“Just don’t worry about it!” That instruction is not all that helpful to those who are anxious. Anxiety afflicts roughly half of Americans in some way. All humans tend to worry some of the time, some of us more than others. Life provides us with plenty of raw material to work with in our worrying, doesn’t it? Will my kids make good choices as they move in adulthood? Will that irritating health issue become chronic? How can I manage the care of that aging parent who is relying on me more? Perhaps the anxiety grows out of a deeper source, a real sense that you just don’t ‘have what it takes’ to meet life’s demands.
Our choices to cope with anxiety often involve a Band-Aid™ approach. Not finding a real or lasting solution for their anxious thoughts, many choose to cover the emotional wound that continues to fester.
Need to ‘wind down’ after the stress of the day? Have a drink, or two.
Feeling life is unmanageable? Escape into television’s world of fantasy for 3 or 4 hours in the evening.
Anger offers an illusion of control, turning some anxious people into very aggressive people.
Food soothes some, starkly evidenced by the general weight gain across our nation during the pandemic.
God offers us peace!
We must be careful not to turn Him into another of our Band-Aids. God-talk, plastering a “Bible Promise” over our fears, is not the path to true peace. Nor, am I suggesting that some level of religiosity will relieve us of anxious care! The peace that is the birthright of the child of God rests on the foundation of faith in His providential care.
God, the Holy Spirit, lives in us, and He helps us to choose faith over fear! Paul was a man who had plenty of reasons to be crippled by self-doubt and terrible anxiety. But, the record reveals that he remained strong and steady even as he endured multiple unbelievably difficult circumstances in his life. How? He tells us- “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT) He found, in God, an assurance that was greater than his problems.
As Christians, we can make the same choice.
We do not make the problems of life less; we magnify God more, making Him greater!
The peace that we find is not our own happiness, it is the work of the Spirit, the peace of God. I can truly identify with Jesus’ disciples who found themselves terrified in a boat, on the lake, in a storm in the middle of the night. They screamed at Jesus – “Don’t You care that we are about to die?” He woke up, stood up, calmed the storm and then asked them “Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?” (Mark 4:40, NLT) When life is stormy, when sleep eludes me at 2 am while I worry, I tend to question Him, too. But, I also know the amazing gift of peace that is found in honest prayer and faith that hands it all over to Him.
If we want to live in the peace that is God’s gift, we must be willing to enter into prayer, real communion with God consistently. It is not a simple thing to set aside the natural impulse to worry and work, trusting God to provide. From the dawn of time, the lie of the devil has been that God cannot be trusted, that our pain is evidence of His unwillingness or inability to care for us. So, we pray – for greater faith, for willingness to wait, for wisdom to reject the superficial ‘solutions’ and to live as children of the Heavenly Father.
Jesus, knowing the pervasiveness of anxiety, taught us of faith in the Father. Meditate on His words, our word from the Word today. Pray that these words will be living truth, an assurance that rests on God’s amazing love.
“I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes?
See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans (those who do not know God) run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34, NIV)
So, what about it? Will you turn to Him, pray for His peace, and obediently seek His rule in your life? Yes? Then, peace will come!
(Yes, He is a good God, the Almighty.
Find joy in this happy song today)
I can’t count the times
I’ve called Your name some broken night
And You showed up and patched me up
Like You do every time
I get amnesia I forget that You keep coming around
Yeah ain’t no way You’ll ever let me down
Good God Almighty
I hope You’ll find me
Praising Your Name no matter what comes
‘Cause I know where I’d be
Without Your mercy
So I keep praising Your name at the top of my lungs
Tell me is He good (He’s good)
Tell me is He God (He’s God)
He is Good God Almighty
You say Your love goes on forever
That Your mercy never stops
So why would I assume
You’d be somebody that You’re not
Like sun in the morning
I know You’re gonna be there every day
So what on earth could make me be afraid
Praise Him in the morning
Praise Him in the noon time
Praise Him when the sun goes down
Love Him in the morning
Love Him in the noon time
Love Him when the sun goes down
Jesus in the morning
Jesus in the noon time
Jesus when the sun goes down
Ben Glover | David Crowder | Jeff Sojka
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