Need Some Light: Anxiety

If we really pay attention, we can sense the darkness of anxiety trying to have dominion in our daily lives.  We wrestle anxiety in our minds and our emotions; anxiety affects our faith.  Jacob testified to that “wrestling” thing!  “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Gen. 32:24).   Anxiety is a thief; it robs us of our strength.  Why do we give anxiety any power in our lives?  This lesson about Jacob reveals his reasons for anxiety; the power of loneliness, past sin and guilt, judgment, and fear of the unknown.

Loneliness keeps us isolated and makes it much easier to develop or even intensify self-pity.  We are to be confident in Christ and remain in a community of loving believers.  Don’t let yourself remain lonely; get into a fellowship where others can love and appreciate you.  They will help guard your peace.

Guilt will bring anxiety.  Poor Jacob never forgot what he did to his brother, Esau, whom he was to love.  He robbed him; mistreated him.  Therefore, he saw everything else in the light of his own guilt.  When you and I are guilty of sinning against another by not following the love instruction from God, we set ourselves up to think everyone is going to treat us like we treated others; we fear exposure.  Take the initiative and expose your sin to the Savior and receive forgiveness.  As well, if you have not walked in the love of Christ with someone whom God gave you to love, tell them you are sorry.  God will restore your peace.

The threat of judgment will cause us to have anxiety.  When Jacob heard that Esau was coming towards him with four hundred men, he knew he deserved whatever judgment came for his grievous actions against his brother.   He would be overpowered.  When you and I live right before God, we do not have to fear the judgment of others.  We need to trust that God forgives us and will soften the hearts of those whom we have mistreated. We cannot live in the fear of the past.  Choose to stay in peace.

The unknown is a tough place and can cause great anxiety in most people.  It is a time for faith.  Jacob wrestled all night, because he worried about what would happen in the morning.  You and I should not fear the past or the future; we should pray instead and leave it with God.  Our focus must be to learn from the past, make the decisions that make for a healthy present (today), and know that is our part.  Trust and guard your peace.

Jacob wrestled with the angel; a picture of persistent faith. The future is in the hands of Hope–Jesus.  Put your confidence in Christ and allow His peace to guard your thoughts and ways.  Allow me to share some words from Charles Albert Tindley;

If the world from you withhold

Of its silver and gold,

And you have to get along with meager fare,

Just remember, in His Word,

How He feeds the little bird–

Take your burden to the Lord

And leave it there.

If your body suffers pain

And your health you can’t regain,

And your soul is almost sinking in despair,

Jesus knows the pain you feel,

He can save and He can heal–

Take your burden to the Lord

And leave it there.

When your enemies assail

And your heart begins to fail,

Don’t forget that God in heaven answers prayer;

He will make a way for you

And will lead you safely through;

Take your burden to the Lord

And leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone

And old age is stealing on,

And your body bends beneath the weight of care,

He will never leave you then,

He’ll go with you to the end–

Take your burden to the Lord

And leave it there.

Today’s reading:  Genesis 32:24-30