Be Anxious — For Nothing

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

How are you doing at not being anxious? Are your conversations characterized by a spirit of peace and faith and trust? Are you hopeful and positive and grateful for the good things that are going on around you? Do your friends and family and associates feel comforted by what you say? This is convicting for me to write and convicting for me to answer honestly . . .

I am terribly concerned for my country and, in truth, when I look around the world, it seems there is a global lack of leadership and hope and maturity. There are a LOT of problems and dangers! Stupidity and immaturity and selfishness have become the celebrated traits of many in the media and in entertainment and in the political arena. Evil is everywhere and seems to be running more and more freely; sometimes even disguised as religion.

So, do we join the chorus of doom and gloom, or do we reign in our anxiety and make a decision to think differently? The Bible doesn't simply say to stop being anxious. It says to turn our focus from our anxiety to our trust. In whom do we trust? Do we trust God? Do we believe that He is alive and well? Are His promises void or out of date? Does He understand the dangers of our exposure to cyber attacks? Does He understand the horrific numbers of rapes and murders and human trafficking around the world? Does He understand the problems of war and immigration? Does He know how bad mankind can be?

God knows! He knows! He not only knows the heart of man, He knows your heart. He knows your fears and concerns. He knows your longings and hopes. He knows you and loves you. His intentions for you are for good. His intentions are for us to grow into maturity and grace and peace. His intention is for us to have intimate fellowship with Him. His intention is for us to live at peace with Him and with our fellow man . . .

I have been awake since 2:30 this morning. I woke up and began to be anxious about a number of things. One of the things on my mind was a desire to send out one of these "Thoughts from Stan". I have delayed writing these last few months because each time I begin to write, it gets too heavy and negative because of the great burden I feel for our society. I get very sad about the world that I see developing around us . . . This morning I had to admit that I am anxious. I am sad and confused and angry and fearful.

But I am also happy and grateful and hopeful. I am filled with wonder at God's creative genius and the beauty of the human mind and body. I am staggered by the beauty of a sunset and a spring storm. I marvel that God made it possible for every person on the planet to be in intimate relationship with Him.

So this morning I determined to communicate with my loving Father through prayer and praise and petition with a grateful heart. I changed my focus from what is wrong to what is right. I changed my focus from my emptiness and fear to His fullness and power. Will God solve those problems that I am so concerned about? I don't know. But I do know that He has a much better shot at solving them than I do, and maybe He would even use me to be a tiny part of His solutions . . . That is worth waking up early for!