What is anxiety? How long has anxiety been around?
The surprising thing is that anxiety is not a modern development and it has been around throughout recorded history
What is anxiety?
Anxiety- Webster’s Dictionary- fear or nervousness about what might happen
What is peace?
Peace- Catholic Answers
“Peace” is a biblical term. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is shalôm. Literally, it means “to be complete or whole” (Mauro Rodriguez, New Catholic Encyclopedia, 11, 37). Shalôm is used in many different ways in the Old Testament. It can mean general prosperity or well-being (Gen. 15:15; Ps. 4:8), safety or success (2 Sam. 11:7; 18:29), harmony among friends and family members (Zech. 6:13); and harmony among nations (1 Kgs. 4:24; 5:12). When used as a greeting or as a blessing (as it was and is used by Hebrew speakers) it conveys the notion that one is wishing all good things to the person addressed (2 Sam 15:9).
With the mention of anxiety and peace in the Holy Bible, we can easily see that these were important to our ancestors just as they have been important to us. We need to reduce stress and anxiety in our life. In fact here are some great Bible verses to help you do exactly that.
1 Peter 3:14 — “But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated…”
Psalm 34:4 — “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 56:3 — “…when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
2 Timothy 1:7 — “…for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”
1 John 4:18 — “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.”
Psalm 94:19 — “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
Isaiah 43:1 — “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Proverbs 12:25 — “Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up.”
Psalm 23:4 — “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.”
Joshua 1:9 — “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Matthew 6:34 — “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Deuteronomy 3:22 — “Do not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.”
Revelation 1:17 — “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last…”
Mark 5:36 — “But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Romans 8:38-39 — “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Zephaniah 3:17 — “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing…”
One of the best reasons to attend Church, study the Bible, and to learn more about your religion is to reduce your anxiety and to have peace. The goal of religion is to help you in this world and the next. Many times we lose sight of that fact and worry about the here and now only.
One of the best ways to understand anxiety and peace is through the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.
First, although he is in torment, the rich man has not changed after he died – The rich man, in torment, raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, “Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.”
Notice that the rich man still failed to see Lazarus’ dignity. He did not register on the rich man’s scale. In effect, he still sees Lazarus as an errand boy or more importantly- his errand boy-without realizing that actually now the roles would be revised and reversed. Though he had to look up to see Lazarus, the rich man still looked down on Lazarus. He does not ask Abraham to send Lazarus to him so that he can apologize for his sinful neglect and seek his forgiveness. Rather he merely wants Lazarus to serve him. Even though he is in torment, the rich man is unrepentant. Although doesn’t like where he is, he does not reconcile with Lazarus or even realize that he should do so. This rich man is hardened in his sin. While Lazarus was alive, the rich man never recognized his dignity, and he remains blind to it.
Second, the rich man does not ask to come to Heaven – It is very strange that the rich man does not ask that he might come to Heaven; rather, he asks that Lazarus be sent to Hell. One of the saddest facts about the souls in Hell maybe that they would not be happy in Heaven anyway. After all, Heaven is about being with God. It is about justice, love of the poor, chastity, the heavenly liturgy, the celebration of the truth, the praise of God. God is at the center rather than us. The fact is many shows by the way that they live that they do not want any of these things. Why would someone who has disliked, even hated, these things will suddenly become enamored of them at the moment of death? Someone who ignores or disdains God and considers His faithful to be hypocrites would hardly be happy in Heaven, would he?
Third, the Great Reversal – Abraham further indicates to the Rich Man and to us the “great reversal”: My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
We spend a lot of time trying to be on top in this world. We want comfort, wealth, position, and power. The Lord warns here that we ought to beware of the great reversal that is coming. Lazarus, who was poor, is now rich; and the rich man is now poor.
Jesus teaches this elsewhere: But many who are first will be last, and the last first (Mk 10:31). Mary remarked that He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down the mighty from their thrones but lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty (Lk 1:51-53).
In a very odd sense, the story about Lazarus shows us what peace really is and how to obtain it. The rich man was wealthy here on earth but in the hereafter, he was just one of the masses of nameless souls who are in constant torment. In the end who had the anxiety and who had the peace? Amen