My dictionary defines anxiety as “the state of being uneasy, apprehensive, or worried about what may happen; concern about a possible future event.” Perhaps that summarizes your attitude toward 2009.
Numerous Americans have expressed their delight that 2008, with all of its trauma and economic chaos, is now history. The advent of a new year inclines many to hope that things will get better. For some, the election of a new President portends positive change; for others, the Obama victory is cause for alarm.
Politics aside, we all understand that there is the potential for greater chaos. Some observers predict total economic collapse. We have been warned that another terrorist strike is not unlikely, as a means of testing the meddle of the new administration. The looming threat of an EMP attack is considered by strategic experts to be a likely means by which our enemies may try to bring America to her knees. Such a threat involves the relatively low-tech procedure of exploding a nuclear device in the atmosphere, thereby disabling the nation’s electronic grid and the computer-controlled systems that keep the infrastructure functioning. Thereafter, long-term chaos would ensue.
In reality, there is no end of things to worry about. But for one who takes the Bible seriously, there is a better way. At least thirteen times in the New Testament we are instructed to trust the Lord in all circumstances, rather than give in to anxiety or fear. A person is overwhelmed by worry when he distrusts God or is unwilling to be content with His providence. Either response is sinful because it dishonors God and His character.
Prudence certainly demands taking precautions to deal with potential adversities. Meanwhile, our souls should be filled with a peace that comes from an implicit trust in God’s control. The Bible urges us, “Be anxious for nothing.” Instead, “[Cast] all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you.”