What if I were to tell you that Jesus may have had anxiety? In Hebrews 4:15, we are told that Jesus was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Not everyone suffers from true anxiety, but I believe I could argue that Jesus experienced anxiety at least once.
Picture Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew He was about to be betrayed by a close friend. He knew He was going to be given an unfair trial, beaten mercilessly, and cruelly put to death.
“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” – Luke 22:44
There is a rare condition called Hematidrosis, in which a person will sweat blood. It is not known what actually causes this condition, but it has been known to happen under extreme cases of fear or stress.
In the first article on Overcoming Anxiety, I explained the possible causes of anxiety. For some, anxiety can come from a spiritual need, or lack of spiritual strength. For others, anxiety can be borne from a physical illness. Lastly, anxiety can be brought on by mental illness or stress.
While I don’t believe Jesus was afraid, I truly believe He was under great stress. I have wondered if this was the moment He began to carry the weight of sin for the entire world! How did Jesus respond to anxiety? He prayed, and He continued on with His task.
So what does God think about anxiety?
God wants you to come to come to Him with your anxiety. Philippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Psalm 55:22 – “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
God wants you to trust Him. Psalm 56:3 – “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Proverbs 3:5&6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
God wants you to love Him perfectly. 1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteh out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
God wants to give you strength. Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
God doesn’t want you to be afraid. Joshua 1:9 – “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
God wants to take care of your needs. Philippians 4:19 – “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
God wants to give you peace. John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
God wants to give you rest. Psalm 4:8 – “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” Matthew 11:28 – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
God wants to give you power over your anxiety. –2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
God wants you to think on lovely things. Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
God wants you to praise Him despite your anxiety. Colossians 3:15 – “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Psalms 56:4 – “In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
I sincerely pray that this series has been a help to some Christian struggling with anxiety. In the future I plan to add to this series, “Overcoming Anxiety“, so stay tuned!