Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World – Max Lucado
Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World – Does the uncertainty and chaos of life keep you up at night?
Is irrational worry your constant companion?
Could you use some calm?
If the answer is yes, you are not alone. According to one research program, anxiety-related issues are the number one mental health problem among women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. Stress-related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity. And use of sedative drugs like Xanax and Valium have skyrocketed in the last 15 years. Even students are feeling it. One psychologist reports that the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s. Chances are, you or someone you know seriously struggles with anxiety.
Max writes, “The news about our anxiety is enough to make us anxious.” He knows what it feels like to be overcome by the worries and fear of life, which is why he is dedicated to helping millions of readers take back control of their minds and, as a result, their lives.
Anxious for Nothing invites readers to delve into Philippians 4:6-7. After all, it is the most highlighted passage of any book on the planet, according to Amazon:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I don’t know for sure but I suspect that most adults struggle with anxiety to some extent. There are a lot of potential things to be stressed about in this world – some which can easily be dismissed logically, but many that are genuine concerns that probably will happen. Since this is a universal problem there are many Christian books out there on how to combat anxiety. When amazon vine offered me a book by Max Lucado I was happy to take it. I could use some help in this area of my life. I’ve read a few by this author. I know he has a solid, Biblical worldview.
I expected this to be an encouraging, somewhat lightweight, book that I could enjoy for a few hours, take a little bit out of, and pass along for someone else to enjoy. My first impression of the book did not sway me from this view. The main section is only about 150 pages long, with a good amount of pages blank (between chapters) or devoted to a single large quote. I hate that sort of thing in a book but, oh well, I didn’t pay for this anyway.
To my slight surprise, despite the blank or 3/4 empty pages, this is a substantial treatment on the subject. Yes, it is encouraging, full of anecdotes and easy to read but it contains practical steps on combatting anxiety. Based on Philippians 4: 4-8 the author patiently dissects a very powerful passage of scripture and shows you exactly what you need to do to derive maximum benefit from these verses.
I normally don’t think much one way or the other when it comes to the use of acronyms when it comes to teaching (I can’t remember a single one to be honest) but Max uses the acronym CALM as a teaching tool to show how to apply these verses.
C – Celebrate God’s Goodness – “Rejoice in the Lord Always”
A – Ask God For Help – “Let your requests be made known to God”
L – Leave Your Concerns With Him – “With Thanksgiving”
M – Meditate On Good Things – “Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise”
He breaks down each verse into understandable concepts that work in real life. I believe I will actually use this acronym to remind myself of the principles here. This is not a heavy theological book. These are simple real-life-applicable instructions for anyone who is willing to apply it. Medicine for a universal ailment. If you take the medicine you will see results. If you acknowledge the truth of the medicine but don’t take it you will not see results. If you take a lower dosage, less often you will see lesser results. Surprisingly I have underlined many of the passages in this book that I plan to read over and over. I hope to get this type of thinking into my daily life until it becomes unconscious. Very much like the Gospel, this book will be of great benefit to anyone who simply receives it.
Some personal thoughts before I go:
One particular passage moved me greatly: “The benefit of being a great sinner is dependence upon a great grace. I found a forgiveness that is too deep to be plumbed, too high to be summited. I have never been more or less saved than the moment I was first saved. Not one bad deed has deducted from my salvation. No good deed, if there are any, has enhanced it. My salvation has nothing to do with my work and everything to do with the finished work of Christ on the cross.”
This is absolute truth. If you are a believer you should know one thing: God will never be angry with you again. He swore that in Isaiah 54, which comes after you believe in what happened in Isaiah 53. God has a Covenant of Peace with you that will never, ever be removed. When we get that deep down in our souls most of our anxiety will effortlessly evaporate.
With more than 130 million products in print, Max Lucado is America’s bestselling inspirational author. He serves the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy.
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