Stress, fear, worry. Sound familiar? In a world that seems to be causing chaos it would be safe to assume that these things are just part of life. As someone who struggles with both anxiety and depression these emotions can often be taken to extreme levels. When depressed you simply don't care about anything; when anxious the opposite is true, you care about everything. As I look towards the new year and the significant changes that lie ahead, I am finding that my anxiety levels are soaring. Even the events in our world today can cause us to get worried and fear for the safety of ourselves and family.
This morning however, as I spent time with God in my quiet time I was reminded of a wonderful promise of God that puts everything back into focus. Psalm 37 reminds us "not to fret because of those who are evil..." (Ps 37:1) and to commit our ways to the Lord (v5). The reality is that as we travel on this journey called life there are many things that are simply out of our control. The behaviours and attitudes of others are beyond our control, the actions of others are also out of our control. What we do have control over however, is our attitude towards everything that happens in our world. I heard it once said that life is 20% what happens to you and 80% your attitude toward it.
In Psalm 37 the writer reminds us all that we do not have control over the events in our world but what we do have control over is how we respond. God calls us to continue to trust in Him (despite what goes on around us) and to take delight in Him (v4).
As the end draws near and our world continues to decay it can be very easy to be distracted by the things that go on around us. Friends this distraction is nothing more than a demonic strategy. As our enemy draws our attention to the circumstance in our world and in our lives he knows that our eyes will be drawn away from Truth and Hope. He knows that if he can get us to focus on all that is wrong with our world he can steal our joy and peace. The Psalmist writes: "For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land." (Ps 37:9) What a great promise of a certain hope that lies before us. As we enter into this Christmas season and prepare for the year ahead I want to encourage you to continually look to Jesus and celebrate the Hope, Peace and Joy that can come only from Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.