Handling Anxiety and Unrest

Pastor Byron McGee Cornerstone Baptist ChurchThis article was originally published in the Wilmington News Journal.

As of the writing of this article, we were days away from voting for the next President of the United States of America. COVID-19 is once again on the rise. The threat of shutting down looms on the horizon as we see what is happening in Europe and other parts of the world.

COVID fear as well as anxiety over political and social unrest has brought a toll on many, even those within the faith and believers in Christ.

One such event that caused anxiety was when I was on a flight from Dallas back to Dayton. The flight was uneventful until we were about to make our approach to Dayton. Part of the landing gear indicator light was showing that it had not come down for landing.

We were at 30,000 feet and descending. I could sense and see the worry on my fellow passengers’ faces. In my mind, I imagined a hard landing, sliding across the runway and hopeful that the plane stayed intact and not bursting into flames.

Some have said, “Why worry when you can pray?” That is what I did.

I prayed for the gear to come down and/or the indicator light to come back on. I put on my coat, prayed, and waited. The Lord was gracious. The pilot came back and told us that the light came back on, and all was well.

Now, fast forward to the year 2020. It has brought a whole new set of anxieties and a fear of COVID-19, political and social unrest, school, home, and yes, even church anxiety.

The good news is that there is a word from God on how to handle anxiety and fear.

Proverbs 12:25 — “Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.”

A word of encouragement even in the midst of anxiety or fear can lift up the spirit of any of us. If you and I choose to spend our time with the negative news cycle and listen to the news regardless of the source, it can and probably has weighed us down. But imagine what encouragement can do to our spirits.

Proverbs 29:25 — “The fear of mankind is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected.”

When we as believers know the Lord will and can protect us. It is just a matter of trusting Him. Now, I know some have been presumptuous about this trust when dealing with COVID-19 and even church gatherings. Does not the Lord give us common sense to do the right thing and allow Him to take care of the rest? Yes, He can protect us but let’s not push beyond what even He would expect us to do, i.e. wearing a mask, social distancing, and limiting our time exposing ourselves and others.

Matt. 6:25-34 — We are told not to worry about life, what we will eat, drink, or wear. Why? Just consider the birds who do not worry about such things as planting, gathering, and storing because they know our heavenly Father will take care of them. They rest in him, and so should we.

1 Peter 5:7 — “Casting all your cares on Him, because He cares about you.”

Our anxiety and fear are more about us than it is about the Lord. Part of us may know He can protect us and take care of us, but there is some sliver of doubt.

I believe His word is true and that he stands by all He has said otherwise. He would cease to be God and all who believe should know that the Lord always fulfills his promises.

Do not allow yourself to be in a state of tension, worry, nervousness, and fear. Simply trust Him, trust Him, trust Him. Everything will work out according to his plan.

Remember history is His-story. Trust in Him who is the author and finisher of our faith.

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