How does one who suffers from anxiety trust in God?


#1

I know intellectually and spiritually that I can let my burdens go and rely on God for everything, though my emotions hold me back and occasionally I fail to live up to the faith.

I greatly admire people like Boethius who realized that the mundane life has no value, and that fortune can be a type of slavery when you let it control you; the only thing you can control is how much faith you have in God. Again, I know in my mind that this is absolutely true; but at times, when put under stress, my heart betrays me.

Advice?


#2

Dear Anxious;

Your feelings are completely involuntary. They are neither good nor bad. They simply are. Fear, relief, anger, peacefulness, sadness, joy, all arise from a place other than your will. Feelings of anxiety only mean that you are anxious. They don’t indicate whether you do or don’t trust in God.

Trust in God doesn’t depend on your emotions. Trust in God is rather a two step process. With your intellect, you apprehend God’s disclosure of himself to you and with your will, you choose to believe in his promises, accepting that he will give you the strength to walk in his way.

Does this act of trust mean that God now owes you only pleasant feelings? Of course not. God wishes you to have feelings that are appropriate. Sometimes sadness and fear have their uses. You were not made to serve your emotions. Your emotions were made to serve you. That is why you pray, “Create in me, O God, a clean heart and grant in me a new, a right spirit.”


#3

Wow! I could not have said it better myself, and I also appreciate the adice, because I know I can use it about now!

Right now, I have a few reasons that I’m a bit depressed. I have quite a bit of pain due to a back injury, and the pain medications sometimes cause depression and unstable emotions. I also just had to quit the sport that I’ve been involved in for all of high school and now 1/2 a year of college. I would say I’m a bit depressed and feel very much like EphelDuath does regarding my faith and trust in God. Most of the time the intellect is there, but the feeling really isn’t. I also know that we should not rely on our feelings! Regardless, it is still difficult! Pray! Pray! Pray!

In Christ,
m.a.t.h.


#4

God bless you for your longings to live faith deeply. Having given you such longings, with your cooperation in welcoming them, God will give you the requisite graces. As long as you are on earth you will find that this will always involve a daily struggle…which is why Jesus taught us to pray, “give us this day our daily bread” (spiritual and physical.)

I would tend to disagree in general to the view "that the mundane life has no value."
A strong reason for doing this is that God created us as human beings who must inescapably live the mundane facts of life, or simply, we die. We must eat, sleep, go to the bathroom…etc.

For me, the most powerful indication of the value of everyday life is that Jesus lived it through infancy and childhood and through to mature adulthood, and even in His public life He still had to eat, drink, and sleep. We may usually gloss over such things, forgotten in the sweet nativity pictures, but apart from feeding Him, Mary bathed and changed His clothes etc.

I’m making this point to show that if God sent His Son, not as a fully-formed adult but as a helpless infant, a young boy, a youth a young man, who lived around thirty years of ordinary life…then God has sanctified the mundane and the ordinary. The point isn’t belabored in Scripture, but the facts are there for us to see.


#5

Regarding holiness
Dear Jesus, please reveal brilliantly to all, that You do not require that individuals need to be regarded as Saints, in order to be Your saints.

Assure them that holiness is Your action, not ours! Let them read the gospels and reflect on what they read, discovering that You were truly human, that You wept, felt pain, joy, and exasperation, “How long do I have to put up with this faithless generation!”) [Mark 9:19]

You became angry [in the Temple]. You were sometimes disappointed, sometimes weary.
You felt the need to be alone, and the desire to escape a dreadful ordeal (“let this cup pass from me”). [Luke 22:42]
Then in the depths of suffering, You found faith difficult, (“My God, why have You abandoned me?”) [Psalm 22:1]

Why did not the evangelists record Your laughter! However, they do record as Your lyrical delight over little children, (“Blessed are You, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth! You have revealed to little ones, the mysteries of Your Kingdom!” [Matthew 11:25]

Jesus, ask Your people to observe that You lived the ordinary life for about thirty years. If You had not wanted to make such an issue about being vulnerably human, You could have come as a glorious, fully developed human Personage.

Jesus, truly human, truly God, help us to become fully human, fully whole, truly holy.


#6

Jesus and ordinary life

Jesus, God and man, for most of Your life You lived amongst us in unobtrusive labour. Through Your witness, we are encouraged to value the mundane tasks and events that dominate our lives.

Let us not overlook the value and message of the silent gospel of Your years of ‘ordinary’ service, overshadowed as they are by the drama of those last three years. It is surely a powerful silent witness that You, God incarnate, spent thirty years apparently ‘marking time’ in ordinary activity…as helpless infant…as refugee…as child of a poor family…as village tradesman. Thus is the ordinary, unrecognised and unrecorded routine of our daily lives elevated and sanctified while yet in obscurity, when it is lived in accordance with divine will.

In response to Your quiet example and Your inspired Word, we desire grace to live and work lovingly amongst others, obeying Your will as expressed in our vocations and our individual natures. The brief account of Your infancy and childhood emphasises this lesson. Although at twelve You revealed Your unique nature, You returned to humble daily activity.

We observe Your favoured human Mother, in her option to reject or cooperate with divine will for her life. Her acceptance carried with it some treasured secrets, but largely the ordinary life of human motherhood and home duties commonplace in the lives of multitudes of women throughout the centuries. Surely, her faith and hope were frequently tested in remembrance of divine promise in the face of ‘ordinary’ realities. Ultimately, however, her choice led to mental and emotional martyrdom.

Jesus, along with every human, You faced the choice to employ or misuse, the life, the gifts, and the trust reposed in You. You could embrace or refuse the alluring, deceptive temptations of the devil—gaudy and dramatic with ambition, sensuality and worldliness. Rejecting these temptations, You remained faithful to the God’s will, despite hardship, disappointment and sorrow.

Following almost thirty years of humble obscurity, You began public ministry, openly teaching and exemplifying the truths of the eternal Father, and fulfilling the covenant. Even as You took up Your divine ministry, You remained loving, obedient, wise and trusting.

You accepted the realities of Your humanity, not vicariously, but fully, sacrificing this humanity in the culmination of every human deprivation and suffering. Your entire being became ‘a living wound’. [Isaiah] Following annihilation in Your humanity, You resurrected, to consummate Your defeat of sin and death for humankind.

You are witness that each person must accept divine will in the realities and actualities of our personal existences as we follow You our Way to life. Jesus, grant us to shoulder our daily cross lovingly, cheerfully and creatively, regardless of how arduous or ineffectual our lives may seem to ourselves.

Grant us to bear our cross, in ordinary times and in crises, with perseverance, hope and peace, so that You may use us to open heaven to others who live within our influence. Thank You, Jesus, key of our salvation!


#7

My dear friend

I understand what you mean. I’ve had anxiety issues for a long time. It’s not easy. I found at one stage my level of anxiety was so great that it was as high as it could go before I would break down, and this stayed like this for a few years. The Lord seemed to cap it at this level and my fear of needing hospitalisation was never realised. I never suffered more than I could cope with. I’ve had a lot of suffering but it’s never been too much. This is your cross and a blessing from God in disguise. Try to see your cross this way. Pray you can. Learn to love your cross, and not just accept it. It becomes something you value then and the burden goes. Great blessings are to be found in your cross for yourself and others if you use it wisely.

God bless you friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#8

I’ve been reading this discussion with interest. Right on, brothers and sisters. This subject seems to attract great people.

I was struck by Trishie’s comment about Jesus as pictured in the gospels - Why did not the evangelists record Your laughter!

I have a theory about that. I say a sense of humor is a sense of the divine, but humor is one of the most mysterious of human characteristics. The more we grasp at what it is the more its analysis escapes us.

I’m sure Jesus laughed a lot. However, jokes don’t translate well. I can just see the evangelist staring at the parchment as he taps the feathery part of the quill to his lips. Finally, shrugging his shoulders he mutters, “You just had to be there.”

PS I hope he wasn’t depressed about it.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.