Everyone   on   earth   is   experiencing   varying   degrees   of   both   fear   and   anxiety,   because   our   world   has   dramatically changed   in   a   very   short   period   of   time.      That   which   we   knew,   that   which   we   understood,   that   which   provided   us   with reference   points   and   direction   in   our   lives   are   no   longer   the   same.      Meanwhile,   we   all   now   face   a   realistic   fear   that   is driven   by   mental   images   of   possibly   dying   by   an   invisible   killer.      Layered   on   top   of   this   fear   are   anxious   thoughts   as   we attempt   to   look   into   a   future   that’s   filled   with   numerous   potential   outcomes—some   hoped   for,   some   undesirable   and some   are   horrific.     As   a   consequence,   many   of   us   are   suffering   from   out-of-control   emotions   as   we   experience   a   rise   in blood   pressure,   increased   stress,   tension,   and   an   uneasy   feeling   deep   in   the   pit   of   our   stomach   as   we   do   our   best   to navigate this uncharted territory. Fear vs. Anxiety For   those   of   us   who   are   having   difficulty   managing   our   emotions,   it   is   important   to   understand   the   difference   between fear and anxiety. Fear   is   one   of   our   most   basic   emotions   and   is   part   of   our   autonomous   nervous   system.      The   autonomous   nervous system   controls   our   body   functions   that   are   not   consciously   (or   mentally)   directed,   such   as   breathing,   heartbeat, digestive   process,   and   so   forth.      Fear   is   a   protective   and   survivalistic   response   (to   fight   or   run)   when   we   face   a   real threat   of   danger,   pain   or   harm.      For   example,   the   present   global   response   is   to   “run”   from   the   virus   via   social   isolation, social   distancing,   wearing   masks,   continually   washing   our   hands,   and   so   forth.      Sometime   in   the   future   we   hope   to “fight” the virus by an effective treatment and/or vaccine. To   understand   the   role,   importance   and   benefits   of   fear,   consider   what   would   happen   if   we   were   not   designed   with   the capacity   of   fear—including   its   associated   survivalistic   motivations.      Would   our   response   to   the   virus   be   different?     Would   we   be   less   willing   to   change   our   behavior?      Would   things   get   much   worse?      The   answer   to   all   three   questions   is yes…and as such, fear is a good thing. However,   while   fear   is   based   upon   a   real   and   existing   threat,   anxiety   is   based   upon   imagined   threats.      Anxiety   is caused   by   our   imagination   as   we   consider   and   worry   about   “this   could   occur,   and   that   could   occur.”      While   it   is   possible for    these    imagined    events    to    occur—at    this    time    they    do    not    exist    and    presently    exist    “between    our    ears.”    Unfortunately,   our   anxious   thoughts   will   layer   on   top   of   our   fear   and   create   internal   havoc.      In   addition,   some   of   us   will consider   the   same   anxious   thoughts   over   and   over—which   compounds   the   issue—and   can   cause   us   to   experience   a multitude   of   unnecessary   symptoms   as   we   degrade   to   a   debilitative   state—which   is   not   a   good   thing.      Anxiety-driven symptoms include:    Feeling nervous Restlessness Panic attacks    Rapid heart rate Sleep problems Nausea    Digestive issues Obsessive thoughts Headaches    Feeling helpless Feeling in danger Anticipating the worst outcomes Personally…I    was    initially    consumed    by    anxious    thoughts    as    the    pandemic    began    to    spread.        My    thoughts included…What   would   happen   if   we   go   into   a   depression?      What   would   happen   if   our   children   lost   their   jobs?      What would   happen   if   they   are   unable   to   find   a   cure?      What   would   happen   if…?????      Every   one   of   these   thoughts   are possible,   but   not   real   at   this   time.     As   such,   they   simply   magnified   my   existing   internal   pressure   and   made   things   worse.     Plus,   I   was   experiencing   the   majority   of   symptoms   listed   above…which   were   “tearing   me   up   on   the   inside.”      In   truth,   my response to the pandemic was not in line with my faith, and not in line with God’s word. Note how Jesus did not say in the following scripture do not fear.  He said do not worry and do not be anxious. Jesus   said   “Therefore   I   say   to   you,   do   not   worry    about   your   life,   what   you   will   eat   or   what   you   will   drink;   nor   about   your body,   what   you   will   put   on.      Is   not   life   more   than   food   and   the   body   more   than   clothing?      Look   at   the   birds   of   the   air,   for they   neither   sow   nor   reap   nor   gather   into   barns;   yet   your   heavenly   Father   feeds   them. Are   you   not   of   more   value   than they?      Which   of   you   by   worrying   can   add   one   cubit   to   his   stature?       So   why   do   you   worry    about   clothing?     Consider   the   lilies   of   the   field,   how   they   grow:   they   neither   toil   nor   spin;   and   yet   I   say   to   you   that   even   Solomon   in   all   his glory   was   not   arrayed   like   one   of   these.      Now   if   God   so   clothes   the   grass   of   the   field,   which   today   is,   and   tomorrow   is thrown   into   the   oven,   will   He   not   much   more   clothe   you,   O   you   of   little   faith?      Therefore,   do   not   worry ,   saying,   ‘What shall   we   eat?’   or   ‘What   shall   we   drink?’   or   ‘What   shall   we   wear?’      For   after   all   these   things   the   Gentiles   seek.      For   your heavenly   Father   knows   that   you   need   all   these   things.      But   seek   first   the   kingdom   of   God   and   His   righteousness,   and all   these   things   shall   be   added   to   you.      Therefore,   do   not   worry    about   tomorrow,   for   tomorrow   will   worry   about   its   own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Matthew 6:25-34 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 How to Manage Anxious Thoughts Our   first   (and   most   effective)   means   to   manage   anxiety   is   to   begin   with   prayer   from   the   depths   of   our   heart—when   we tell    God    everything    we    are    experiencing.        Tell    Him    about    our    fears,    our    anxieties,    our    emotions    and    our circumstances—and   ask   the   Holy   Spirit   to   intervene   and   guide   us   through   the   pandemic.      Thereafter,   we   need   to   step forward in faith and put our complete trust in Him. The   next   step   is   to   identify   and   separate   our   fearful   thoughts   from   our   anxious   thoughts.      To   accomplish   this   task, obtain   two   sheets   of   paper   and   title   one   “Fear,”   the   other   “Anxiety.”      For   the   next   48   hours,   every   time   you   have   a thought regarding the pandemic…prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the answer to the following questions: 1 . Is this an actual fear (a real threat)?  If yes, write the thought on the Fear page. 2 . Is   this   an   anxiety   (an   imagined   threat   that   could   possibly   occur   in   the   future,   but   presently   does   not   exist)?      If   yes, write this thought on the Anxiety page. Once   completed,   start   with   the   thoughts   listed   on   the   Fear   page.      Prayerfully   ask…Am   I   doing   everything   possible   to minimize   my   risk?      If   not,   then   what   can   I   improve?      If   yes,   then   realize   you   are   doing   the   best   you   can.     As   you   move forward, fear will reinforce the need to continue the protective behavior (and not let your “guard” down). Now   take   the   Anxiety   page   and   write   a   date   on   it   that   is   one   week   (7   days)   in   the   future   (plus   put   this   date   into   your calendar   as   a   reminder).      Then   instruct   yourself   that   you   will   not   allow   yourself   to   consider   these   anxious   thoughts   until this future date because: 1 . They are imagined threats that do not presently exist. 2 . Thinking about these scenarios are causing me unnecessary stress and grief. 3 . If these scenarios do occur, the Holy Spirit will guide me in how to deal with them in the future. 4 . Meanwhile, it is prudent to focus upon those things that are more important…one day at a time. Once   documented   and   delayed,   your   anxious   thoughts   will   no   longer   have   as   much   influence—because   you   made   a commitment    to    think    about    these    “things”    at    a    later    date—thereby,    freeing    up    your    mental    capacity    from    the overburdening   and   cyclic   regurgitation   of   anxiety-based   “what   if   scenarios.”      When   the   defined   date   occurs,   review   your list,   update   it   if   necessary,   then   ask   yourself   if   any   of   these   scenarios   have   occurred   or   not—and   if   so,   respond accordingly.  Otherwise, pick another date to review that’s 7 days away, and so forth. Here   is   another   consideration.      Our   anxieties   are   often   reinforced   every   time   we   watch   or   read   the   news—which   is   like throwing   gasoline   onto   a   smoldering   fire.      Be   assured,   no   one   in   the   news   media   has   an   answer.      All   they   can   do   is describe   what’s   going   on,   depict   the   consequences   and   voice   an   opinion.      Plus,   news   regarding   the   pandemic   will   likely stay   the   same   until   a   proven   treatment   and/or   vaccine   is   available.      Meanwhile,   it   is   beneficial   to   limit   the   amount   of news we consume because it only makes our anxiety worse.  From   a   spiritual   perspective,   this   is   a   time   when   we   need   to   hold   onto   our   faith   in   God’s   word   and   His   promises   with   all of   our   heart,   and   with   all   of   our   soul,   and   with   all   of   our   mind.      Jesus   warned   us   about   times   such   as   this—for   we   are   in the midst of a storm that is pounding upon the very foundation of every Christian’s faith. Jesus   said   “Therefore   whoever   hears   these   sayings   of   Mine,   and   does   them,   I   wi ll liken   him   to   a   wise   man   who   built   his   house   on   the   rock:   and   the   rain   descended, the   floods   came,   and   the   winds   blew   and   beat   on   that   house;   and   it   did   not   fall,   for   it was   founded   on   the   rock.      But   everyone   who   hears   these   sayings   of   Mine,   and   does not   do   them,   will   be   like   a   foolish   man   who   built   his   house   on   the   sand:   and   the   rain descended,   the   floods   came,   and   the   winds   blew   and   beat   on   that   house;   and   it   fell.     And great was its fall.”  Matthew 7:24-27 Consider   what   happened   to   Peter   when   he   turned   his   eyes   away   from   Jesus,   and began to consider what was going on around him. “Immediately   Jesus   made   His   disciples   get   into   the   boat   and   go   before   Him   to   the other    side,    while    He    sent    the    multitudes    away.        And    when    He    had    sent    the multitudes   away,   He   went   up   on   the   mountain   by   Himself   to   pray.      Now   when evening   came,   He   was   alone   there.      But   the   boat   was   now   in   the   middle   of   the   sea, tossed   by   the   waves,   for   the   wind   was   contrary.      Now   in   the   fourth   watch   of   the   night Jesus   went   to   them,   walking   on   the   sea.      And   when   the   disciples   saw   Him   walking on   the   sea,   they   were   troubled,   saying,   “It   is   a   ghost!”   And   they   cried   out   for   fear.     But   immediately   Jesus   spoke   to   them,   saying,   ‘Be   of   good   cheer!      It   is   I;   do   not   be afraid.’     And   Peter   answered   Him   and   said,   ‘Lord,   if   it   is   You,   command   me   to   come to   You   on   the   water.’      So   He   said,   ‘Come.’      And   when   Peter   had   come   down   out   of the   boat,   he   walked   on   the   water   to   go   to   Jesus.      But   when   he   saw   that   the   wind   was   boisterous,   he   was   afraid;   and beginning   to   sink   he   cried   out,   saying,   ‘Lord,   save   me!’     And   immediately   Jesus   stretched   out   His   hand   and   caught   him, and   said   to   him,   ‘O   you   of   little   faith,   why   did   you   doubt?’      And   when   they   got   into   the   boat,   the   wind   ceased.      Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’”  Matthew 14:22-33 Now is the time to let go, focus our eyes upon Jesus, completely trust in God and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. “He   who   dwells   in   the   secret   place   of   the   Most   High   shall   abide   under   the   shadow   of   the Almighty.      I   will   say   of   the   Lord, ‘He   is   my   refuge   and   my   fortress;   My   God,   in   Him   I   will   trust.’      Surely   He   shall   deliver   you   from   the   snare   of   the   fowler and   from   the   perilous   pestilence.      He   shall   cover   you   with   His   feathers,   and   under   His   wings   you   shall   take   refuge;   His truth   shall   be   your   shield   and   buckler.      You   shall   not   be   afraid   of   the   terror   by   night,   nor   of   the   arrow   that   flies   by   day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”  Psalm 91:1-6 All for His Glory, Harold D. Thomas
Thought-Provoking Questions The   purpose   of   the   questions   below   is   to   facilitate   a   deeper   understanding   of   the   Bible,   this   Bible   study   content,   and ourselves.      The   questions   may   be   answered   by   each   reader;   or   used   by   a   Bible   study   group   leader   or   church   pastor.     The following questions should be answered or discussed after reading “Managing Anxiety During the Pandemic.” There   are   two   types   of   questions:   lesson   and   opinion.      Lesson   questions   (preceded   by   a   number)   are   provided   an answer.      Opinion   questions   (preceded   by   an   “O”)   are   designed   to   enhance   learning   via   the   determination   of   opinions and/or discovering how the lesson content illuminates our personal lives.  As such, no answers are provided Questions (Do your best to respond to each lesson question before looking at the answer.) 1.   What is the difference between fear and anxiety? 2.   Is fear a good thing?  Why? 3.   Is anxiety a good thing?  Why? O      Have   you   been   experiencing   anxiety   due   to   the   pandemic?      If   yes,   is   it   causing   one   or   more   of   the   12   anxiety- driven symptoms? O   Do anxious thoughts improve or drain spiritual life? 4.   What did Jesus say about worrying? 5.   What were the 5 suggested steps one should follow to minimize anxiety? Answers 1.    Fear is an actual threat.  Anxiety is an imagined threat. 2.    Fear is a protective and survivalistic response to danger, pain or harm.  As such, it’s a good thing. 3.         Anxiety   is   based   upon   our   imagination   of   what   could   happen.      Anxiety   is   not   beneficial   to   our   wellbeing   and   can drain our spiritual life because of the numerous types of negative consequences. 4.   “Do not worry.” (Matthew 6:25-34) “Be anxious for nothing.” (Philippians 4:6-7) 5.    Listed below: 1 . Pray from the depths of your heart.  Tell God what you are experiencing. 2 . Document (write down) your fears and anxieties (to move them outside your mind). 3 . Select   a   future   date   when   you   will   review   the   documented   anxieties.      Meanwhile,   recognize   when   you   begin   to have anxious thoughts and instruct yourself now is not the time to consider these things. 4 . Reduce/eliminate sources that increase anxiety, such as the news. 5 . Place your trust in God. The questions may be viewed and downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on this button.
Jesus
Everyone   on   earth   is   experiencing   varying   degrees   of   both fear    and    anxiety,    because    our    world    has    dramatically changed   in   a   very   short   period   of   time.      That   which   we knew,   that   which   we   understood,   that   which   provided   us with   reference   points   and   direction   in   our   lives   are   no longer   the   same.      Meanwhile,   we   all   now   face   a   realistic fear   that   is   driven   by   mental   images   of   possibly   dying   by an   invisible   killer.      Layered   on   top   of   this   fear   are   anxious thoughts   as   we   attempt   to   look   into   a   future   that’s   filled with    numerous    potential    outcomes—some    hoped    for, some     undesirable     and     some     are     horrific.          As     a consequence,   many   of   us   are   suffering   from   out-of-control emotions    as    we    experience    a    rise    in    blood    pressure, increased   stress,   tension,   and   an   uneasy   feeling   deep   in the   pit   of   our   stomach   as   we   do   our   best   to   navigate   this uncharted territory. Fear vs. Anxiety For   those   of   us   who   are   having   difficulty   managing   our emotions,    it    is    important    to    understand    the    difference between fear and anxiety. Fear   is   one   of   our   most   basic   emotions   and   is   part   of   our autonomous   nervous   system.      The   autonomous   nervous system     controls     our     body     functions     that     are     not consciously    (or    mentally)    directed,    such    as    breathing, heartbeat,    digestive    process,    and    so    forth.        Fear    is    a protective   and   survivalistic   response   (to   fight   or   run)   when we    face    a    real    threat    of    danger,    pain    or    harm.        For example,   the   present   global   response   is   to   “run”   from   the virus   via   social   isolation,   social   distancing,   wearing   masks, continually   washing   our   hands,   and   so   forth.      Sometime   in the    future    we    hope    to    “fight”    the    virus    by    an    effective treatment and/or vaccine. To   understand   the   role,   importance   and   benefits   of   fear, consider   what   would   happen   if   we   were   not   designed   with the   capacity   of   fear—including   its   associated   survivalistic motivations.      Would   our   response   to   the   virus   be   different?     Would   we   be   less   willing   to   change   our   behavior?      Would things   get   much   worse?     The   answer   to   all   three   questions is yes…and as such, fear is a good thing. However,   while   fear   is   based   upon   a   real   and   existing threat,   anxiety   is   based   upon   imagined   threats.     Anxiety   is caused    by    our    imagination    as    we    consider    and    worry about   “this   could   occur,   and   that   could   occur.”      While   it   is possible   for   these   imagined   events   to   occur—at   this   time they   do   not   exist   and   presently   exist   “between   our   ears.”   Unfortunately,   our   anxious   thoughts   will   layer   on   top   of   our fear   and   create   internal   havoc.      In   addition,   some   of   us   will consider      the      same      anxious      thoughts      over      and over—which   compounds   the   issue—and   can   cause   us   to experience   a   multitude   of   unnecessary   symptoms   as   we degrade   to   a   debilitative   state—which   is   not   a   good   thing.   Anxiety-driven symptoms include:    Feeling nervous Restlessness Panic attacks   Rapid heart rate Sleep problems Nausea    Digestive issues Obsessive thoughts Headaches   Feeling helpless Feeling in danger Anticipating the worst outcomes Personally…I   was   initially   consumed   by   anxious   thoughts as     the     pandemic     began     to     spread.          My     thoughts included…What   would   happen   if   we   go   into   a   depression?     What   would   happen   if   our   children   lost   their   jobs?      What would   happen   if   they   are   unable   to   find   a   cure?      What would   happen   if…?????      Every   one   of   these   thoughts   are possible,   but   not   real   at   this   time.      As   such,   they   simply magnified   my   existing   internal   pressure   and   made   things worse.      Plus,   I   was   experiencing   the   majority   of   symptoms listed   above…which   were   “tearing   me   up   on   the   inside.”   In   truth,   my   response   to   the   pandemic   was   not   in   line   with my faith, and not in line with God’s word. Note   how   Jesus   did   not   say   in   the   following   scripture   do not fear.  He said do not worry and do not be anxious. Jesus   said   “Therefore   I   say   to   you,   do   not   worry    about your   life,   what   you   will   eat   or   what   you   will   drink;   nor   about your   body,   what   you   will   put   on.      Is   not   life   more   than   food and   the   body   more   than   clothing?      Look   at   the   birds   of   the air,   for   they   neither   sow   nor   reap   nor   gather   into   barns;   yet your   heavenly   Father   feeds   them.   Are   you   not   of   more value   than   they?      Which   of   you   by   worrying   can   add one   cubit   to   his   stature?       So   why   do   you   worry    about clothing?      Consider   the   lilies   of   the   field,   how   they   grow: they   neither   toil   nor   spin;   and   yet   I   say   to   you   that   even Solomon   in   all   his   glory   was   not   arrayed   like   one   of   these.     Now   if   God   so   clothes   the   grass   of   the   field,   which   today is,   and   tomorrow   is   thrown   into   the   oven,   will   He   not   much more   clothe   you,   O   you   of   little   faith?      Therefore,   do   not worry ,   saying,   ‘What   shall   we   eat?’   or   ‘What   shall   we drink?’   or   ‘What   shall   we   wear?’      For   after   all   these   things the   Gentiles   seek.      For   your   heavenly   Father   knows   that you   need   all   these   things.      But   seek   first   the   kingdom   of God   and   His   righteousness,   and   all   these   things   shall   be added   to   you.      Therefore,   do   not   worry    about   tomorrow, for   tomorrow   will   worry   about   its   own   things.      Sufficient   for the day is its own trouble.”  Matthew 6:25-34 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 How to Manage Anxious Thoughts Our   first   (and   most   effective)   means   to   manage   anxiety   is to   begin   with   prayer   from   the   depths   of   our   heart—when we   tell   God   everything   we   are   experiencing.      Tell   Him about    our    fears,    our    anxieties,    our    emotions    and    our circumstances—and   ask   the   Holy   Spirit   to   intervene   and guide   us   through   the   pandemic.      Thereafter,   we   need   to step forward in faith and put our complete trust in Him. The    next    step    is    to    identify    and    separate    our    fearful thoughts   from   our   anxious   thoughts.      To   accomplish   this task,   obtain   two   sheets   of   paper   and   title   one   “Fear,”   the other   “Anxiety.”      For   the   next   48   hours,   every   time   you have   a   thought   regarding   the   pandemic…prayerfully   ask the    Holy    Spirit    to    reveal    the    answer    to    the    following questions: 1 . Is   this   an   actual   fear   (a   real   threat)?      If   yes,   write   the thought on the Fear page. 2 . Is    this    an    anxiety    (an    imagined    threat    that    could possibly   occur   in   the   future,   but   presently   does   not exist)?  If yes, write this thought on the Anxiety page. Once   completed,   start   with   the   thoughts   listed   on   the   Fear page.      Prayerfully   ask…Am   I   doing   everything   possible   to minimize   my   risk?      If   not,   then   what   can   I   improve?      If   yes, then   realize   you   are   doing   the   best   you   can.     As   you   move forward,    fear    will    reinforce    the    need    to    continue    the protective behavior (and not let your “guard” down). Now   take   the   Anxiety   page   and   write   a   date   on   it   that   is one   week   (7   days)   in   the   future   (plus   put   this   date   into your   calendar   as   a   reminder).      Then   instruct   yourself   that you    will    not    allow    yourself    to    consider    these    anxious thoughts until this future date because: 1 . They are imagined threats that do not presently exist. 2 . Thinking    about    these    scenarios    are    causing    me unnecessary stress and grief. 3 . If   these   scenarios   do   occur,   the   Holy   Spirit   will   guide me in how to deal with them in the future. 4 . Meanwhile,   it   is   prudent   to   focus   upon   those   things that are more important…one day at a time. Once   documented   and   delayed,   your   anxious   thoughts will    no    longer    have    as    much    influence—because    you made   a   commitment   to   think   about   these   “things”   at   a   later date—thereby,   freeing   up   your   mental   capacity   from   the overburdening   and   cyclic   regurgitation   of   anxiety-based “what   if   scenarios.”      When   the   defined   date   occurs,   review your   list,   update   it   if   necessary,   then   ask   yourself   if   any   of these   scenarios   have   occurred   or   not—and   if   so,   respond accordingly.      Otherwise,   pick   another   date   to   review   that’s 7 days away, and so forth. Here   is   another   consideration.      Our   anxieties   are   often reinforced   every   time   we   watch   or   read   the   news—which is    like    throwing    gasoline    onto    a    smoldering    fire.        Be assured,   no   one   in   the   news   media   has   an   answer.      All they    can    do    is    describe    what’s    going    on,    depict    the consequences     and     voice     an     opinion.          Plus,     news regarding   the   pandemic   will   likely   stay   the   same   until   a proven   treatment   and/or   vaccine   is   available.      Meanwhile, it   is   beneficial   to   limit   the   amount   of   news   we   consume because it only makes our anxiety worse.  From   a   spiritual   perspective,   this   is   a   time   when   we   need to   hold   onto   our   faith   in   God’s   word   and   His   promises   with all   of   our   heart,   and   with   all   of   our   soul,   and   with   all   of   our mind.      Jesus   warned   us   about   times   such   as   this—for   we are   in   the   midst   of   a   storm   that   is   pounding   upon   the   very foundation of every Christian’s faith. Jesus     said     “Therefor e whoever      hears      these sayings     of     Mine,     and does    them,    I    will    liken him   to   a   wise   man   who built    his    house    on    the rock:       and       the       rain descended,     the     floods came,     and     the     winds blew    and    beat    on    that house;   and   it   did   not   fall, for   it   was   founded   on   the rock.      But   everyone   who hears    these    sayings    of Mine,    and    does    not    do them,     will     be     like     a foolish   man   who   built   his house   on   the   sand:   and the   rain   descended,   the floods     came,     and     the winds   blew   and   beat   on   that   house;   and   it   fell.      And   great was its fall.”  Matthew 7:24-27 Consider    what    happened    to    Peter    when    he    turned    his eyes   away   from   Jesus,   and   began   to   consider   what   was going on around him. “Immediately   Jesus   made   His   disciples   get   into   the   boat and   go   before   Him   to   the   other   side,   while   He   sent   the multitudes   away.      And   when   He   had   sent   the   multitudes away,   He   went   up   on   the   mountain   by   Himself   to   pray.   Now   when   evening   came,   He   was   alone   there.      But   the boat   was   now   in   the   middle   of   the   sea,   tossed   by   the waves,   for   the   wind   was   contrary.      Now   in   the   fourth   watch of   the   night   Jesus   went   to   them,   walking   on   the   sea.     And when   the   disciples   saw   Him   walking   on   the   sea,   they   were troubled,   saying,   “It   is   a   ghost!” And   they   cried   out   for   fear.     But   immediately   Jesus   spoke   to   them,   saying,   ‘Be   of   good cheer!      It   is   I;   do   not   be   afraid.’      And   Peter   answered   Him and   said,   ‘Lord,   if   it   is   You,   command   me   to   come   to   You on   the   water.’      So   He   said,   ‘Come.’      And   when   Peter   had come   down   out   of   the   boat,   he   walked   on   the   water   to   go to   Jesus.      But   when   he   saw   that   the   wind   was   boisterous, he   was   afraid;   and   beginning   to   sink   he   cried   out,   saying, ‘Lord,   save   me!’     And   immediately   Jesus   stretched   out   His hand   and   caught   him,   and   said   to   him,   ‘O   you   of   little   faith, why   did   you   doubt?’     And   when   they   got   into   the   boat,   the wind   ceased.      Then   those   who   were   in   the   boat   came   and worshiped   Him,   saying,   ‘Truly   You   are   the   Son   of   God.’”   Matthew 14:22-33 Now   is   the   time   to   let   go,   focus   our   eyes   upon   Jesus, completely   trust   in   God   and   seek   guidance   from   the   Holy Spirit. “He   who   dwells   in   the   secret   place   of   the   Most   High   shall abide   under   the   shadow   of   the   Almighty.      I   will   say   of   the Lord,   ‘He   is   my   refuge   and   my   fortress;   My   God,   in   Him   I will   trust.’      Surely   He   shall   deliver   you   from   the   snare   of the    fowler    and    from    the    perilous    pestilence.        He    shall cover   you   with   His   feathers,   and   under   His   wings   you   shall take   refuge;   His   truth   shall   be   your   shield   and   buckler.   You   shall   not   be   afraid   of   the   terror   by   night,   nor   of   the arrow   that   flies   by   day,   nor   of   the   pestilence   that   walks   in darkness,    nor    of    the    destruction    that    lays    waste    at noonday.”  Psalm 91:1-6 All for His Glory, Harold D. Thomas
Thought-Provoking Questions The    purpose    of    the    questions    below    is    to    facilitate    a deeper    understanding    of    the    Bible,    this    Bible    study    content,   and   ourselves.      The   questions   may   be   answered by   each   reader;   or   used   by   a   Bible   study   group   leader   or church     pastor.         The     following     questions     should     be answered   or   discussed   after   reading   “Managing   Anxiety During the Pandemic.” There   are   two   types   of   questions:   lesson   and   opinion.   Lesson   questions   (preceded   by   a   number)   are   provided an   answer.      Opinion   questions   (preceded   by   an   “O”)   are designed    to    enhance    learning    via    the    determination    of opinions    and/or    discovering    how    the    lesson    content illuminates   our   personal   lives.      As   such,   no   answers   are provided. Questions 1.    What is the difference between fear and anxiety? 2.    Is fear a good thing?  Why? 3.    Is anxiety a good thing?  Why? O Have    you    been    experiencing    anxiety    due    to    the pandemic?      If   yes,   is   it   causing   one   or   more   of   the   12 anxiety-driven symptoms? O Do anxious thoughts improve or drain spiritual life? 4. What did Jesus say about worrying? 5. What   were   the   5   suggested   steps   one   should   follow to minimize anxiety? Answers 1.   Fear    is    an    actual    threat.       Anxiety    is    an    imagined threat. 2.        Fear    is    a    protective    and    survivalistic    response    to danger, pain or harm.  As such, it’s a good thing. 3.            Anxiety   is   based   upon   our   imagination   of   what   could happen.      Anxiety   is   not   beneficial   to   our   wellbeing and    can    drain    our    spiritual    life    because    of    the numerous types of negative consequences. 4.         “Do   not   worry.”   (Matthew   6:25-34)   “Be   anxious   for nothing.” (Philippians 4:6-7) 5.     Listed below: 1 . Pray   from   the   depths   of   your   heart.     Tell   God   what you are experiencing. 2 . Document   (write   down)   your   fears   and   anxieties (to move them outside your mind). 3 . Select    a    future    date    when    you    will    review    the documented    anxieties.        Meanwhile,    recognize when   you   begin   to   have   anxious   thoughts   and instruct   yourself   now   is   not   the   time   to   consider these things. 4 . Reduce/eliminate   sources   that   increase   anxiety, such as the news. 5 . Place your trust in God. The questions may be viewed and downloaded as a PDF file by clicking on this button.
Jesus