Anxiety and the Faithfulness of God
October 21, 2020 / Joshua Sercey
As we wade into our discussion on mental health and God’s character, we address one of the most common topics: anxiety.
If we’re honest, Jesus said some bizarre things about anxiety. In his teachings, Jesus offers hope for how to calm anxiety, but it comes through what might feel like an odd method. What if we looked to God’s character as an antidote for our anxiety and fears? Let’s consider how the faithfulness of God can settle our hearts and minds and give us peace.
- Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
- John Webster: “Anxiety is the dark shadow of the uniquely human capacity to hope.”
- Anxiety is dress-rehearsing the unfaithfulness of God. Anxiety functionally says something false about God – that he is unaware, inattentive, or unable.
- Without God’s kingdom, anxiety makes perfect sense. But if there is a new kingdom, we can have rest, and we can trust that this is a world in which we can encounter a faithful God.
- Overcoming anxiety is more than just acknowledging that you don’t have control. It’s about cultivating a settled heart that no longer clings to control.