Lesson 2: Anxiety
On Sunday, she worries about what she’ll wear to work tomorrow. On Monday, he’s anxious about tomorrow’s evaluation. On Tuesday, she wonders how in the world she’ll make it in time for Prayer Meeting. Wednesday he’s afraid he won’t meet his Friday deadline. Thursday finds her in a frenzy as she stresses over Friday’s parent-teacher conference. Friday brings relief and maybe there won’t be any worries come Sabbath, but then there’s Mission Spotlight and a dish for potluck to prepare . . .What happens when a designated day of rest is even infiltrated by anxiety?
While it may be one of the silliest emotions Christians experience, anxiety creeps in and builds its nest all too frequently in our lives. While the Bible clearly tells us not to be afraid, even fear seems a little more reasonable than anxiety. The difference between anxiety and fear is that anxiety typically is triggered by future-upcoming negative events. So there’s still the very likely possibility that things won’t go the way we anticipate them too.
Thursday’s lesson organizes the basis for the average anxious person’s anxiety this way:
50% = events that will never happen
25% = pasts occurrences that cannot be changed
10% = unconfirmed criticism
10% = health (much of it apprehensive)
5% = real problems that will be faced
When 95% of the problem tends to stem from things which either don’t exist or simply are beyond our control, it makes no sense to embrace the health risk anxiety brings. Our text this week suggests, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
God never intended for us to spend all this time anxious about what He already knows will work together for His good. This week’s lesson helped bring me back to a point of focusing on His promises to find peace. To be anxious about tomorrow is essentially a slap in God’s face, because it’s a clear manifestation of our lack of faith in His ability to hold the whole world in His hands.
Join God’s Matthew 6:34 campaign, and accept the validity of His promises to take care of tomorrow. If you find yourself struggling with the premature emotion of anxiety, ask yourself:
1. Do I really believe God can handle my issues?
2. When was the last time I was anxious? How did things work out?
3. What positive ways can I reinvest the time I’m spending worrying?