Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32 / Luke 12:35-59 / Psalm 43:1-5
Did you know that more Americans struggle with anxiety than with any other emotional disorder? 40 million adults, 18 percent of the U.S. population are overwhelmed by anxiety on a daily basis. In reality, 40 percent of the things we worry about never happen. 30 percent of our worries concern the past that we cannot change. 12 percent of our worries are about our health that declines the more we worry. 10 percent of our worries are over insignificant things that don’t make much of a difference in our lives one way or another. That means only 8 percent of our worries are actually over legitimate troubles.
There was a lot going on in David’s soul as he faced the oppression of man and the absence of God. He cried to God for deliverance and understanding. Finally, he spoke to himself, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)
Despondency gripped David’s heart while he waited for God’s redemption. David’s soul felt torn and dejected but instead of consoling and pacifying his soul, he preached to it! He turned his focus from anxiousness to the Peace Maker. David refused to give in to his anxiousness and calls himself to “hope in God.” Faith is not preoccupied with the visible but “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
God doesn’t change or always lessen life’s trials but he does change us! Delay will cause us to react in fear yet God’s lingered response is designed to bring a divine change in us! The circumstances of David’s life did not alter drastically but his attitude changed dramatically. Even though he was wallowing in uncertainty, he commanded his soul to hope and praise a faithful God.
We can be guilty of allowing the trials and troubles of life to create havoc in our souls, play with our mind and rob us of joy. Our “hope” is in a God who has proven Himself to be powerful and faithful! The arm of God is not too short and he is not slack in His promises. When God shines His light upon our lives, He brings revelation to the dark upheaval of our souls. Even when we, “pass through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…for you are with me!” (Psalm 23:4)
A huge tree that stood for over 400 years, weathered thousands of storms, struck by lightening 14 different times, was reduced to ruins. An army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. Age did not weaken it, winds could not topple it, lightening did not split it but a small beetle destroyed it. So many people survive the great storms of life only to be defeated by the small worries of life. We face legitimate concerns and difficulties in life but they pale in comparison to the greatness of our God. The next time your anxiety is inflated to a “bigger than life” scenario…deflate it with the presence and power of a “bigger than life” God!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!