Billy Graham: The Cure for Anxiety

By   •   June 26, 2024   •   Topics: ,

Excerpted from a sermon by Billy Graham:

Historians will probably call our era “the age of anxiety.” Though we have it easier than our forefathers, we have more uneasiness.

Looking in the Wrong Places

Modern men and women have fled to their ivory towers and there, surrounded by their luxuries, their computerized gadgets, and their false sense of security, they hide from reality, from their
conscience, and from God.

But even in their gilded ivory towers, they are hounded by the feeling that they are not the persons they ought to be, that they are not living the life they ought to live, and that “life [is] more than food and the body more than clothing” (Matthew 6:25).

External luxury is a cheap substitute for spiritual wholeness.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, warned us against anxiety: “Why do you worry about clothing? … Do not worry … about your body, what you will put on. … Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (cf. Matthew 6:25–34).

Turn your eyes on Christ, worship Him. He gives life balance, security, and peace. Christ says: “Come to Me … and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

God has never promised to remove in this life all our troubles, problems, and difficulties. But God has promised, in the midst of trouble and conflict, a genuine peace, a sense of assurance and security that the worldly person never knows (John 16:33).

Our True Need

Anxiety exists when our basic needs have not been met.

You cannot allay a baby’s anxiety by giving her a rattle when she is hungry. She will keep on crying until her hunger is satisfied by the food her little body demands.

Neither can the soul of a mature person be satisfied apart from God. David described the hunger of all men and women when he said: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1).

Who of us can face the fact of our own inherent sin, the fact of suffering, the fact of life’s inequalities, the fact of eternity and judgment—who can face these and not be anxious, if we have not come face to face with Christ?

Don’t Carry Life’s Burdens Alone

You may say, “But I know professing Christians who worry and are filled with anxieties. What about that?”

You are right! We have anxiety when we try to carry life’s burdens alone. The Bible says: “[Cast] all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, ESV).

Some Christians have not learned that life is a partnership between God and individual men and women. Christ said: “Take My yoke upon you.” When we are yoked with Christ, pulling as a team, life’s burdens are easily borne.

To all who wish to be rid of anxiety, I would make three simple suggestions:

First, stop seeking the trivial, transient things with which modern men and women glut themselves, and seek the Kingdom of God as it is revealed in Christ. Let God’s life surge through your soul as you in faith put the whole weight of your burdens on Jesus Christ who died for you.

Second, get your eyes off yourself; focus them upon God first and others second. Self-centeredness is a terrible breeder of anxiety.

Third, commit yourself fully to Christ. Don’t be a half-surrendered Christian. Among the greatest words that Jesus ever uttered were: “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit’” (Luke 23:46). Even while enduring the shame and agony of the cross, His heart, soul, mind, and strength were dedicated to the purpose and will of His Heavenly Father.

The truly happy Christian is the one who is fully and wholeheartedly committed to Christ.