when the anxious thoughts attack

The A in the word FEAR stands for ANXIETY.
Anxious thoughts become fearful ones when they are given free reign in our minds.

When instead of bringing them to God when they surface, we allow them to take over and multiply. Until our pulse gets a bit erratic, we begin to perspire, pant, fidget and/or pace.

And if it gets really bad, we can become so focused on that one thought we seem irrationally consumed by it.
One of the first verses I memorized when I decided to follow Jesus radically changed my thought life whenever I put it into practice. It has been an anchor for me when anxious thoughts try to put down roots in my mind, reassuring me that there is a better option besides just giving in to anxiety.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

You may ask yourself, is that it? What should happen after I bring these thoughts to God in prayer?
I am so thankful that God answers that very question in the very next verse, which was on my heart the first time I read Philippians too:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

There have been moments where taming the anxious thoughts was much harder for me to do than I expected, or took longer than I imagined. But for those of us strugglong and suffering with anxiety, there is good news.
Fear flees the presence of God, which brings His peace into each and every situation we invite Him into. He can’t help it, because that’s who He is!
By capturing the negative thoughts whenever they appear and bringing them to God, we are telling the enemy that we are not going to become his playground any longer. We inform those around us by our actions that we will not let anxiety make our decisions any longer. We tell ourselves we are no longer defeated battling in our strength but becoming victorious in His!

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