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Can Anxiety Distort Your Faith?

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Agoraphobia' started by Duke of Stratford, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Duke of Stratford

    Duke of Stratford One day at a time.

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    I’ve been struggling a lot with worrying whether or not I’m really saved, and it’s caused me near constant anxiety. I’m aware that we all have shortcomings (and always will), but I can’t shake the fear that my shortcomings could be damning. I struggle to see God as loving, to want holiness, and to feel that I truly hate sin. Could some of this be anxiety? There are times when I feel great and encouraged, but the moments of clarity I have are quickly distorted. I can’t seem to rest in Christ for more than a few days. Might that be the fact that my anxiety makes me overthink everything and gives me too much pressure to be sure I believe in “the right way?”
     
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  2. Richard T

    Richard T Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of us struggle with performance issues with God. Yes, salvation is a free gift and we do not have to earn it, yet we do want to please God and avoid sin and unbelief that sometimes hits us. Meanwhile, the devil tries to beat us up with condemnation. So what is the best cure? Teachings on the unconditional love of God will help but what I think helps me the most is to have consistent bible reading, teaching, church attendance, praise, prayer and fellowship. I don't try to do it to perform, but rather to learn, to be disciplined, to better know who God is and what Christ has already done for me.
     
  3. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    "Be anxious for nothing,
    but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
    let your requests be made known to God;​
    and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
    will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
    My Peace (Maranatha! Singers)
     
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A basic question for you.

    What does your pastor say about your anxieties about not being saved?

    A more complex question.
    What do you understand you have to do to e saved?
    And
    Have you done that?
    If you have what evidence do you have that you are not saved?
    Note this question asks for evidence, not feelings.
     
  5. Duke of Stratford

    Duke of Stratford One day at a time.

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    My pastor generally says it’s just anxiety. That or spiritual warfare. He says all I need to do is trust in Christ. And I know that’s true. That that is accompanied by spiritual fruit, and I know my behavior is different because I believe in Christ. I don’t trust perfectly, but I pray that God will grow my faith. There have been times I’ve been very confident in my faith.

    I don’t believe I have evidence that I’m not saved. When I look at my heart, I see I’m a long way from how believers should be. Or I experience so much doubt. I think that’s what I get tripped up on.

    Thinking through these questions does help a lot, actually. Thank you.
     
  6. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Glad to be of some help.

    Faith is like a muscle. You wouldn't start running a marathon by running 26 miles , you would start with shorter distances and build up.
    Faith is the same as we trust God so our trust grows.

    The problem is, what do we have to trust God in or with?

    May I suggest what a puritan wrote:-

    " if you want extra ordinary experiences of God.
    Enlarge ( do more of ) your ordinary worship of God! "
     
  7. Paul4JC

    Paul4JC The trees of the LORD are well watered

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    Faith is a lifelong process. None of us have arrived yet, but are getting there by the grace and mercy of God in Christ.

    The thing is the Lord is constant but we are in shifting shadows. Everyday we face the world, the flesh,(1 Jn 2:16) and the devil (Eph 6:16). Everything is always moving and changing around us, including our state of mind, yet he does not change! He is the one constant that we all lean on. Is he any different when we are on top of the world, having a great day, than when we "had a bad day" and down in the doldrums. No he never changes! So does he look at us differently? No.

    This is our anchor, he is our constant, he is stable. So when things come at us, do we go to us? Do we go to others? Maybe. No we go to him every time. During the ups and during the downs, we go to him. Nothing has changed, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb 13:18). I could go on it's all over the bible, and you could too.

    (If i were to focus on me, I could go into depression too real fast too. No I focus on God despite me, and despite whatever and whoever blah, blah, blah)

    Wherever you are, and whatever is going on, remember your anchor on God and that's all you need. His constant will get you through it all. Thank you Jesus. Praise God.


    James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows

    Heb 6: 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20a where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.
     
  8. stvns78

    stvns78 New Member

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    You are not alone. I am in this exact same place at this point in my life. I suffer from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and OCD. I am an engineer, very analytical, and overthink everything. Those traits make me good at my job but cause many problems elsewhere.

    The same little nugget, have I truly been saved, has been in the back of my mind almost my entire life. In the past I was able to squash it with "Yes, I believe and have been baptized therefore I am saved". But last September I made a decision to really rededicate my life to walking in the path of Christ to the best of my ability. That's when the wheels on the bus came off. My wife, who grew up Catholic, decided to be baptized again of her own volition. That got me thinking of my own baptism. I was 8 when I was baptized and I remember it was my choice to do so. But then I was thinking, did I know what I was doing, was i too young to know exactly, did I really receive the holy spirit, should I be baptized again to make sure. I posted a thread here on that very subject. Then the "was I really saved" nugget turned into "does God really exist". I always had a method to squash those thoughts. For me the universe is so vast, and wonderful, and perfect that it makes no other sense to its creation than a creator. However the thoughts/doubts persisted. Now everyday my thoughts are "I am going to hell" and I have been unable to shake that.

    I know that salvation is a free gift and there is NOTHING you can do to earn it. I know that we ALL sin and ALL fall short of the grace of God. Yet, I worry that entertaining doubt is a sign that I am not saved and need to be. Are these thoughts Gods way of kicking me in the butt to action or Satan trying to lead me away?

    At the end of the day it is a trust issue. I do not fully trust in God. He has never let me down yet I am still of little faith and trust. I came here to post a thread about how to truly put your trust in God when I read your thread and felt compelled to let you know that you are not alone.

    5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
    6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
    Proverbs 3:5-6

    I am trying to learn how to accomplish this. I have to learn how to let go of the wheel and let God drive. It seems it would be easier to demolish the great pyramids with only my teeth, yet I will persist.
     
  9. Duke of Stratford

    Duke of Stratford One day at a time.

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    I really appreciate the time you took to let me know I'm not alone. It's hard to do, and it means a lot.

    I know doubt in and of itself doesn't mean you aren't saved, but learning to trust God more is really important. Wish I had tips aside from praying and remembering His faithfulness, but that's all I've got. It's hard. Praying for you. <3
     
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