Anxiety in a World of Unknowns and Confusion

All of us may deal with feelings of anxiety occasionally, or maybe even on a regular basis.  This past week, there have been a significant number of people who have expressed increased anxiety.  The USA had an election with high passions on both sides.  The final results of the election may not be truly known at this point.  Even what is known may change, as it sounds like the courts will be involved as well as recounts in some areas.  

In addition to the election, the world is continuing to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.  It doesn’t seem to matter what people and the governments do or don’t do, it just keeps spreading.

How do we deal with the unknown?  Even more importantly, how do we trust God when everything around us appears to be contrary to what we think or expect He would be doing or allowing?

Our control

We like to think that we have control over life.  We get to make choices that will have an impact on our life.  So do other people, and their choices not only impact their life, but can also affect us.  In the end, we really have little control over much of our life.  

Take for example our finances.  We think we control how much money we earn, but that assumes that we get the right job at the salary we expect.  How do we get that job?  We obtain the needed education and experience – that we can control.  We also need to connect with the people that make the decisions to hire and determine pay structures.  In other words, we can prepare all we want, but if we don’t make the needed connections, we won’t have the job.

We can also prepare a budget and tell every dollar where it will go each month.  That works until the washing machine breaks, or the car needs an unexpected repair.  Prices of items may change from what we expected. Anybody else seeing food cost more this year?  Again, we can do some things to control our expenses and savings, but there are outside influences and events which remain out of our control.

Our ability to control the political decisions of our government is fairly minimal.  We certainly have no control over the weather or natural disasters.  We don’t even have the ability to control our family.  It seems like the things that we can’t control have the biggest impact on our life.  

Sovereignty of God

I’ve often had conversations with God about why He did this, allowed that, or didn’t do something.  Generally my “why” questions don’t get answered.  Why is that?  Well, He hasn’t told me, but I suppose it’s because He doesn’t see the benefit in explaining Himself to me.

The Lord doesn’t have to answer our questions or explain Himself.  He is sovereign.  However, we can know that He will not abandon us (Hebrews 13:5).  We also can know that He is good, even when we don’t understand, because that is a part of His character.  God is love (1 John 4:7-10) and therefore, He cannot be unloving.  He will never violate who He is, and that should give us comfort in the midst of this crazy world.

Not everything will be as we hope or expect.  God will even allow bad things to happen to good people.  This can create a lot of why questions that will, most likely, go unanswered.  How are we supposed to handle these things?

Trust through faith

Trust in the Lord.  We can trust Him in the midst of the unknown because of who He is.  You may be saying, “Mark, you don’t know what He has allowed in my life.”  I feel you and relate to experiencing hurts and hardships.  We all experience some level of difficulty, hurt, disappointment, or dissatisfaction as we live life.

He wants to walk through each and every one of those experiences with you.  His desire is to journey through everything side by side.  What an amazing, incomprehensible concept.  The creator of the universe wants to be with me, always!

How do we trust the Lord?  It is only possible through faith.  “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  How do we get this faith?  First, ask the Lord for it.  Then, as we journey with Him, we will be able to exercise the faith He gives.  In time, it will grow more and more, like a muscle that is used for heavier weights and bigger things. Maybe your faith will one day be bigger than you realize and you’ll trust Him beyond the limits.

Be anxious for nothing

Through faith in the Lord of lords, we will be able to live without anxiety.  There will still be hard things, and stuff that we don’t understand.  Not everything will be as we think it should.  However, we will be able to continue walking forward, side by side, with the Father who knows, understands, is good, and loves us.

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; 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 4:4-7 

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