Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Abandon Anxious Worry

“Cast all your anxiety on God, because he cares for you.”
— 1 Peter 5:7 (NRSV)
Some doctors got together once and analysed their patients’ medical and health fears. They determined that 40% of them worried of things that simply never happened. 30% worried about past events outside their control. 12% were unduly anxious about their health; though their only illness seemed to be a swollen imagination. 10% were concerned for family members. Only 8% of these doctors’ cases were treatable conditions—of course, we all believe we fit into the 8%!
We often worry more than we need to.
And God knows we worry, but we are reminded by Jesus (Matthew 6:25-34) that we need not be worried about things of the past or the future, what clothes we will wear, or what food we will eat or drink; because God provides. The apostle Paul tells the Philippians, also, to cast their burdens toward God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving. When we do this, being obedient in prayer, God comes to us to alleviate our anxiety.
Promoting God Above the Anxiety
When we worry we have placed the worry above faith, and even above the place God has in our lives. The worry becomes a source of idolatry. The worry has replaced acts of faith; the installation of thought that has us worshipping God in praise and thankfulness, despite our fears.
Upon worry our task is to promote God above the anxiety.
There is no better adviser than Jesus: he tells us in Matthew 6:33 that, the way through anxiousness is to keep putting God—his kingdom and his righteousness—first. Despite the worry and the temerity of our doubt we are to cast our fears upon the One who can help; the One that cares for us.
When we promote God above the anxiety, we place things in their correct pecking order. God is above all things. Our worries and concerns, though they are real, are fleeting and transitory, as well as small in the true scale of things. Even the huge issues of life—cancer, loss of loved ones, job losses, relationship breakdowns, etc—are relatively small compared to matters of eternal life. Because we care at a human level we often engage in skewed sight for what things actually mean. God is quickly demoted in our view of things.
But we are wise when we understand the way through anxiousness is to keep putting God first; to cast upon him all our worries and concerns, because he is the only one who can help—who cares.
***
The way through anxiousness is to keep putting God first. Faith in God helps us one moment at a time. This is the way we get through. Our faith and confidence build. And in our faith, God is glorified.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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