I must admit that there are times when I feel restless. There are times when sin of anxiety and worry manifest in sleepless nights; a form of rebellion against trusting in a sovereign God. So, as a Christian, when I feel the temptation to give in to such sins I must fight by the Spirit (Rom 8:13).
Here are a few of the weapons I utilize when I feel myself giving in to temptations of anxiety and worry.
First, I remind myself of the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. My emotions can get the best of me and just like the psalmist I need to talk to myself, I need to command myself to place my hope in God (Ps 42). I cannot allow my emotions to get the best of me and I must constantly remind myself that the God of Scripture, my God, the only God is in sovereign control of all things. It is not myself. It is not my family. It is not the government. God is in control—no one else.
Second, I recite several passages related to my worry and anxiety. This step requires some work done in the background. Even before the struggle comes I identify key passages that may be related to the struggle and try and memorize them or take mental note of where they are so that when the struggle comes I can be ready. When the struggles come, and they do, I take my Bible or my phone and immediately start reciting them and meditating upon them.
Third, I refocus in God’s promise of sanctification. Next, I remind myself that God works all things for my sanctification, for my holiness, for my spiritual well-being and overall conformity to Christ (Rom 8:28–30). I tell myself that there is no greater joy than to walk with my Savior and the proof of that is in the forsaking of all earthly goods and comforts if necessary. This reminds me that even in a worst case scenario such as death, God is doing it for my ultimate joy and conformity to Christ.
Fourth, I rest in Christ. Last, sensing the struggle to dissipate and with the finish line in sight I rest in Christ. I simply thank Him for the joy I have in Him, the love I experience in Him, and the life I have in Him. Sometimes, when I can, I will pause to sing a hymn by myself or listen to a few hymns that help encourage my soul. Here are a few examples: