Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27
Is it just me? This scripture sort of knock me upside the head and says “wait a minute, what are you doing? Is this really helping you? This call to reality moment by Jesus rights my rocking anxiety ship every time. When I read this one verse, slowly but surely I find my self re-calibrating and centering myself back to the main source of comfort and peace in my life.
Unfortunately, our human nature constantly invites us to revert to a incapacitating state of mind where we neglect the goodness of God and his unwavering promises to us. We are constantly tempted to ignore the sovereign nature of God and hopelessly cling to our own ability to solve our problems instead of taking them first to the only one who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all our human expectations.
The case has been made recently that people are becoming increasingly stressed over life’s situations. Worrying and stress leads to a large majority of the illnesses that we are faced with today. One study claims that up to 77% of persons regularly experience physical symptoms of stress and up to 48% say stress negatively impacts their daily life. (http://www.statisticbrain.com/stress-statistics/). Stress is no joke, one way or another we are all eventually impacted by stressful situations.
Dr Tim Keller discusses the idea of managing your expectations when you feel anxious. He opines that our difficulties come as a result of what we hold as expected outcomes and when these do not materialize we encounter anxiety. His suggestion is not to lower expectations but be realistic about them.
He discusses that as believers we should expect that there will be difficult circumstances in our lives. The enemy will come against us but our joy is in knowing that ultimately God is in control and worrying has no benefit.
Regardless of your difficult life situations, you can have a joy that is unspeakable because of your trust in God. This is a lesson that takes time to learn because in our moments of difficulties it is so easy to sink into despair instead of holding on to God.
When I re-calibrate and return to my senses, I focus instead on promises such as those taught in Psalms 46 1-3.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Placing our unwavering trust in God almighty and clinging to the hope that no matter the trajectory of our situations, he is capable of turning it into our favor. He is indeed the master of our journey and he has our best interest in mind, so we can rely on his goodness and mercies to carry us through.We have the ultimate weapon in prayer and petition with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6) and accepting the peace that comes with this trust that we place in God.