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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Are You a Victim of the “If Onlys”?

Three Tips for Handling Regret

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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If you’ve lived a few years on this earth, you’ve most likely made some decisions you’ve regretted. Perhaps you made a poor financial decision that now has you in tremendous debt. Or perhaps you had an abortion and are now tormented with agonizing feelings of guilt. Whatever the case may be, how you handle your regret will determine the kind of future you will live.

Young sad girl sitting alone in an empty room

Some people have the ability simply to face their mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Others, however, have a very difficult time letting go of the past. Instead of accepting the fact that they’ve missed the mark, they allow the mistake to torment them. They keep thinking about it, wondering what their life would be like if they had not made the mistake. They allow themselves to become a victim of the if onlys.

The Bible, God’s manual for man, addresses every problem you will ever face, including the problem of the if onlys. Let’s take a look at what it says.

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Before giving his life to Jesus Christ, Paul had Christians killed. He would drag men, women, and children out of their homes and turn them over to the authorities to be beaten, imprisoned, and murdered.

After he had an astounding encounter Christ, Paul deeply regretted what he had done and asked God to forgive him. Paul could have allowed the memory of his past sins to stand in the way of being all that God created him to be, but Paul refused to do so.

The above verse reveals the three steps he took to overcome the regrets of his past. These same three steps will also help you to get rid of the if onlys of your past.

1) Forget those things that are behind.Great!” you say. “How do you forget the mistakes of the past?” First of all, you admit them. Secondly, you repent of them by asking God to forgive you and by determining that you will not make those mistakes again. Third, you decide, by an act of your will, to put your mistakes behind you.

God, in His great mercy, has made provision to cover all our mistakes, our poor decisions, our regrets. That provision is Jesus Christ. He’s called our Redeemer because He redeems us from the past. To redeem means to release from blame.

Jesus releases you from the blame of the sins of your past. Not only that, He gives you a bright future. He says, “My plans for you are for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). All you have to do is invite Him into your life and let Him redeem you.

2) Reach forward to those things which are ahead. Living in the past is like trying to drive while continually looking in your rear-view mirror. Sooner or later, you will crash. The same is true in life. If you keep looking back, you’ll never get to your destination.

Concentrate, instead, on those things that lie ahead. What are those things? They are the dreams that God has placed in your heart. Dreams energize your life and pull you into the future. The Bible says that a person without a dream will die (Proverbs 29:18). He may not die outwardly, but he will surely die inwardly.

3) Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The greatest goal that you can pursue is Jesus Christ. As you look to Him to save you, you will find all of your if onlys slipping away. He Himself will cut the cables that have kept you emotionally bound to your past, and, like an eagle, you will soar joyfully to the great heights of freedom for which God created you.

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm Gonzalez, regrets that she did not have more time with her dead husband. Join her as she struggles to overcome regret and move into the future God has ordained for her.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
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Copyright 2015 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 maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

Are You Afraid of the Future?

ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE FUTURE?

 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Terrified woman. Terrified young woman in formalwear looking at camera and biting nails while standing isolated on whiteFEAR. It’s all around us. It penetrates and saturates our culture as water does a sponge. We read it in the headlines every morning. We hear it on the news every night.

We feel it in our bones, in our muscles, and in our hearts.

Yes. In our hearts.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.  Throughout the Scriptures, God continually commands us not to fear.  Interesting, isn’t it, that He gives us a command?  A command from God implies that we are able to obey it.

So, why are we afraid? I would propose that we are afraid because we do not know God.

You see, God is love, and in Him there is never anything to fear.  Scripture tells us that “perfect love drives out fear” (I John 4:18).  God, Who is Perfect Love, will drive out fear every time.  But here is the clincher:  We must trust Him and believe Him when He says that there is nothing to fear for those of us who know Him.

Bottom line, we get rid of fear by getting to know God intimately.  Here is His promise to us found in Isaiah 26:3: ” You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  This is the antidote to fear: Keeping our minds fixed on God.  And why do we keep our minds fixed on God? Because we trust in Him. And why do we trust Him? Because He is God and perfectly trustworthy!

Are you struggling with fear today? Then turn your eyes toward Jesus and keep looking into His beautiful face. Keep your thoughts fixed on Him. As you do, His peace will drive out every fear.

If you would like to learn how to overcome fear, check out my book YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! You Were made for Greatness

You may leave a comment by clicking here To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
_______________________________________________________________

Copyright 2015 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 maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: