Are You an Anxious Mess?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, May 31, 2021, and this is Episode #17 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “Are You an Anxious Mess?”

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I talk to a lot of people, and the common denominator among them today seems to be anxiety. Never before have I seen the average person so anxious about so many things. The events of the past year have certainly not helped the situation. 

But did you know that there is a better way to live? Yes, a better way. And I want to share that better way with you today. It is called the way of peace.

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of peace one gets from putting one’s external environment in order. Like what I did recently by organizing my kitchen. I’m talking about the peace on the inside that remains quiet and calm no matter what is going on around us. As my daughter Gina wrote in her outstanding book titled 40 Days of the Names, Titles & Attributes of God: “We often think of peace as the absence of external conflict. But true peace is the absence of internal conflict.”

Few people today are experiencing that absence of internal conflict. Why not? Because it comes only from Jesus Christ, and, sadly, few people are interested in Him these days.

Jesus Himself said this just before He left the earth and returned to Heaven: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14: 27 NIV).

What is this peace that Jesus has given us? And who qualifies for it?

The answer to both of these questions lies in the Holy Bible, as do the answers to every question in life. 

In the Sacred Scriptures, Jesus is identified as the Prince of Peace. In Isaiah 9: 6 KJV, a verse we quote at Christmas time and with which most of us are familiar, we read these precious words: “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

So, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. This means that He alone is the One Who makes peace between God the Father and man. Only Jesus could pay the price for our sin. And He did. For this reason, we have much for which to be thankful.

When we accept the gift of salvation that Jesus died and rose from the dead to give us, we become born again. In other words, we enter the family of God. As members of the family of God, we are inheritors of the blessings of God. Among these blessings is the blessing of peace.

But peace is not only the absence of internal conflict. It is also the presence of wholeness. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. It means “nothing missing, nothing broken; no lack.” Shalom comes from the root word shalam, which means to make whole or complete. The peace of Christ makes us whole and complete in our spirit, our soul, and our body. In other words, we become whole in spirit, soul, and body through the peace of God.

So what steps do we need to take in order to experience the peace of Christ? 

1. We must be born again. In John 3: 3 NLT, Jesus said this: “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”  In other words, unless we have become a member of God’s family by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are not entitled to His inheritance. And a major part of that inheritance is peace.

2. Obey God’s Word. Once we are born again and have become members of God’s family, we learn how to experience His peace. Philippians 4: 6 give us this command: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”  

Jesus commands us not to worry. You may wonder, How can I not worry with all that’s going on in the world? The simple answer is that we decide not to worry, and then we draw on God’s grace in us to uphold our decision. God’s grace is sufficient for all that we will ever need in this earth.

3. Align your thinking with God’s Word. In Philippians 4: 8 NLT, we are instructed to do the following: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  How often do we think of things that are not true or right or pure or lovely? How often do we think of things that are excellent and worthy of praise? We all know the answers to those questions, and yet we wonder why we are anxious.

What we think about will affect our health. Learn to think of what God says about you in His Word, not what the evening news tells you.

4. Apply God’s Word to your life. In Philippians 4: 9 NLT, the Apostle Paul writes this admonition to his disciples: “Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

So, obedience to God’s Word engenders peace. Why? Because God’s Word is life-giving. When we live according to God’s Word, we experience His peace because of our obedience.

5. Pray. Ask God for what You need. Pour out your heart to Him when you are worried and anxious. The Bible says this in Philippians 4: 6 NLT: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

God wants you to share your heart with Him. When we pray, we give Him our worries, anxieties, and fears, and He gives us His peace in return. What a great exchange!

6. Trust in God. In Romans 15: 13 NLT, we read this: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.” Trust is a precursor of peace. When we trust God, we are expressing faith in His character to take care of us. When we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God will take care of us, we experience peace. God tells us in the Book of Isaiah that if we keep our eyes fixed on Him, we will experience His peace in our hearts.

I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast that unless we have been born again, we cannot experience true and lasting peace. If you have not yet invited Jesus into your life to be your Savior and Lord, I urge you to do so now. He is coming back very soon to remove from the earth all those who follow Him. Don’t be left behind. Pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I need You. I am so anxious and worried about so many things. I want to experience Your peace. So, I invite You now into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior and the Lord of my life. Thank You for forgiving me and bringing me into Your family. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for giving me Your peace. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free e-booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He teaches you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you are not yet a subscriber to the Winning with the Word blog and podcast, I urge you to click on the link below to subscribe now so you will not miss a single weekly episode:

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PLEASE TWEET: “Are You an Anxious Mess?” (CLICK TO TWEET)

Now it’s your turn: Are you full of anxiety? What, if anything, have you don about it?  Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.

Photo Source: Pete Linforth (Pixabay)
Sources Cited: 
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For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, Miracle in Milan, has just been released in both print and ebook formats and deals with the issue of unforgiveness. It is the story of a young, female auditor who discovers evidence that the man she loves is an embezzler. You will find Miracle in Milan to be a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat. To order your copy, go to Amazon or to my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table. You will also find Miracle in Milan on Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. 

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I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. I could not do this without you!

Finally, be sure to check out my latest non-fiction book, The Iron Saint. This book, modeled after The Iron Man triathlon, talks about the coming persecution of the Church in America and how you can prepare for it. The Iron Saint is available on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other major book purchasing venues. You may also find it on my website at maryanndiorio.com/book-table. Get a copy for your pastor as well. 

Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word

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Now Available for Purchase: Dr. MaryAnn’s latest novel, Miracle in Milan.

When a young, female auditor discovers evidence that the man she loves is an embezzler, she must choose between ruining him or ruining herself.

Amy Torelli, Chief Auditor for New York City-based Enson Pharmaceuticals, is assigned to audit the books of Enson’s Italian branch in the enchanting city of Milan, Italy. Having made an inner vow never to trust a man again because of her father’s betrayal, Amy finds herself falling in love with Enson Italia’s American-born Vice-President, Ted Masters. Will Ted be the one to cause her to break her inner vow?

Ted Masters is on the run. A run from rejection. From himself. From God. Having been wounded by a father who made him feel worthless, and having been dumped by the woman he wanted to marry, Ted is determined to keep all women at bay. But will Amy Torelli be the reason he changes his mind?
Miracle in Milan
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THE IRON SAINT by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

The Church in America is on the verge of a tremendous spiritual awakening, an awakening that will first be fueled by persecution unlike anything we have ever seen before in this land. Indeed, a prophetic word given in my home church during the month of November gave this warning to the Church: “Prepare for the fire of persecution!”

But the Church is not ready for this persecution. For the most part, the Church in America has been weak and lukewarm. Flabby and lazy. Consumed with the world and not with the things of God. As a result, the Church has been deceived and has subverted the divine order of things.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio seeks to help equip the saints for the work of true, integritous, and effective ministry. As a teacher in the Body of Christ, it is her burning desire to help correct this devastating error.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. Diorio has outlined a plan of action for strengthening the Church through uncompromising obedience to the Word of God. This plan of action is based on her own 50 years of walking with the Lord and being led by His Holy Spirit.

If you are a born-again believer and member of the Body of Christ, make this book a top reading priority.

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Copyright 2000-2021 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Are You Anxious about the Future?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are “the most common mental illness in the United States.” (f.n.). We can certainly understand the reason for this statistic given the nature of the perilous world in which we live.  But Jesus commands us not to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6-7). So, how do we obey His command while dealing with the fears and stress that daily assail us?

Worried.

The first step is to look closely at Christ’s command: “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s consider each part of this command one at a time:

Instead of being anxious, we are to make our concerns known to God. In other words, we are to go to Him in prayer with our anxious concerns.

Not only are we to pray, but we are to offer supplication. A supplication is an earnest entreaty, a fervent request, made humbly and trustingly.

We are to offer thanksgiving as we make our concerns known to God.  Why thanksgiving? Because thanksgiving shows that we are expecting God to move on our behalf. By thanking Him in advance for His help, we are expressing trust in His willingness and ability to help us.

After we do the three above things, God promises to give us His peace. The great thing about God’s peace is that it defies human understanding. It is the kind of peace that makes us fearless in the midst of terror, joyful in the midst of sorrow, and hopeful in the midst of despair.

This peace that God will give us will protect our hearts and our minds such that we can be in the middle of the worst situation and still not be afraid or anxious.

Isaiah 26:3 promises us that God will keep us in perfect peace as long as our minds are focused on Him.  Let’s purpose in our hearts that we will keep our minds focused on Jesus. As we do, anxiety will disappear and peace will reign in its place.

Source Cited: Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – “Facts and Statistics about Anxiety Disorders”

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