Anxiety, fear, and the peace of God

Anxiety, fear, and the peace of God

Random question: Do you ever feel your life resembles an ant trying to cross the N2 in peak time traffic? Obstacles abound. Everything is too fast, too large, too loud, too demanding, too dangerous. You feel small and vulnerable in response; crushed by the whirl of life, your greatest efforts seem futile. So you think, you imagine, you hide, you avoid, you ruminate, you regurgitate.

 

Identifying our specific fears

Anxiety is a close relative of fear; it’s our way of trying to control our own domain to mitigate the fears, but fear is an understandable human response to an unpredictable and unstable world. Have you ever thought about which specific fears drive your anxiety? Do your fears relate to your personal safety? To passing your exams? To coping with a traumatic event in your past? What are these for you?

 

A compassionate shepherd

Jesus said to his followers “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Why did he call them ‘little flock’? Can you picture him saying this? Slow down and meditate on the kindness of Christ. Imagine his heart of compassion as the good shepherd who stays close to his sheep; guiding, protecting, feeding and carrying. He is the reason they don’t need to fear.

 

A certain future

But there’s more. The culmination of all of history is God’s kingdom. We see it now but as a shadow of what it will be. Jesus tells his followers that this kingdom is theirs, and the Father gives it abundantly and joyously. Our Heavenly Father holds nothing back. If the Father is giving his greatest with delight, why do the followers worry about smaller daily provision?

 

Speaking to Your Saviour

Your generous good shepherd is near. In your anxiety cry out to him; speak to Him about your specific fears; ask for His perspective on them; search His words until you find it. Speak honestly to other sheep, cry out to Him together. Relinquish control, replace it with active faith “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

 


Thanks for reading this post! There are various stresses to being a student in 2018. Over the month of May 2018, we are producing a weekly blog post that will consider different topics relating to our spiritual journey and our mental health. These posts, written by qualified local counsellors, can be read ahead of our mid-week Life Groups where we will have the opportunity to discuss and pray in our small communities. This is a great way of encouraging each other to continue following God through our studies. Watch out for these topics covered over the first 5 weeks of our blog:
Week 1&2: Anxiety
Week 3: Depression
Week 4&5: Lamenting