Peace in a World of Anxiety – July 31, 2020

Anxiety is a major problem today. It is estimated that 20% of adults suffer from some form of neurotic anxiety. Why do we struggle so much with this issue? I often wonder if it is not an issue of control. We fear things we cannot control. We fear harm, the future, the and the present. Anxious thoughts keep us up at night, dominate our thinking through the day, and can even have harmful physical affects. The more we try not to think about those things, the more we do. Over the past six months, it seems as though these anxious thoughts have increased. Is our job safe? Will our kids go to school? How will we pay our bills? What will happen in our country? Will we get sick? What kind of place will our kids grow up in?

How can we overcome this anxiety? Modern psychology seeks to treat this anxiety with medication. They correctly understand that if you feel nothing you will not feel anxiety. But then you will not feel anything. What if there is a better way? Scripture contains everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). As a result, it contains an answer for us in this as well. The cure for anxiety is found in two glorious passages. The first passage is Hebrews 12:1-3. In this text we are given instruction so that, “We will not grow weary or faint in our minds” (v. 3). When life overwhelms us, God has given us an answer. In the first two verses of Hebrews 12 we are told to lay aside every weight (the things that steal our attention and affection from God even though they may not be sinful) and every sin. Instead we are to focus on Jesus. We are to focus on His person, His cross work, and His position as sovereign ruler of all things. In other words, we need to develop a proper view of God. We are reminded that He created it all, He sustains it all, He redeemed us, and He sovereignly reigns. While our circumstances may be out of our control, they are never out of God’s control.

This then leads to the second passage: Philippians 4:6-7.  In this text, Paul instructs us not to be anxious about anything. Instead we are to take these burdens to God. We are to do this through prayer (taking the requests to God and sharing our burden with him) and supplication (coming in such a way as to acknowledge that we are completely dependent on Him). There is a glorious promise if we do this. God will keep our hearts and minds. He will protect us. He will care for us. He will not let us go. And the result is peace. When you are anxious, adjust your focus from this world to God, and take your requests to Him. We have a God who is completely sovereign and unendingly loving. Don’t look to social media; look to God. You can find peace.