Are you feeling more unsettled these days? Remember these recent headlines?
Arizona Rep Giffords Shot and Six Killed in Tucson Mall
Deadliest Tornado in US History Hits Joplin, Missouri
Thousands Celebrate Overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt
9.1 Earthquake and Tsunami Devastate Eastern Japan
US Employment Rate Reaches New High
Hurricane Irene Strikes East Coast
Stocks Nosedive After US Credit Rating Downgrade
These are just a few of the major news stories we’ve been confronted with over the first eight months of 2011. No matter how major and tragic an event has been, it was soon overshadowed by yet another catastrophe. With our heads swimming with images of calamity, and our hearts trying to grapple with one worry after another, it’s been easy to feel “maxed out” on tragedy overload.
As I look back, it seems that major events of “bad news” seem to be increasing in both magnitude and frequency. Trying to process and respond to them is becoming more difficult, and many of us are left feeling overwhelmed and anxious. We find ourselves wondering, “What’s next?”
Recent statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) indicate that we are having increasing difficulty handling our anxiety. Feeling occasional low levels of anxiety is normal, but excessive anxiety that is chronic, difficult to control, and interferes with day-to-day living is an anxiety disorder. NIMH data reveals that anxiety disorder is the most commonly diagnosed mental illness in the US today. Currently 18% or nearly 1 in 5 Americans is suffering with anxiety disorder and the numbers are rising. Those 30 to 44 years old are the most anxious age group.
How can we cope effectively with one distress after another? How can we stay in control when it seems that the world around us is going out of control? God knows that the cares of life can become overwhelming, and the Bible gives us this advice: “Give all your anxiety and worries to God, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
God does not want us to be care-full, but to be care-free. Care is another term for anxiety. It is defined as a burdened state of mind due to worry, having a disquieted state of mixed uncertainty and apprehension, and having mental suffering and grief. God doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed and suffering with constant worry. He wants us to trust Him and be anxiety free.
Jesus told us in Matthew 6:31-33: “
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For people run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Make the decision today to be care-free by trusting God as your provider. Let Him be “careful” for you and love you as He longs to do!
Please come and join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM. Our guest speaker, Mark Stibbe, will discuss our sonship in God in his sermon, “Ministering From a Place of Rest.”