"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" - Phil 4:6-7 (NIV)
Anxiety has been described as "a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear." It is one of life's inescapable condition. Every life goes through some worry or fear, depending on events in one's lives.
A student about to sit a final exam may feel anxious, depending on how prepared. If you are setting out for journey on a dangerous road known for highway robbery there is reason to be anxious.
One of the most common cause for anxiety is money. Why? Because everyone responsible needs it to meet certain needs to maintain life. One may consider his cash position and feel anxious how he will get through. Our health can also be a cause for anxiety. If you notice an irritating swelling you may be anxious and filled with fear that this is a growing tumour. Parents are often anxious about their children in many areas such as school performance to whom there are seeing.
Truth be told there is no life that ever goes without having moments of anxiety. The problem though is when anxiety takes over our lives and stills us to imagine there is no way out. We become all restless and jittery with worry. Some people go through that phase when they are gripped with total fear, that they can even lose hope in life.
Jesus was much aware of anxiety coming into our lives and how it can paralyse us into a dark valley. Once he told the disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Mathew 6:25). He then gave an illustration of birds: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they (vv 26). And to drum the point further home, Jesus asks, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to life?" (vv 27).
Indeed. Who will deny having wasted so much precious time fretting over things which turned out that all the worry was for nothing!
One of the most effective strategy in managing anxiety is by surrendering whatever is stressing us to God. 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." It is a rich assurance we have, that whatever might be troubling us, God cares. In sum, we are all well advised, "Therefore do not worry about tommorow, for tommorow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Mat 6:24).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today as your word says, I cast upon you all my worries that make me anxious at time, for you care for me and are in absolute control of my life.
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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” – ( Joshua 1:9).
Moses has been described by some as the reluctant leader. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and he was given the task to finally lead the Israelis out of bondage in Egypt, he protested. “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” ( Exodus 3: 11). Knowing how the script played out we can be kind to him and say that his reluctance was based on a premonition how difficult the job that awaited him would turn out.
Once he set out, as a leader, it was constantly dragging a restless people, quick to find him at fault, and frustrate his job. When once he delayed up on the mountain, while seeking the face of God, the crowd was quick to throw him out. “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him” ( Exodus 32:1).
Aware of the challenges he faced, when the time came for Moses to pass on the baton to his successor, Joshua, he knew that that most important gift he could pass on to him was encouragement. “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” ( Exodus 31:7-8).
It has been said that it is lonely being at the top. When God gives us leaders, let us never hesitate to remember them in our prayers, especially where theirs is a special job of leading a restless people on to higher knowledge and experience of God.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I remember all the leaders you have chosen to lead your people to a deeper knowledge of you, that you refresh them with your abundant Holy spirit to be encouraged and remain steadfast, this I pray in Jesus’ name!