What is the source of anxiety? Is it something we create deep within us? Or does it originate with God?
It’s important to understand that anxiety is not from God … He didn’t create it (2 Tim. 1:7). So if God didn’t create anxiety, where does it come from?
To begin with, there are untold things in life that can cause anxiety. There are just some distressful things in life that are naturally going to create anxiety. Awaiting test results from your doctor, losing your job and source of income, or your spouse filing for divorce (to name a few) are all legitimate reasons for feeling anxious.
Second, there are times anxiety originates with wrong thinking in our minds, not trusting fully in God and His Word, and not taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
Third, there are times when anxiety originates from something we don’t even realize. That’s right: We can become anxious about something and not even know what it is. There have been times in my life when I knew God was speaking directly to me and trying to show me something, but I couldn’t figure out right away what it was He was trying to reveal. It seemed the harder I tried to figure out His will, the more I didn’t understand. So for a brief period of time, I would become a bit anxious, asking: “Lord, what are You trying to tell me? What are you trying to show me?” I didn’t want to miss His will. And because I was uncertain as I awaited His leading, I battled the same anxious thoughts you do when faced with uncertainty.
But we are not to let that anxiety take up residence in my life.
Regardless of anxiety’s source, dealing with it head-on is of utmost importance. While the emotion of anxiety itself is not a sin, it shouldn’t last. It shouldn’t continue. It shouldn’t have a negative effect. We must be willing to face up to and deal with our anxious thoughts and feelings. Anxiety is simply a reaction to some circumstance in your life. And when God tries to reveal truth to you regarding that circumstance or situation, that’s your number one priority. When God sees something going on in your life that needs instruction or correction, you need to give Him your undivided attention. Otherwise, you’ll be assured to live a life filled with anxiety and doubt.
There are countless sources for anxiety—anything can cause it. While the emotion in and of itself is not a sin, not dealing with it in a proper fashion is.