Overcoming Anxiety
by Tamara Eaton

Probably all homeschooling parents have struggled with anxious thoughts before--am I making the best decision for my child? Which curriculum is best? What method should we use? What if I fail to adequately prepare him for life (or his next achievement test!)? What if homeschooling laws get worse and we can't meet the requirements? Or worse--what if homeschooling becomes illegal?

But has God called you to homeschool? Then you can trust Him to pave the way for you to walk in His perfect will for your family. He will never call you to do something without also enabling you to do it. As soon as an anxious thought comes, turn it over to the Lord!

Philippians 4:6-7 gives us both God's command that we shouldn't be anxious and the means by which we can obey His instruction:

"Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus."

It also tells us the result of our asking the Lord to take away our anxiety and work everything out--the peace that surpasses all understanding!

I've had plenty of practical experience in this area--I used to worry about anything and everything. Even as a child, I didn't like change, trying new things, or controversy--I thrived on routine and stability and liked knowing exactly what was going to happen each day--well in advance. But life isn't like that and God doesn't usually operate that way, either.

Instead, He asks us to trust Him to take care of ALL the circumstances that arise, and rely upon His wisdom and ability to work out all the details. And some of the ways He has chosen to lead us seem pretty revolutionary and controversial to the world!

I learned to find my strength in the Lord and in His Word and found that I had a choice in what I thought about--I no longer had to entertain the negative, anxious thoughts and worries that entered my mind. I began to give those thoughts up to the Lord immediately, and then fill the gap left with prayer, praise and the Word of God. I would meditate on His character, His promises, His works. I would thank Him for everything He had done and was doing and would continue to do in my life. What a difference it made!

Sometimes, in the midst of a struggle, I would leave my Bible open to encouraging scripture, or jot it down on a piece of paper and carry it with me--reminding myself that His Word was true and He was worthy to be trusted in EVERY situation! I kept a journal of prayer requests and praises. How encouraging it was to look back and see God's faithfulness day to day in every way. How could I have ever doubted that He would resolve each problem in His time and way?

The enemy would like nothing better than to see Christians consumed by worries and anxiety and rendered useless in ministry and ineffective in carrying out God's Will. Anxiety also robs us of our joy and the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) But we are no longer slaves to sin and worry--not when we have the Lord indwelling us and empowering us to overcome! We have the ability to "bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).

His Word tells us to fill our minds with "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Invest time in getting to KNOW God, spend time in His Word--you'll find it easier to trust Him to take care of all of your worries. We serve an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Heavenly Father who is intimately concerned with every aspect of our lives--nothing is "trivial" to Him.

If you haven't experienced His involvement in every area of your life, then maybe it's time for you to pray specifically and then expect Him to respond. He will never force Himself on you. Instead, He gives you the choice to either seek Him for help or stumble along on your own. What freedom there is in casting all your cares upon the Lord! You will then be able to truly enjoy homeschooling and walking in His will for your life--free from anxiety and worries.

"He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; He will not be afraid..." (Psalm 112:7-8)

 


 

More Encouragement From Scriptures:

Luke 12:25-26 "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?"

Luke 12:29-32 "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Matthew 6:34 "...Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?"

Psalm 34:7 "The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him."

Psalm 50:14 "Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."

Psalm 56:3-4 "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?"

Proverbs 29:25 "The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Many seek the ruler's favor, But justice for man comes from the Lord."

Psalm 115:11 "You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield."

Matthew 7:7-8,11 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened....If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

Mark 11:24-25 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."

Hebrews 13:6 "So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13