That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.–2 Thessalonians 2:2
Our World in Data estimates that 284 million people worldwide have an anxiety disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 19.1% of Americans had an anxiety disorder in the past year. A recent article in a Christian news periodical raised concerns over the spiked increase of anxiety disorder since our country has been in shelter in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul carefully and compassionately addresses believers who were soon shaken in mind and troubled. Let us see God’s help for a troubled mind.
We See the Source
Paul was addressing his friends at the church at Thessalonica. He described their situation as being soon shaken in mind and troubled. There was the problem of persecution. Persecution is when you are threatened, attacked, and spitefully pressured by those who oppose you. The believers took a bold stand for their faith, but the intensity and nonstop assaults took a toll on their spiritual and mental well-being. There was the problem of personal paranoia. Paranoia is defined as a troubled mind. They were fearful of harm. They were fearful of loss. They were fearful of danger. Their fears overtook them, and they were much shaken. Paul had not been away from them very long, but his physical absence resulted in them being soon shaken in mind.
We See the Sickness
When we are afflicted by fear, our faith and trust in God is little. Praying becomes difficult. Trusting God feels impossible. We withdraw from other people. Sleeping becomes difficult, and we have insomnia. We lose our appetite and do not eat well. We show in our faces that we are anxious. Anxiety disorders can be a stronghold of the mind and spirit that enslaves us. When this stronghold sets in, it is difficult for us to concentrate. Our minds wander. We tend to think in the negative. We expect the worst to happen instead of the best. Our nights are long and mornings difficult. Be careful of anxiety disorders becoming a stronghold and making you captive to their power.
We See the Solution
First, bring every thought captive to the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for an extended season until you know that the burden is lifted and the stronghold is released. Second, have faith in the fact that God is in control. Remember, you are a child of God and have overcome this world. “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Third, see the future in its brightness: Jesus is coming soon! Don’t let the soon coming of Christ overtake you as a thief in the night. Be steadfast in doctrine, duty, and devotion. Rearrange your daily schedule to serve others. Commit to a Bible study with a spiritually mature person whom your pastor can recommend to help you learn God’s Word. Fourth, there is good hope through grace in our Lord. Dwell in God’s love and comfort for your life so that this settles your heart and mind in the Lord. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:15–17.
If you have been soon shaken in mind and troubled, there is help from our Lord. Jesus is a nail in a sure place for your faith and trust. Come to God for His good hope through grace for your mind and spirit.