It seems like every half day there’s a bit of news that changes what the future feels like it’s going to be. I thought we’d take a little bit of a break from the Survival Guide series that I’ve been doing, but today I thought we would just focus a little bit on something that I’ve been wrestling with, which is trying to keep the anxiety and worry down in the midst of the constant barrage of news and updates and the ground moving out from under us.
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We are living in unprecedented times. Things may be terrifying and uncertain and we can become incredibly anxious, but we can find refuge in the Word of God.
This year I’ve committed myself to memorizing and meditating on the Sermon on the Mount. I’m at chapter six right now and right in the middle of it, Jesus starts a passage on worry and anxiety that is so appropriate for what we are going through today.
One of the reasons for people’s anxiety right now is the economy tanking. It reveals that our hope was set in these treasures that we stored up. Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” (Matthew 6:21)
If all your hope has been in your financial plan, your heart must be a mess right now. The more you spend time working to acquire treasure in heaven – investing in people, investing the Kingdom of God, that treasure has its eternal reward.
Jesus says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” (Matthew 6:22-23)
Right now, we are bombarded with information about the pandemic. If you read or watch the news and reports over and over throughout the day, you are investing in anxiety and worry. Instead, set a time and check the news then. Go about the rest of your day. What you’re watching and listening to will feed your soul.
Jesus says do not be anxious about your life. He preached it to severely persecuted and oppressed people in occupied Rome and he tells it to us now.
Jesus gives us several reasons why we should not worry:
- Do not be anxious about food or clothing because your life is more than food and your body is more than clothing. Your life is more than your mortgage and your car payment. It might be hard and unideal, but we will make it through.
- Look at the birds that God has provision for. If God provides for the birds, He is going to take care of you.
- Worrying does not extend your life. As a matter of fact, worry shortens your life. In fact, worry robs you of your life right now.
- God clothes flowers in beauty and splendor. In the same way God will provide for you. You are of more value to God than a weed or flower.
- The people that don’t know God spend their time worrying about these things.
- Instead of being anxious, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
- “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” (Matthew 6:34) Most of the time that we are crushed by anxiety does not usually have to do with the present, but with worries about tomorrow and the day after that. But if you think about whether God has provided for today, the answer is always yes.
- There is going to be trouble today. When you realize that you can’t do it all, you aren’t just saved by the gospel, but sustained by the gospel. Our troubles in our daily lives should drive us back to Jesus.
Now that many of us may have much more time on our hands, maybe it is a good time to start memorizing Jesus’ words on anxiety.
During this time, drive yourself back to God’s word, ask for grace for today, and seek to be a blessing to God and to those around you instead of giving in to worry, fear and anxiety. We’re going to get through this.