Having an affliction is not a sin, it is a cross.  Paul was given a thorn in his flesh, so that He could know sufficiency of God’s grace.  I believe we all have our thorns, and anxiety is one of them.  Interesting to note, Christ had thorns in his flesh too, crowning his head.  I wonder if Paul was alluding to that when he penned this passage.

Since we are not God, and we cannot see or know the heart of another, it is uncharitable at best to pile on a heavy burden on top of the cross they already bear by taking God’s job in judgment.  We are called to bear one another’s burdens, not add to them!  Be a Barnabus, not like one of Job’s friends!  Speak words of encouragement, not pessimistic judgment.  Help a struggling brother, don’t add to his misery.

I love this quote by C.S. Lewis.  As a Christian, because you are part of the body of Christ, if you struggle with anxiety (or panic disorders, or depression), you are being given an opportunity to share in the passion of Christ.  He gives you this cross because He loves you and lives through you.  Your pain can do one of two things, depending on how you appropriate it; it can drive you away from the Lord in bitterness or discouragement, or it can envelop you deeper into His heart, where you find that you live and move, reside and rest.

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