by Julia Bruce
CEO & Keynote speaker
God knows our anxieties
What creates anxieties in your life? What keeps you up at night or makes you afraid? Your first answer might be 2020. It seems that between COVID, racial issues, police brutality (by a few!), the crime and murder rate, and even the elections can all be valid reasons for plenty of anxieties in our lives. But what do we do with those anxieties?
The Bible has a lot to say about anxiety, but the word itself may not be found all that often. In the English Standard Version, it is used 8 times. In the New International Version, it is found 7 times. The King James Version does not use the word at all. Synonyms like trouble, heaviness, distress, and cares are used in its place. In Psalm 139:23-24, the HCSB uses the word “concerns.”
Under your anxieties, do you find Solid Rock or sinking sand
The problems in our world today, remind me of the old hymn lyrics written by Edward Mote around 1834:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When we stand on the things that make us anxious, we’re standing on sinking sand. But when we are standing on the solid Rock that is Jesus, then regardless of what goes on around us, we have a steadfast hope that will keep us from falling into the sinking sand of sin and doubt.
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, Jesus says we should not experience anxieties over the cares of this life. Since our Heavenly Father knows our every need and He cares about each one of them, we have no need to worry about even the basic necessities of life, like food and clothing. How do we know He does cares about even the little things in our lives? If God takes care of simple things like grass, flowers, and birds, won’t He also care for people who He created in His image? Rather than worry over things we cannot control, we should “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you” (verse 33). Putting God first is a cure for anxiety. Where are your feet planted? On the solid Rock or sinking sand?
When sin is the cause of anxiety
Many times, the anxiety we feel is a result of sin in our life and the only way to deal with the concern is deal with the sin. Psalm 32:1-5 says that the person whose sin is forgiven is blessed, and the heavy weight of guilt is taken away when sins are confessed.
Maybe your anxiety comes from a a broken relationship. 1 Corinthians 13:11 tells us to make peace with others.
Fear of the unknown in 2020 is a true cause for concern and anxiety. But in Psalm 68:20, we learn we can turn it over to the One who knows everything and is in control of it all.
Perhaps there is an overwhelming issue in your life that leaves you feeing like your out in a small boat on storm tossed waves in the dark of night. When the disciples became distressed in a storm, Jesus first rebuked their lack of faith, then rebuked the wind and the waves (Matthew 8:23-27). As long as we are with Jesus, there is nothing to fear. Will Jesus say to you “O ye of little faith”?
Do not be anxious about anything
We can count God to provide for our needs, protect us from evil, guide us, and keep our souls secure for eternity. We may not be able to prevent anxious thoughts from entering our minds, but we can practice the right response. Philippians 4:6-7 instructs us to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Today’s Revival Prayer
Father, we come before you now, casting our every care on you, knowing that you care about even the smallest details of our lives. Because you work all things out for our good, we do not have to be anxious about anything. So we bring our concerns and anxieties to you now, asking you – the God that is bigger than any problem – to work on our behalf so that you are glorified in this problem that gives us concern. We thank you and praise your for your presence that gives us strength, your love that never ends, your provision that sees to our needs, your protection from evil, and for keeping our souls safe in your for all eternity. Helps us to seek you first in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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