Flip the Switch

Why is it that no matter how we have seen God provide for us in the past, we never seem to fully learn that lesson? Anxiety, worry, and doubt seem to be default positions of the switches in our souls. Not only does our personal experience bear this out to be true, but Scripture would seem to confirm it. How quickly did the Israelites turn from trust in God to anxiety after they were so miraculously rescued from Egypt? How quickly did Peter start to sink after he got out of the boat to come to Christ on the water? Even after Jesus rose from the dead and spent time with His disciples—who He told He would be killed and then rise again—even after that we read in Matthew 28:17 that “some doubted!” There is a reason that the most oft given command in Scripture is “do not be afraid.”

Let me share a few things I have been learning from times when anxiety, worry, and doubt come.

First, I have been learning to recognize that when I start to worry, doubt, or be anxious, I am expecting more from myself than I should, and less from God than I should. These times help me to see how I have allowed pride and fear to mix into my daily walk. I believe God uses these times to benefit me both negatively and positively. Negatively they benefit me because they reveal the reality of where I am, they show me just how far I can pull myself off God’s path. Positively, they also show me where God’s path is and that I can get back on it, because Christ has never let go of me, and is both willing and able to guide me back.

Second, as a Christian, I have been learning the power of prayer and the power of God’s Word to toggle the switch in my soul from anxiety, worry, and doubt to faith, trust, and hope. When I think about what God has done for me and for any and all of His people, I can’t help but be encouraged. He is always faithful. He has never left a promise un-kept. When I have wondered why God took me one way rather than another, most times I understand it when I am on the other side. I am free to take control of the switches from my “old sinful nature” and toggle them to match my “new nature” in Christ.

Jesus tells me to flip the switch saying,

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.—Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV)

And so does the Apostle Peter,

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.—1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Third, I have been learning that there is no such place as “deep enough” with God. He always wants us to, as C.S. Lewis put it in The Chronicles of Narnia, “go further in.” So when you have mastered anxiety on one level, you are soon finding yourself learning it all over again on a new deeper level.

Thanks for letting me share….I feel better already!


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