In a world full of instant access, binge watching, digital friendships, surface level conversation, and access to more information than EVER before at our fingertips, it's more common and more likely that you walk around ANXIOUS than EVER before. People are more anxious all the time.
It's just a fact of life. It's easy to be offended and set off because of a tweet. It's easy to get caught up in what's due and overdue with an email notification to remind you that you're terrible with money. Living at peace is almost an afterthought. When the majority of people wake up they check their likes to determine how they will feel for the remainder of the day. The dings your phone brings with the news of the day won't do much more than set you in a negative direction.
Yet, today, more than ever before it's vital that you and I be anxious. It's counterintuitive. It's upside down. But if you want to overcome the anxiety that wreaks havoc in your mind; the anxiety that weighs down your heart; the anxiety that pushes you to the brink of failure in your relationships; then you'll have to learn to be anxious.
The only way to overcome the anxiety of the world is to be anxious for something else. The anxiety I'm talking about is not medical. It's the anxiety that we bring on ourselves through comparison and through giving our minds to social media. It's the anxiety that pushes away from truth and towards what if.
Peter knew all about anxiety. He denied Jesus three times and was told he would do it BEFORE he did it. I'm sure he walked around anxious before he denied AND after he denied. But Peter writes something that is astounding to me.
He says, "2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols."
The only way to remove anxiety from your mind and your heart is to replace it with something else. Peter's argument is to replace your anxiety of "godless" things and place your anxiety in God. BE ANXIOUS to do the will of God.
Wake up in the morning anxious to spend time with God rather than read the comments on Facebook. Set a notification to be reminded of God's Word on your phone instead of being reminded of the status of politics. Be anxious to do good at work instead of being anxious about your boss approving of your work.
Much of the anxiety we face in our society is simply brought on by the choices we make. We choose to give ourselves to the good, bad, and ugly of Facebook and CNN or Fox News instead of giving ourselves over to God.
We many times direct our attention, and therefore our anxiety to the wrong things.
If you're more anxious to wake up and see who liked your photo on Instagram, you will open yourself to anxiety eventually. Start now to be anxious for God above all else. Be anxious to wake up to Him instead of what the world can offer. It's time to direct your anxiety from social media, network news, comparison, and fill-in-the-blank, and instead direct your anxiety toward the God that holds your life in His hands; the God that loves you; the God that has what's best for you.
Direct your anxiety to that God.