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Monday, September 7, 2009

Why Are We So Anxious?

We clap our hands and shout praises to the Lord when everything is going fine. We  proclaim His goodness when there is goodness all around. But let the goodness stop; let our world get turned upside down and we will abandon our peace and become anxious. That is never God's plan.

Jesus promised us that there would be tribulation is this world. He never said that He would remove all tribulation. He didn't say that He would lessen it. He said that He was the One who had overcome the world. Unfortunately, that makes little sense to us when we are in the midst of a trial. We want relief; not strength or a cheery attitude. We want to have all pressures removed from us.

I suppose this is the allure of the lottery. People believe that those who have an insane amount of money have no problems. Of course, just looking at rich people will tell you that this isn't true. They have their tribulations too, albeit that most of their problems seem to be self inflicted. 

Jesus told us that God knows every anxiety that we have. He knows what we need. He told us that our responsibility is not anxiety but seeking God and His kingdom. The fact that we are anxious should press us toward seeking God. Anxiety certainly isn't getting us anything!

Anxiety fades as we seek God's kingdom and His righteousness. The way this world actually works becomes clearer as we seek God's kingdom. This world tells us that it is up to God. God's kingdom is one in which He is sovereign. Nothing and no one is disobedient. The forces of nature will obey His will. The actions of the unrighteous will accomplish His will. Every knee bows and every tongue confesses to the Ruler of God's kingdom.

We seek that kingdom in our lives with His righteousness to give us admission to it. We see that He is not only able to deliver us that there was no moment when things got out of control. There was no time in which God said that He would not take care of us.

We can go through the greatest tribulation knowing that it has a purpose. We trust in God for that purpose. He brings cosmos out of the chaos. He brings peace that passes all understanding to wipe out the anxiety.

We should not be anxious. However we resemble the Israelites who left what they knew in Egypt to go to a Promised Land which they did not know by way of a wilderness that they did not know. Would the God who sacrificed His Son really bring us to destruction? 

So, the answer to anxiety is found in our focus. We focus on His kingdom and His righteousness and we give up our anxiety. We focus on our problems and we increase our anxiety. The first action produces His supply to get us through the tribulation. The second produces ulcers, gray hair and short tempers. 

Maybe the question isn't why are we so anxious but why are we anxious at all? What good ever comes out of anxiety? However, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and God will take care of your needs. The choice should be easy. Unfortunately, the practice is not.

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