For years, I struggled with anxiety. Horrible anxiety that would keep me tossing and turning in my bed at night. I was constantly trying to control my anxiety and get rid of it. I was trying to feel peace and rest inwardly, which actually made the anxiety worse.
Recently, I’ve found that we’re simply meant to let our feelings be whatever they are and experience them. Many of these feelings have been put in us by God, and we’re just simply meant to feel them. We’re not meant to try to get rid of them or change them ourselves. We’re simply meant to let God put in us whatever feelings he desires to put in us. This makes us totally reliant on God and submissive to his will for our feelings. If we fight what we’re feeling and the pain we are feeling inwardly, in a sense we are fighting against God and what he has willed for us to feel in that moment.
The natural objection, I can think of would be what my own was for years. “My pain and anxiety is so bad inwardly, I have to do something about it. I can’t live my life in this pain.” I understand this well. I thought that I had got to rid of the pain and anxiety myself because it was so crippling and intense, but it never worked. Eventually though, God started enabling and causing me to give up on that. For years, I tried to rid myself of my anxiety and tried to get rid of it on my own through simply trying to inwardly change what I was feeling with my feelings. It never worked, and it is not how God designed for it to work. God is the one who is meant to be the changer of our feelings. He is the only one who can put true peace and joy in our hearts according to his good pleasure.
But you may ask, “What am I to do in the meantime? While I still feel all of this anxiety and depression inwardly?” The answer is that we’re simply meant to seek to follow and walk with God daily. Read the Bible daily and seek to put into practice the word of God in our lives. It’s not our job to change our feelings. It’s simply our job to seek to walk with God and follow him daily, and then we can just let him decide what we will feel. Within this framework, it gives you a purpose to live for that is higher than yourself. Therefore, living for it is more important than getting rid of your anxiety. That’s why it works. Living your life in accordance with God’s will is what our true purpose is, and therefore that is higher than our feelings. That gives us a logical reason and motivation to live for God and continue to walk even if it means you may still be in pain and anxiety. Serving God is higher is more important than your feelings, and should be lived for regardless of whether or not anxiety persists. Your heart and mind can agree with that.
What if you still feel anxiety and depression after you have stopped trying to control it? Just walk through this season of life with God and continue doing what you can to follow him and live your life according to his will. That is your role. It is God’s role to decide what you will feel, and he will most likely end up giving you times of peace and joy when you least expect it. With the help of God, just let those feelings come and go according to his good pleasure.
We’re meant to feel a whole range of emotions. God designed those. There will be times of anxiety and depression, and there will also be times of great peace and joy. Each one can drive us closer to God and each one is there for a reason. Just walk with God daily and let him put in you whatever feelings he wills no matter what it is. We’re meant to let go of our happiness and make our primary goal doing God’s will whatever it costs us. In the end that will bring us greater peace and joy than we could have any other way of living even though that’s not what we’re seeking.
- Stop trying to change what feelings you are experiencing no matter how painful
- Walk with God and just seek to follow him in all ways daily moment by moment
- Let God put in you and decide for you whatever your feelings will be