Anxiety Series Part 2 of 13

How I became free of Anxiety Series By Brian​​ Kerkhoff - Part​​ 2 of 13

Learning to trust God and do what's right. ​​ Choosing God, not anxiety.

One day I watched a Joyce Meyer show on​​ TV. ​​ In this​​ sermon​​ she said she could boil down all she had learned into “trust God and do what is right”. ​​ During​​ her speaking she challenged the audience to take an honest look at their personal level of trust​​ with​​ God. ​​ I felt motivated to​​ honestly​​ evaluate my trust level with my God, my Father in Heaven. ​​ To do this I​​ started paying attention to how I tried to solve​​ the​​ problems I faced. I was surprised to find mostly I tried to solve the problems by​​ MY self. ​​ In the situations I experienced failure and reached the end of what I could figure out​​ then I would beg God for help in the crisis. ​​ Not really knowing if help was coming or if I was on my own. ​​ Thinking of the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 I could see my way of tackling problems was leaning on (trusting) my own understanding and relying on what had worked or seemed to work in the past, and/or what seemed to be working for other people. ​​ This put a lot of pressure on me to know more than I could possibly know. ​​ Quite often I was frustrated and stuck with problems I had no real answers to, or my solutions simply did not work. ​​ In Psalm 37:3 in the first part of the verse it​​ says,​​ “Trust in the Lord, and do good”. ​​ When I heard Joyce Meyer speaking I didn’t know at the time about Psalm 37:3. I was surprised to find her statement agreed with​​ this verse in​​ Psalms.


Isaiah 26:3-4​​ (NIV)

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because​​ they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. ​​​​ (Emphasis mine)


Trust definition: ​​ Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.

​​ I had to decide​​ whether​​ to trust God. ​​ Was I determined​​ to work through all the areas of my life where I had mistrust or suspicion with my God.​​ ​​ Especially those areas where I believed I was on my own with no help. ​​ I found I must become willing to root out any false view of God, any accusation against his character that I harbored in my heart. ​​ I learned it was up to me to “discover and relinquish” should I have built a case against God over the course of my life somehow bringing his character or ways into question. ​​ See the story of Job and his accusation against God. ​​ Read the book​​ The Story of Job​​ by Jesse Penn Lewis, this book was very helpful to me to understand my own case against God. ​​ I chose (in my will) to know his word, to believe what He says about Himself in the Bible. ​​ Even if this was contrary to what my​​ own interpretation of my​​ life experience was telling me. ​​ My view of God was something I had to resolve within me, or I certainly would find​​ myself relying​​ ​​ (trusting) in my own​​ "intellect"​​ and be​​ my own authority through the experiences of life. ​​ Deciding to​​ confidently​​ trust God was up to me, no one else​​ could decide this for me. ​​ However, sometimes I needed help when I ran into “I don’t know what to do, or how to think or​​ how to​​ feel” situations​​ Journaling/prayer/counsel/ministry became necessary to turn away from​​ deep rooted, distorted,​​ ways of viewing God that​​ I can't see clearly because of wounding I experienced at a young age. ​​ I blamed God for the hurt I experienced at the hands of people when in truth it was Satan working through​​ the free will of​​ those people to afflict me at a vulnerable age.

I had to learn to trust God in the storm. ​​ Of course, life flowing along wonderfully versus being caught in a storm presented a very different challenge to my wholehearted trust of​​ my Father in heaven. ​​ The most enlightening circumstances for the revealing of my actual trust level​​ were​​ the situations in life that presented potential scary scenarios and upset​​ feelings. ​​​​ I found I needed an answer to the question “where were you God when I was suffering?”

Learning to trust God, I​​ think, was​​ the very important second step in moving away from anxiety. ​​ In my experience turning away from anxiety​​ by​​ working through my trust issues with my Heavenly Father was the last step I did. ​​ In hindsight I wish​​ trusting God​​ had been at the beginning of the process rather than late in the process of​​ becoming free​​ of anxiety. ​​ Sort of like building a house and going back later to put a foundation under it. ​​ I see now being skittish of God hindered me in all the rest of the process and I tended to rely on human advice and wisdom instead of just experiencing the peace that comes from confidence in God as I turned from anxiousness​​ and negativity​​ to God. ​​​​ I​​ learned​​ to invite God into my life at the outset of situations, not​​ waiting until​​ after everything had blown up. ​​ I​​ learned​​ to believe HE is with me and​​ cares about​​ my life, my story, my troubles​​ and will be my redeemer, my defender,​​ my provider. ​​ I had difficulty believing​​ HE is an​​ ever-present​​ help in trouble? ​​ (Psalm 46:1) ​​​​ The mistrust I had about God helping me were​​ clues​​ for me​​ for​​ what I needed​​ to journal1​​ about.

A favorite saying that I learned during this process was “Anxiety sees the problem, Faith sees God!” ​​ I could use this phrase as a pause button​​ while​​ reacting to life​​ to consciously choose​​ faith, not anxiety. ​​ When faced with perplexing, confusing or​​ “I don’t know what to do”​​ situations I can say this phrase to myself and choose to go forward in faith and confidence in my Father doing the best I know how and leaving the “I need to know everything” stress out of the present moment.

The journey to freedom took me a while. ​​ Trusting God's way over my way was difficult for me.​​ I received some immediate relief knowing there were steps I could take to unlearn anxiousness and learn peace. ​​ Studying​​ the Truth and​​ daring​​ to live in intimacy​​ (trust and confident expectation)​​ with God was the answer. ​​ I will elaborate in​​ my​​ testimony​​ series on each of the 13 areas I had to learn/change. ​​ We are not meant to travel the road to freedom alone. ​​ Invite the Holy Spirit to help with your anxiousness,​​ go​​ get ministry (be a seeker),​​ ask for​​ prayer, fellowship with other believers regularly and KNOW that God has a plan for your life​​ and that plan is a GOOD plan. ​​ Is Romans 8:28 true? ​​ Get into agreement with His work in your life and ask for help​​ when​​ you need it. ​​ LITS would love to walk with you on your journey to freedom, we have programs just for you. ​​ See our website​​

1If you are unfamiliar with the journaling process see the excerpt on "The Journal" on our website:

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