Summary: The strongest foothold that the enemy can use to ensnare and bind a person is made up of the three-fold cord of worry, depression, and stress.
These three emotions are the most effective weapons used by the enemy to immobilize and disarm the Born-Again Christian in every area of their life.
Worry is an emotional response that triggers a physiological reaction. It has many the same symptoms like fear, but it is a feeling that lingers long after the stress has lifted and the threat has passed. It can be a valuable tool for focusing the mind when a deadline is looming, but it becomes a problem when it persists too long beyond the immediate threat.
Excessive worry leads to anxiety. Anxiety Disorder is the most common mental illness in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is considered to be the primary cause of Attention Deficit Disorders in Children. Anxiety disorders affect more than 10% of the population in the U.S. It is second only to alcohol and drug abuse.
Anxiety can be distinguished from fear in several ways. When a person is afraid, their fear is usually directed towards some concrete, external object or situation. The event that they fear is within the bounds of possibility. They might fear not meeting a deadline, failing an exam, being unable to pay their bills, or being rejected by someone they want to please.
On the other hand, when a person experiences anxiety, they often can't specify what it is they are anxious about. The focus of anxiety is more internal than external. It tends to be a response to a vague, distant, or even unseen danger. They might be anxious about losing control of themselves or some situation, or they might feel vague anxiety about something terrible happening.
Anxiety affects one's whole being. It is a physiological, behavioral, and psychological reaction all at once. On a physiological level, anxiety may include bodily reactions, such as rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, nausea, dry mouth, or sweating. On a behavioral level, it can sabotage a person's ability to act, express themselves, or deal with certain everyday situations.
Psychologically, anxiety is a subjective state of apprehension and uneasiness. Its most extreme form can cause a person to feel detached from themselves and even fearful of dying or going crazy.
Constant worry and anxiety can lead to depression, which is the state of feeling sad, discouraged, and hopeless. It is often the result of a person not getting what they want, the way they want it, and when they want it. It can show up as irritability, anger, and discouragement. It can even lead to thoughts of suicide.
Depression can be very difficult to recognize and is often masked behind problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, troubled relationships, excessive work hours, poor grades at school, difficulty in thinking and concentration. Researchers know that adults who suffer from depression were often very anxious as children.
Medical science has created drugs to deal with the problems associated with worry, anxiety, and depression. The tens of millions prescribe antidepressants, such as the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Paxil®, Zoloft®, Prozac®, Lovan®, Luvox® etc.) and tranquilizers (Valium® Librium® and Ativan®, etc.). These anti-depressant drugs contain Mercury and Chlorine as their primary ingredients. Mercury is connected to Alzheimer's. Exercising three times a week is eight times more effective, and a sugar pill is 20 times more effective than these anti-depressants. In addition, some of these drugs are highly addictive, and the more often they are taken, the more often a person needs them to get the same effect. They can even cause an increase in the very problems they are designed to help.
Worry and depression all ultimately emanate from stress. Emotional stress is a choice. People choose not to let circumstances or situations affect them negatively, whether driving in traffic, paying the bills, taking a test, preparing for a visit from relatives, dealing with unruly people, or dealing with their children. Stress is most often an external stimulus that signals danger by causing pain both emotionally and physically.
"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." (Isa 12:2 NIV)
One of the greatest truths of Christianity is God's promise to always be with the Born-Again Christian in every situation and circumstance of life. This is one truth that is known, yet somehow is hard to believe truly!
In a Harris Poll for the American Psychiatric Association, it was discovered that 81% of women say they manage stress extremely or somewhat well. Yet, in actuality, 82% of the women polled experience physical symptoms of stress!
Most people experience stress daily from the everyday pressures of meeting deadlines, driving to work, being a parent, or just making ends meet. However, there are those events that can overwhelm even the strongest of people. Long-term pressures can result in chronic stress that can take a toll on the body, triggering the premature aging of immune system cells.