Anxiety. The Webster dictionary defines it as a “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill;” “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.” Does any of that sound familiar?
As global economies continue to struggle and it seems we are greeted every day by news of more companies in trouble and people losing jobs, it is in these environments that anxiety becomes even more acute. These are challenging times for many and there are real fears and concerns that provoke thoughts and worry minds. The Christian is not immune from these events, fears, and concerns. If we are not careful, we could easily find ourselves overwhelmed by our individual circumstances. Instead of keeping our eyes on the God of our salvation, we focus instead on the “contrary winds” howling around us. To avoid such a situation, we hear the Psalmist cry out, “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer … when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me]. For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me” (Psalm 61:1-3, Amplified). When faced with life’s storms, a shelter and a refuge are exactly what we need. The good news is that we can find them both in God.
The disciples of Jesus faced their own anxious moments as He spoke to them about His departure (John 13:31-36). We find in His response words that should encourage the heart that is anxious over any circumstances: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (14:1). Things may not look too good, but don’t let your heart be troubled. Bad news everywhere, but let not your heart be troubled. The pattern is obvious. God is not limited by what the global economies are doing. He knows how to take care of His own and “those who trust in, lean on, and confidently hope in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides and stands fast forever” (Psalm 125:1, Amplified). British pastor Charles H. Spurgeon was right when he said, “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow–only today of its strength.” Today is as good a time as any to cast our cares and fears upon God and have Him calm our anxious hearts. Why not give it a try?