Faith over Anxiety: A Blessing and A Witness
Today is my 50th Birthday. I am now the same age as my dad when he died. In the last week, I have thought a lot about dad and his short life. One thing about my dad was that he was loyal. I never doubted for a moment that he loved me. Now living with adult worries, I sometimes wish to go back and live as a child in my father's house. I never worried about money, food, or security. I slept at peace because I knew my dad was there.
As an adult, it is easy to become anxious about life. I was an overprotective father when my firstborn came home. I would stay up watching her to make sure she was ok. Finally, I had to admit to God that I could never do what only He could. I could not be there 100% of the time. I had to put my trust in the Lord. It was only at this point that I could sleep in peace because I knew my Heavenly Father was there.
Anxiety is like a drug for many people. In researching panic attacks, I learned that worry could even change the brain's chemistry. We have all known people who were unable to be happy. Anxiety is not a small problem. Proverbs 12:25 speaks of the cost of anxiety—"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down." Modern life presents us with an array of worrisome things. We must learn to trust in Jesus and let Him take the weight of our anxiety and worry.
Jesus addresses our anxiety in the Sermon on the Mount.
"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you, by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." - Matthew 6:26-34
If God cares for the sparrows and the lilies, will He not care for you? You must learn that faith is not just about your eternal salvation. You must trust God in every situation, and this trust is not a blind, unexamined trust. It is just the opposite. You see the dangers! You see the 1001 ways it can all go wrong, but you also see God is over it all. You see your God, and even though the forces of the devil, evil, and death are against you, you can sleep in peace because your Heavenly Father is there.
The Christian stands on the Solid Rock of our God, the God who has promised never to leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) This promise was the love that my dad reflected from our Heavenly Father. When anxiety rises in our hearts and minds, we face a choice. We can seek God through prayer and His Word, or we can give in to the worry. Look at the account of Daniel and the Lion's Den. How anxious might he have been in the den of hungry lions? But in Daniel 6, you see that it is better to be in the Lion's Den with God than in the King's Palace without Him.
Where is anxiety weighing you down? More importantly, where are you not turning from your anxiety to the Lord? The world is watching to see how we respond to the issues of life. We need to show the world that we live in the power and promise of our God. This witness is another reason why we need to protect our hearts and minds from anxiety. We live in a world of worry, and here is where we can be different from the world. We can put our trust in God. Our Faith has real benefits. Our Trust in God is a witness to the world of God's power and comfort given to His people. Our Trust in God gives us rest because we are confident that He is always there for us.