we’re missing, can lead us down a dark path to bitterness, resentment and discontentment. Shifting our focus to the blessings we have can dispel the darkness, replacing it with the light of truth. And the truth is that we are blessed with much to be thankful for.
Since I began logging in my gratitude journal, I have not yet stumbled upon a day that I didn’t have something to be thankful for.
Let us not take the minutiae of everyday life for granted. Did you have food to eat? Clothes to wear? A warm bed to sleep in? Give thanks!
How to use it: Keep a gratitude journal (physical or digital) and commit to writing at least one thing you’re grateful for each day. Review your entries at regular intervals.
Weapon #4: Meditating on the Hope from God’s Word
It is comforting to know that we can trust that God’s Word is true, despite how we feel and what we see (Isaiah 55:11).
David’s psalms are encouraging during turbulent times and seasons of waiting. Some of my favorites are Psalm 25:3, 27:13, 34:10, 34:18, 37:4 and 46:1.
One scripture that I have held dear in this season is Exodus 14:14.
The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still.
This was God’s message to the Israelites when they found themselves trapped on the shores of the Red Sea as Pharaoh’s army closed in around them. And it’s God’s message to us today when we feel overwhelmed and impatience prompts us to take matters into our own hands.
How to use it: Find Scripture verses of God’s promises and meditate on them daily. Make the verses your phone’s lock screen or print them and stick them on your wall or your desk. You want to be able to see them throughout the day.
I’m still walking through this wilderness season, and the battle rages on. But the spirit of peace is winning the battle over anxiety in my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).
We may not know what the future holds but if we know Jesus, then we know the One who holds the future. And we can be confident that He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6).