“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ” —Philippians 4:6-7 (TPT).
Anxiety is part of life. Those of us find anxiety an occasional confederate. The Bible does not tell us that believers will have no anxieties. Instead, the Bible tells us how to fight anxiety when it strikes. For example, 1 Peter 5:7 (ESV) says, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” It does not say, you will never feel any anxieties. It says, when you have them, cast them on God. The Coronavirus has reminded us anew that we have to learn how to react to stressful circumstances.
The Bible is full of characters who were anxious and that felt unworthy to do what God was asking them to do. Elijah was discouraged and afraid, Jonah wanted to run away, Jon suffered through great loss, Moses felt inadequate, and David was often troubled to name a few. Gideon was a man who knew something about anxiety because he lived when Israel was being oppressed by the Midianites as a result of their rebellion against God. Conditions had become so desperate that Gideon was threshing grain in a winepress so the enemy wouldn’t think to steal it. (Joshua 6:11) It was at this low point in his life that the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. I imagine that request made him a little anxious. He didn’t see himself as a great warrior and felt totally inadequate for the task. He suggested the reasons why he was not the one to deliver Israel. But the Lord again responded by saying, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” (Judges 6:16)
Like Gideon, we too can think of a thousand things to worry about instead of remembering God’s past faithfulness and the certainty of His future promises. Maneuvering through anxiety is easier when we know God, believe His Word, and trust Him completely; anxiety is outweighed by His peace.
Ultimately, your hope in dark times depends on Jesus. He’s holding onto you even when it feels like you’re free-falling. You may be in the dark, but your Savior is walking right beside you. He knows what it’s like to be overwhelmed by grief and swallowed by bleakness. You may become anxious and feel like your grip is slipping, but you have nothing to worry about. His grip will never fail you.
- What does living one day at a time mean to you?
- How can we trust God one day at a time on a practical level?