Anxiety and Fear

Michael Pawelke | Feb 24, 2014

How did you sleep last night? Was there a lot on your mind? Were you worried about something or someone? Jesus understood the anxieties and fears that we carry and he sought to change our thinking from fear to faith, from anxiety to trust, and from feeling abandoned to feeling accepted and cared for. In Matthew 6, Jesus taught:

"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”
(Matthew 6:25-34, ESV).

God is not described as a distant impersonal abstraction; rather he is called “Father”. The use of this image is intentional, because the picture of a father should stir in us an image of engagement and love. God cares enough to be involved. If we were to think of the antithesis of love we might suggest anger or hostility. However, anger and love can actually co-exist. They are both real emotions and qualities that we can experience simultaneously. The real antithesis of love is indifference and apathy. When someone can witness human tragedy and be completely apathetic, they are reflecting the sad erosion of what it means to be a human being made in the image of God. On the other hand, God does care – always. He is concerned, and this concern leads to active involvement in our lives.

The God of the Bible does care and he wants us to know that he cares. His book is a love letter devoted to communicating this message and his care for us is real and evidenced every day. Amidst our disappointments, we need to observe the expressions of grace and kindness that come from the hand and heart of God. Rest in this truth today.

Partnering together,
Michael