This time of year brings a lot of extra stress. Exams are happening for many people, results both relieving and disappointing are released, holidays are being planned, people are gearing up for Christmas, we mentally prepare ourselves for spending time with family, planning how to navigate the political discussions that are bound to come up around the table without starting another feud, weather may be becoming extremely cold or extremely hot and affecting the functionality of normal life– it’s no wonder the number of mental health and suicide hotline calls increase so drastically at the end of the year. In a society so dialled in to everything going on, it can just be an overwhelming amount of bad news. With so many unknowns floating in the air, it can feel like we are floundering. There are a lot of outside factors that might prompt us to feel anxious. I know I’ve been feeling it recently, waiting for my exam results to be released, applying to dozens of Christmas casual positions hoping for a call or email back, feeling at a loss with what to do with myself during the break before I go back to Uni.
Where is God in all of this uncertainty? What is going on when we ask for his help but seem to get no relief and no answer? Does he not care about our suffering?
I tell you, He has given us an answer to our prayers, we just aren’t looking in the right place. The answer is repeatedly blared from the pages of the Bible: Do not be anxious. Trust in God. He will provide. He has a plan. This is our primary way of hearing from God – His Word. Of course He has power to change our lives in a physical sense so that things run smoothly, but it is more powerful and ultimately more helpful for Him to transform our hearts. We must learn to rely on Him for comfort and peace in times of anxiousness. The Spirit of God is not a Spirit of fear, but one of hope.
Philippians 4:6-7 ~ 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.
Matthew 6:25-34 ~ Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans 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. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Scripture tells us not to be anxious about ANYTHING! Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will wear. Your Father loves you, you are His precious child. He will provide for you in the best ways possible. He has already made the ultimate sacrifice for your salvation, it is in no way beyond him to provide you with everything else you need.
I hope that whatever worries you may be tempted to feel, you can hand over to God and trust him to take care of you. Do not be anxious, instead pray and give thanks.