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Anxiety can call us to take refuge in God when we face trouble

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25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 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? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 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? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

You know the feeling – the same thoughts keep you spinning round. You feel like a frenzied juggler as problems and fears swirl around in your head. You feel afraid, preoccupied and obsessed, and if for one moment you loose focus, everything might come undone. Well, you have plenty of company because anxiety affects everyone – no one escapes. David Powlison says, “Anxiety is a God-given capacity for knowing that something bad is going on in your world – either past, present or the future.”

We don’t have to view anxiety as negative. Anxiety simply reveals what’s in our hearts. When we find ourselves as the Psalmist describes, “rising up early, going to bed late, and eating the bread of anxious toil,” we are likely viewing our workload as completely on our shoulders. Other times, we might be believing it’s up to us to provide, to look good or to win people over as Jesus alludes in the Sermon on the Mount. Anxious thoughts often reveal a misdirected belief and a lack of trust.

In today’s passage, Jesus instructs us, “do not be anxious.” It’s our tendency to throw up our arms and respond, “Jesus, it’s not that easy to stop.” But, let’s slow down and listen again as Jesus tenderly offers us hope in these four words, “do not be anxious.” It’s as if he whispers, “you can trust me.”

Anxiety doesn’t have to control us. God gives us a way out. When used as a diagnosis tool – a check engine light – anxiety can call us to take refuge in God when we face trouble. Instead of attempting to numb it, we can learn how to harness and channel our anxious thoughts in constructive ways. We can cast our cares on him for he cares for us (Psalm 55:22). We can take his gentle yoke in exchange for our heavy one (Matthew 11:29). Today, make a list the things you’re anxious about and confess what God reveals to you about what you’re truly believing.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Yvonne Biel 

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