Do you know how the story ends?…….cont.
In Part 1 of this post I finished with the question…… What would your life look like if you were able to control the fear and anxiety you experience instead of it controlling you?
Anxiety and fear are normal responses to the challenging situations and circumstances of life. There are times when we feel danger, intimidation, stressed and not able to control what is happening around us. In times like this anxiety and fear are normal responses. Our bodies have been wired to be able to alert us when there is a problem we need to deal with.
These feelings are not wrong and with skills that enable us to process what is happening, we are able to reduce the amount of anxiety and fear we experience.
What picture are you focusing on?
Our minds are incredibly powerful. Science has proven that what happens in our minds/brains directly affects our physical bodies. It also affects our emotions.
In times of stress, anxiety, fear and overwhelm it is very easy to not only mentally but verbally go over the problem we are facing constantly. We can fall into the spiral of mentally processing every possible scenario. We can then begin to build our expectation around the worst possible scenario so we can “prepare” ourselves for the worst.
Holding this picture in our thoughts and playing it over like a movie in our heads does nothing to reduce the amount of anxiety and stress that we feel. In fact it increases it.
Leading up to the crucifixion Jesus experienced extreme stress. In Hebrews 12:2 we read that through it all He had a focus that He fixed His mind on. We read that “for the joy set before Him He endured the cross.” It would have been easy for Him to focus on the horror that lay ahead of Him and I am sure He did think about that. Through it all though, the picture that He held on to was the joy of having you and I and all of mankind restored to the Father. He also knew that His Father had promised to raise Him from the dead on the third day.
What you focus on is magnified
The word magnified means to enlarge, intensify or make larger. The more we think about something the more it is magnified. In the challenges of life we have a choice. We can choose to focus on the problems, impossibilities and the what if’s. Doing this will cause these things to grow bigger and in the process will add to our stress and anxiety. This also releases chemicals and hormones in our bodies and brains that make the anxiety and fear grow.
We can also choose to focus on the promises of God. Rather than allowing our imagination to continually create worst case scenarios, we can also use our imagination to create a picture of what life will look like when the promises God are fulfilled in our life.
Do you know how the story ends?
While we may not know the process to the fulfilment of the promise, God wants us to know how the story ends. This gives us a place of focus in the midst of the storm. In the challenges of life His Word will give us the final ending of the story that is playing out in our life. Romans 8:28 (AMP) And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.
The end of your story is good. The Bible says so. If it is not currently good then it is not the end of the story. As you experience times of stress, anxiety and fear remember this. The end of your story is good. Often we prepare ourselves in times of great difficulty by either consciously or sub-consciously thinking the worst is yet to come. Today I want to encourage you – the BEST is yet to come.
Are you dealing with anxiety, fear and stress today? God has a plan to turn your situation around so that you are able to see the best not the worst outcome. He wants you to fix your heart and your mind on the end of the story as He sees it, not as you might be preparing yourself for.
A final word
Remember fear, anxiety and stress are normal responses to situations and circumstances that we face in life. They are our bodies way of showing us that there is an issue which we need to deal with. As we begin to process the issue and get to the root cause, we can not only move forward but build resilience in the process. One of the steps in processing the issue is to see ourselves in the place where the story ends the way God says it ends. This releases hormones in our brains and our bodies that enable us to begin to process what is happening and we can begin to recalibrate and the solutions that we seek will be shown to us.
Philippians 4:6&7 (TPT) Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. (emphasis mine)
Isaiah 26:3 (TPT) Perfect, absolute peace surrounds those whose imaginations are consumed with you; they confidently trust in you.
Your story has a good ending. You may not see it and you may not feel like it right now. God has promised to cause all things to work together for your good. In the midst of your challenge today you can take a big breath and begin to relax. God is working and this too will turn out for your good. That is how your story ends.