Have You Been Feeling Anxious Lately?
Almost everyone we know today has experienced some form of anxiety and worry. To be human is to suffer, to some extent.
We worry about relationships, money, what people think think about us and our lifestyle, how our bodies look and our appearance, and of course health.
These problems are not without consequences, with anxiety producing symptoms of emotional disorders, such as depression, lack of sleep and confusion to then even more serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, digestive problems, and autoimmune diseases.
The sad reality is that we as a society are literally worrying ourselves to death. For Christians our insecurities have a way of following us into church. In the famous sermon on the mount, Jesus understanding that this is a human problem for all time, identifies our sources of anxiety and suggests some strategies for coping with worry in our everyday lives.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:31-34)
Thankfully, we can look the Bible for answers to current issues – the topic of anxiety is no different.
1. It is a Matter of Perspective
All of us can see the world, through a temporary perspective, or through the eternal perspective.
“And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-16, 19-21)
Jesus says do not be anxious about this life, because it is foolish, and he provides the example of the rich fool who was very anxious about this life. He was so worried about this temporsy life, but he gave no thought to the next life, his eternal life.
His perspective was terrible. So it is for us, when we worry, we are demonstrating that we have the wrong perspective, because we are too focused on this life that will end.
Similiary to the rich fool, by worrying we are saying:
What shall I do about my food, clothing, body? My love life, world events, wars, and my future? Jesus is telling us not to be like this, because worrying does not help the situation in the slightest. Your greatest hope is in heavenly things, and not earthly things which will perish. Compared to eternity, this life is but a breath from a coffee cup, gone just as soon as it appears.
2. Worrying is Pointless
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26)
According to the CDC, in the United States the average lifespan is 79 as of 2018: 77 for men and 81 for women. 79 years is 692,040 hours, that makes it so that one hour is 0.000001 percent of our lives. Jesus says we can’t even make our lives that tiny amount longer by worrying. Not only does worry not add to our lifespans, but it subtracts from it.
In Psalm 39, David tried to comprehend how brief life is saying:
“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” (Psalms 39:5-7 NLT)
What you experience today, will not last forever, good times will come. Baptist Minister Alexander McLaren once said: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Worrying makes us less effective servants of God, it steals our joy and leaves us empty. How much time and energy are we committing to something that does not fix our situation?
So what is the biblical answer to anxiety? It’s to look up to heaven, remember your future.
All of us experience worry, we can’t escape it, but we can stop it from taking hold of us, let us remember what the Apostle Paul said and apply the same principle to our lives and witness God heal our worries and anxities:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
If anyone could have been anxious about life, it is the Apostle Paul. He was jailed numerous times, beaten, whipped, shipwrecked, betrayed. Yet he finished his life well.
To live is Christ, to die is gain. We are in the world, but we are not of it. If we trust in Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven, and we are a new creation, destined for a heavenly kingdom, that will be full of joy for all eternity.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” (Romans 8:18-19)
If you’d like to simply view other Bible verses that are related to anxiety, feel free to check some out here: Bible Verses On Anxiety
Do you think the Bible adequetly covered the topic of Anxiety?
Do you think we have the tools in front of us from the Bible to undertand and handle fear and anxiety?
Let us know below.