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Jehovah’s Witnesses


AWAKE! NO. 2 2016




Anxiety has two faces. One is a liability; the other, an asset. The Bible helps us to recognize both kinds.

Is it normal to be anxious?


Anxiety involves feelings of uneasiness, nervousness, or worry. Because we live in an uncertain world, bouts of anxiety can overtake any of us.


King David wrote: “How long will I have anxious concern, with grief in my heart each day?” (Psalm 13:2) What helped David to cope? He poured out his heart to God in prayer, trusting fully in God’s loyal love. (Psalm 13:5; 62:8) In fact, God invites us to unburden ourselves to him. “Throw all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you,” says 1 Peter 5:7.

Doing something for loved ones can allay our anxiety about them

Often, though, we can allay anxieties by addressing them in a practical way. For example, when the Bible writer Paul felt “anxiety for all the congregations,” he worked hard to comfort and encourage those for whom he was concerned. (2 Corinthians 11:28) In that respect, his anxiety proved to be an asset, for it moved him to extend needed help. The same can be true of us. The opposite attitude—apathy or indifference—would indicate a lack of loving concern.Proverbs 17:17.

“Look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.”Philippians 2:4.

 How can you deal with undue anxiety?


People may be anxious about past misdeeds, the future, or finances. *


Concern about past misdeeds: Before becoming Christians, some people in the first century were drunkards, extortioners, sexually immoral, and thieves. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Rather than dwell on their past, they changed their ways and trusted in God’s great mercy, which he extends willingly. “With you [God] there is true forgiveness, so that you may be held in awe,” says Psalm 130:4.

Uncertainty about tomorrow: “Never be anxious about the next day,” said Jesus Christ, “for the next day will have its own anxieties.” (Matthew 6:25, 34) His point? Address today’s concerns. Do not compound them by bringing tomorrow’s forward, which can cloud judgment and lead to rash decisions. Also keep in mind that many anxieties may later prove to be unwarranted.

Money worries: A wise man once prayed: “Give me neither poverty nor riches.” (Proverbs 30:8) Instead, he sought contentment—a feeling that merits God’s approval. At Hebrews 13:5, we read: “Let your way of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things. For [God] has said: ‘I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.’” Unlike money, which can—and does—fail, God never fails those who trust in him and lead a simple life.

“I have not seen anyone righteous abandoned, nor his children looking for bread.”Psalm 37:25.

Will we ever be free of anxiety?


“We are entering a new age of anxiety,” said journalist Harriet Green in a 2008 article in The Guardian. In 2014, Patrick O’Connor wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “Americans are registering record levels of anxiety.”


“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25) An especially “good word” can be found in the good news of God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14) That Kingdom, a government by God, will soon do what we alone could never do—eliminate all anxiety by removing the root causes, including sickness and death! “[God] will wipe out every tear from [our] eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”Revelation 21:4.

“May the God who gives hope fill you with all joy and peace by your trusting in him.”Romans 15:13.

^ par. 10 People suffering from serious anxiety disorders may be wise to consult a doctor. Awake! does not recommend any particular therapy or treatment.

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