How to deal with anxiety

Six truths for when things feel overwhelming
By Helen Thorne
The Good Book Company. 112 pages. £4.99
ISBN 978 1 784 986 261

What a timely book and what a well-equipped person to write it! We are indeed in an incredibly anxious world and I am grateful to God for Helen Thorne’s many years of service, particularly towards those who are distressed, afraid and worried.

Her latest book consists of two parts which both deal with our daily lived struggles with anxiety – first outwardly (reality, the messages of the world around us) and then inwardly (mentally, the lies we believe). The first part looks at the origin of anxiety, a Biblical framework for thinking about it, as well as covering the real physical effects of anxiety and practical strategies for dealing with those effects – like basic breathing techniques. Part Two deals with our internal heart struggles by going through a range of possible scenarios, painting them vividly and taking them seriously.

At first, when I saw the contents, I thought it looked uneven – Part Two with more sections than Part One. However, I soon realised that Helen knows what she is doing. Our internal struggles are where the most fierce battle and serious damage is found. Throughout the book there is a twin pulse of realism – sharp case studies that bring awareness of the daily anxiety that everybody can face, showing that nobody is totally exempt from this battle, we cannot escape it completely in this sinful world – and deep Biblical encouragement – the great truth that almighty God is with us, we are not alone, He has plans which are located ahead of the problems, He cares for us.

Initially I wondered whether such important topics could really be dealt with adequately in a relatively short book, but I found, after reading over just the first few pages, there is a tremendous depth and detail. It is practical and Biblical whilst short and intense. Most wonderfully, Helen helps us plug ourselves into the reality of the power of Scripture which leads us to focus on Jesus who is our perfect peace and hope. Ultimately, it helps the reader to see how we could become more mentally and spiritually stable and free by journeying with Jesus through an anxious world.

I hope that it can be published in many countries.

David Kim

David Kim, Far East Asian Ministries, London City Mission