“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.”
An anxious mind is often preoccupied with the future. The day-to-day doldrums often feel overshadowed and overlooked due to the insecurity and instability of not knowing what tomorrow, or even the next hour, holds. All of the calamity and disaster that could befall us, all the scenarios where things could go wrong, all the failure that could happen…
You can see how, in the time it takes to think just a few thoughts, the mind can spiral into abject anxiety. But the key word in all that thinking is “could”. Yes, all of those things could happen. But conversely, we must agree all those things may not happen, and in all probability, will not happen. Really, at its core, anxiety is a fancy word for fear.
And consider the source of those fearful thoughts.
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
We read in 1 John 4:8 that God is love. And 1 John 4:18 says there is no fear in love and fear causes torment. And 2 Timothy 1:7 says that we are not created with a spirit of fear. Surely, God cannot be the source nor cause of our anxiousness.
Where then must these thoughts be originating? It must be Satan. Ephesians 6:16 says that we take up the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. And 2 Corinthians 10:5 says that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. So, then, what are those fiery darts? Thoughts. They are thoughts of torment, thoughts of tearing down faith, thoughts of tumultuousness. As Christians, we must cast down those thoughts. We must resist that fear.
The truth is that not knowing the outcomes of our tomorrow can be a fearful thing. But this is why we run into Christ. In a world of unknowns, He is the constant. He is the only thing we can know, will never fail, will never falter, will always be safe. The stability and surety He provides is the salve that soothes the wound of anxiety. The anxious person must take the fear of not knowing the possibilities of tomorrow and begin to trust what the Holy Ghost wrote through Paul in Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
God is faithful. And knowing that His mercy endures forever (Psalms 136), and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), we must come into agreement that what happens tomorrow will be for our ultimate good, regardless of our perception of the circumstances. For example, let’s say a Christian fears that by going outside tomorrow they will be mugged by a masked assailant. We know that the source of that fear is Satan. And we must reject it. We fear God, not Satan (Matthew 10:28).
The Christian must also trust that, even if that situation does happen, God is working that situation for their good. Perhaps, God uses that moment for the Christian to tell the mugger that Jesus died on the cross for his sins and wants to forgive him. Could you imagine telling that testimony to your brothers and sisters in Christ? “I was afraid to even go outside, but God used me to lead a thief to salvation!” Glory to God! So rather than fear, we should be bold in our walk with Jesus.
"6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The phrase “Be careful for nothing” seems somewhat out of place in a book filled with admonishments and instructions on how to behave. But that word, careful, really means fearful, worryful, or anxious. Christians are instructed to work against anxiety through prayer, through supplication, through thanksgiving. And the fruit of that will be peace.
What a most comforting thought.