Not being anxious is a mighty big order in the world we face each day. I will confess that recently I have not watched news programs or read the newspaper except to find out the weather forecast. All of the chaos and evil happening around us drives me to just want to bury my head in the sand.
I know, some of you are shaking your heads, saying that I need to be realistic and need to know what is going on. But, when the sights and sounds of these news stories causes me to fear or become depressed, I naturally avoid it.
And, can I admit something else to you? I also realize that all of the things happening in the world are clear signs to the end of times. Now, I know where I'm going. I'll be going to Heaven to be with my Savior. Don't get me wrong, that will be wondrous. But, I must confess that I want more time to accomplish the tasks I feel God has gifted me to do. This makes for a whole messy conflict of emotions inside.
This conflict is enough to pull me down and make me ineffective. However, as always, the Spirit leads me to a scripture that encourages and enlightens me. Let me share it with you in case you experience similar feelings.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
These verses tell us what we should focus upon so we can rejoice in every situation and get rid of anxiety. We must learn to not focus upon the evil but focus on the truth and what is good.
Did you catch the promises God makes to us?
The Lord is near. Thus, we have no reason to fear because He is bigger than any situation. He will be with us through the valleys and hard times (Psalm 23 reiterates that).
The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. This verse explains that we will experience a peace that we will not understand. However, God has promised this peace that can put our hearts and minds at rest.
God's prescription for the anxiety over what I see happening in the world is not to dwell on those things. I should seek to think on the things of God. As to the things that cause me distress, I should pray and petition God about them but continue in an attitude of thanksgiving and rejoicing, not fear and trembling.
Do you find yourself being sucked into an anxiety brought on by the evil happenings in the world? Read and meditate on the verses above and see if you gain comfort from a Lord Who is near and promises peace. And, rejoice in a God who has everything under control and our best interest at His very heart.