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. Matthew 6:31-32
Listen: Matthew 6
It is New Year’s Day! 2017 is gone with all its good and bad. 2018 is brand new before us with all its hopes and fears. It seems appropriate to conclude our series, Finding Peace in a Culture of Anxiety, at the start of a new year when anxiety over the year ahead can consume us.
One way we can attempt to deal with fear and anxiety is to make resolutions. If we worry about too much weight, we resolve to exercise more and eat healthier. If we fear our family is fragmenting, we resolve to spend more time together. If we are anxious about the current political climate, we resolve to consume less news and talk radio.
But what if removing fear and anxiety is not so much dependent on the resolutions we make, but on what God says about who we are? What if real peace is about who we are in Christ?
Pastor of Youth Ministries Aaron Buer taught us this past weekend that what we believe about our value and status goes a long way towards living a life of peace. In fact, our value and status were two of the topics that Jesus addressed in what is called the Sermon on the Mount (found in Matthew 5-7). We’ll discuss more details this week, but we should know that God values us significantly and is ready to meet all of our needs. It is less about our circumstances (as challenging as they can be) and more about who God is and what he does. Truly understanding this allows “good movement to push out bad.”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Late last week we asked you to begin thinking about a spiritual practice (some call them “spiritual disciplines”) you can do in 2018 that will help you “seek first his [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness.” Today is the day to begin! This might be reading through the Bible (or just the New Testament) in a year, committing to an additional amount of Chair Time or finally joining a small group as you move out of isolation into community with other Jesus followers. Whatever it is—take the first step towards becoming more like Jesus and experiencing a life with less fear and anxiety.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.