Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we ponder how to attain the death of anxiety and worry.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Death of Anxiety and Worry
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus." Phillppans, Chapter 4, Verse 7.
Brothers and sisters, anxiety is the absence of peace in the mind that is usually brought about by
rapid changes in our temporal and material affairs that we perceive is harmful to either our
immediate or remote interests. Worry is the ineffective process of trying to find a solution to the
anxiety-producing problem. Anxiety and worry feed upon each other. The more we worry, the more
anxious we become, and the more anxious we become, the more we worry. This is a vicious cycle
and leads to ever increasing paralysis of the moral will. When a problem presents itself, what is
needed is a decision.
All problems can be grouped into three categories: Problems that involve self, problems that involve
other selves, and problems that are caused by nonpersonal forces. Example of problems that involve
self or other selves are problems that require adjustment in the way we relate to things that we do,
or in the way that we do things or in the way we relate to each other. An example of problems
involving nonpersonal forces are those related to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes,
floods, and so forth. All three groups of problems require us to adjust.
Further categorization of problems would include the following: Do we have the necessary resources
to solve the particular problem in question? Do we desire to solve the problem? Or is the solution
beyond the power of our control? Usually when we have the resources to solve a problem and the
problem still remains unsolved it is because we do not wish to pay the price of solving the problem.
In order to solve a problem, we must be willing to pay whatever price is required. Sometimes this
means making changes that we are reluctant to make. Thus it is seen that the selfish approach to
problem solving is filled with conflict. It is impossible to solve a selfish problem while trying to
prevent all the factors that go to create the problem from changing. Every problem that is solved
creates another problem, and every problem that is solved requires a change in us. The refusal to
change makes problem solving impossible.
Some problems are beyond our power of control, and the solution to such problems consists in
accepting them. The failure to make decisions or accept an unavoidable situation creates anxiety and
worry. There is no escaping the fact and truth that as we live this life, we are going to suffer material
and temporal losses, and for most of these, nothing may be done about it. The truth is that some
things will get better but others will get worst. That which gets worse causes the anxiety and worry--
we try to discover a favorable solution to an unfavorable problem.
In an attempt to cope with the anxiety and worry, we sometime deceive ourselves into thinking that
if we have faith in God and serve him, we will escape these conflicts. This false solution works until
such time as an unfavorable problem arises on the scene, and we are forced to go through the
problematic experience. This kind of deception makes it hard for us to maintain faith in the goodness
of God. The Father leads us through these problems, not around them.
We are material beings, and it is only natural that we should think this way. We like material things
and material ease. But the Father has something else in mind for us. He desires that we learn to love
spiritual and eternal things. We must have experiences in order to develop, in order to learn. It is the
Father's will that we develop in this way. Therefore, our attitude and loyalty can only change as a
result of our experiences. We can only come to know and love divine values and meanings as a result
of experience. From experiences come the divine meanings and values that slowly but certainly
transform us into spiritual beings, beings that at some time will achieve perfection.
Often times it appears that the material and the temporal meanings and values oppose spiritual and
eternal meanings and values. Thus in the place of love, there is hate. No one has to be taught to hate.
That is our natural state. In the place of faith, there is doubt. And in the place of goodness, there is
evil. No one has to be taught evil, it is the natural thing to do. In the place of meekness, there is
pride, selfish pride. In the place of gentleness, there is roughness. And in the place of temperance,
there is excessiveness. In the place of long suffering, there is impatience. In the place of joy, there
is sorrow. And in the place of peace, there is turmoil.
It is our spiritual natures that allow us to crave for love, faith, goodness, meekness, gentleness,
temperance, long suffering, joy, and peace after experiencing the natural qualities of the material life.
Without the spiritual nature, we may not like the unpleasant qualities of the natural life, but we
would never seek for a better way to live. Our spiritual natures allow us to visualize the perfect way
To place our deepest longings and fondest hopes on the meanings and values of the material and the
temporal is to guarantee that our worst fears will be realized. We are justified in worrying and being
anxious about the material and the temporal state changing and often doing so to our detriment.
There is no material solution to such a problem. All we can do in such a state is to steel our selves
to endure the worst and accept disappointment after disappointment.
The qualities of faith, hope, love, patience, joy, meekness, temperance, gentleness, and goodness are
really spiritual qualities and find their true fulfillment in the things of the spirit. This is the
unrecognized manifestation of the spiritual nature being applied to the material and the temporal
state. These are supreme qualities and are associated with supreme loyalties. If supreme loyalties are
directed towards the material and temporal, then will the supreme disappointment follow, when the
objects of these loyalties fail. On the other hand, if these loyalties are directed towards the spiritual,
then will the supreme success be experienced.
Imperfection is the state of our present existence, and this imperfection also applies to the
relationship that exists between others as well as the material environment that we live in.
Imperfection of the moral environment is the reason for moral problems, and imperfection of our
spiritual nature is the reason for worry and anxiety. At some point, perfection will prevail among the
imperfect relationships that exists. Until then material disasters will be a fact of existence. But even
so, material disasters cannot affect our faith-consecrated souls.
Peace of mind, freedom from anxiety and worry can only be had by replacing each material loss--in
reality each material meaning and value--by its spiritual counterpart. Failure to do this can only result
in a very sad life of ever-increasing despair. Inner peace can only be maintained by crying out in
every material crisis, "Not my will, but your will be done." Tranquility of being can only be had by
faith-grasping the everlasting truth that nothing of spiritual value is ever lost. The persistence of this
practice gradually leads to a disappointment-proof life, one that is relatively free of anxiety and
But even so, all things work together for good. We must divinely love, be eternally patient, practice
mercy, and forgive. To selfishly love another person is to guarantee the loss of that love. Selfish love
is destined to increasingly lose its meaning and value and to create a state that is indistinguishable
The practice of temporal and material patience in the achievement of temporal and material goals
will sooner or later lead to disappointment and failure. Eventually a material handicap will be
encountered that no amount of patience can overcome. When one puts their supreme loyalty into a
material goal, the result is truly appalling. This sad state of affairs surprisingly leads to a desire to
achieve those things that will eventually yield eternal patience.
The failure to show mercy eventually leads to that sad and regrettable day when mercy will be
needed and will not be forthcoming. It is forever true that he who ignores the cries for mercy from
others will finally reach the day when his cries for mercy are ignored. An individual who requires
mercy that is not forthcoming will certainly desire mercy. And so it is with forgiveness. There is
something in us that seeks forgiveness when we become conscious that we have wronged another.
Sometimes the forgiveness is not forthcoming which certainly increases the desire for forgiveness,
even from God. Practicing unforgiveness is evil, but it has been shown to lead to the desire for good.
Thus all things work together for goodness There is only one cure for moral despair, and that is
spiritual living. There is only one way to overcome the anxiety and worry associated with
disagreeable experiences and that is to wholeheartedly pursue the Father's will. This will reveal a set
of values and meanings that brings peace that passes all understanding. Pray about every thing; worry
about nothing and anxiety will perish.
This concludes today's message on understanding death of anxiety and worry. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time, this
is Dr. James Perry