Where is the Peace?
"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything."
Fear and worry have become prevalent in our society. I meet so many people that are genuinely scared about their future and the future of our country. These are tough economic times. As a manager, I found myself spending much of my time everyday encouraging subordinates, peers, and on occasion, even superiors that we were going to make it through this difficult time. Working for the government was not the gravy train that many people in the private sector imagine. There is tremendous anxiety every year over budget cuts.
"Are they going to cut our salaries?"
"Are they going to eliminate jobs?"
"How much are they going to raise the cost of our benefits?"
For those in supervision and management, the concerns are even bigger.
"How can we get the job done if we don't have enough people?"
"How do I motivate employees when we have not had a raise in five years?"
Of course, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC are not helping. I don't think I have ever heard a news anchor point out that we have survived tough times before and we will survive again. The media's job is not to try and encourage their audience. They are trying to keep them scared.
Fear equals ratings.
Fear keeps people from thinking clearly.
Worry is like an octopus that wraps its tentacles around our minds.
As a pastor, it is not that different. We have many opportunities to remind people that everything is going to be ok. God has a plan for our lives and he wants us to trust him. Even during this crazy election season in America, Christians need to remember that God is bigger than either candidate or political party. Sure, we need to get involved and understand the issues that America is facing. At the same time, let's not let fear have control of our thoughts.
The Apostle Paul's advice here is profound. Go to prayer instead of going to worry. Go to faith instead of going to fear. I know that these are scary times. If we can develop the habit of going to prayer first, though, Paul promises us that God's peace will guard our hearts and minds.
Experiencing God's peace does not mean that our problems disappear. His peace does allow us to think clearly. God really does have a plan for our lives and He wants us to learn to trust Him. Faith and peace are two powerful forces. They help us to stay focused no matter what our circumstances look like.
Do you ever struggle with fear and/or worry? How do you combat them?
Annie and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders, helping plant churches, and laying a foundation for future growth. We would love to have you on our team. Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!