Many, many Christians struggle with anxiety and worry. Such struggles are not theoretical, they are very real. Worry and anxiety are struggles I know personally. Often times they can come on at the most inopportune time. Other times there are seasons where worry, anxiety, and depression come in like the tide and roll out with no fanfare. This is why when I read Living Without Worry How to replace Anxiety with peace by Dr. Timothy Lane I was greatly helped. Dr. Lane writes not only out of his considerable knowledge of this topic but also his many years as a biblical counselor, and professor.
The first six chapters look at worry—why not worry, what is worry, worry and your past, worry and your future, and worry and your present. Chapter seven looks at how to address worry in your own life while chapter eight helps readers to counter your worry with the gospel. Chapter nine helpful looks at how to cast all your cares on the Lord. Chapter ten looks at how Jesus viewed anxiety and worry. The book concludes with a gospel call to cast our cares on Jesus, the One who cares for us.
As I mentioned at the outset of this review, anxiety and worry are two issues I’m very familiar with. Life comes at us a million miles an hour. When these feelings come up in my own life rather than running away from them I run to Jesus with them. Part of being an emotional, and mentally healthy Christian is to take what we know in the Bible and apply it to our lives. When I feel feelings of worry and anxiety rather than dwelling on them I take seriously what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 and what Paul teaches in Phillippians 4:6-8. The invitation of Jesus is to come to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). This means that rather than dwelling on all my problems which only breeds more anxiety and worry, I take them to Jesus the One who is our High Priest and Intercessor. After all, Jesus knows and cares. His invitation in Matthew 11:28-30 is for rest from our burdens. We can cast our burdens on Jesus because He serves as our High Priest and Intercessor. All of this is a biblical way of taking what we know from God’s Word and applying it to our lives.
Whether you are having intense of not so intense seasons of anxiety, worry, and depression you need godly friends around you to listen and care for you. This is one reason the New Testament teaches us to one another each other. Living in community, under qualified godly pastors and elders is also important. Being open and transparent with those you trust in your local church is also vital. After all, they can pray with you and encourage you. They can see, how you communicate your words and wrap an arm around you and care for you. They can remind you of the truth of the gospel. I’ve found all of this to be vital in fighting off anxiety, worry, and depression.
Yet, sometimes I’ve noticed in counseling other Christians is that we are so focused on earthly circumstances that we can’t listen. Our ears are stopped to hear what others are saying. Sometimes that is because of our pride. Most of the time though in my experience it is because we’re so focused on earthly things that we cannot fill our minds with heaven. In this case rather than filling our minds with God’s Word which is living and active and able to help lift us up out of our depression, anxiety, and worry—we instead choose to focus only on our problems. In this case, we’re choosing to be so focused on earthly things that we cannot be used for heaven. God wants us to fill our thoughts with heaven so that we’ll be of earthly good. This is what Living Without Worry does so well. It points us to God’s Word. It provides the means of the gospel as the only help for worry and anxiety. Sure, we may also need medication in some extreme cases for chemical imbalance. We are to look up to Jesus. He is what we need more than anything else. Jesus is our peace. He is our treasure. We are to trust Him who knows what is best for us and know that He will see us through. These aren’t just words. We are to truly believe these truths and to do battle as God’s soldiers since He’s given us His Spirit.
I highly recommend this book. Whether you are struggling with anxiety or worry this book will help you by pointing you to your greatest need in Jesus Christ. Jesus does care for you. He loves you. Read this book and be encouraged, and stirred up once again by way of reminder of the precious truth that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you.
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I received this book for free from The Good Book Company for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”