I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11
One thing I have noticed is, anxiety is relative. The “A” student fears he may make a “B” while the “B” student fears he may make a “C”. In 2008 I was afraid the Tampa Bay Rays would lose the World Series, while the year before, I was afraid they would lose 100 games. Today I get anxious if I run off and forget my cell phone at home. 15 years ago I did not even have a cell phone to forget at home. I talk to young people who are scared they may never get married. I am 45 and have never been married while enjoying life. With thinning hair I am afraid I may go bald. Meanwhile, my bald friends go about their merry lives.
In today’s economy I worry about losing my job, while I have friends who have been out of work over a year now, but by God’s grace, have never missed a meal or lost their home. With my parents being in their mid ‘70s now I fear I may lose them one day, while I have friends my age who lost their parents long ago. By God’s grace, my friends continue making the most of their productive lives while looking forward to the resurrection. I have observed that everything I fear may happen to me, has happened to other people already, and by God’s grace they have survived and even thrived. Even if death comes my way, I have an older Brother in Jesus, who was dead and is alive again!
I have learned not to be anxious, because after all, all those wonderful things that I am afraid of losing I don’t deserve to have anyway. Who am I to have, when there are so many more worthy than myself who have not? While in Peru on a mission trip, we spent the night at the Lima airport when our flight was cancelled. It did not bother me, when I considered that there were people more worthy than myself who had no bed that night either. What had I done to deserve a bed to sleep in? Nothing!
In this life, worry, fear, and anxiety, have not earned me a single bite to eat or thing to wear. They have not put a roof over my head, but God’s grace has provided all those things. And what’s more, when it comes to the next life, I am told by Jesus, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
Worry, fear and anxiety are legalism! They are the works of the flesh that we use to replace God’s grace. When you receive God’s grace you don’t have to worry, fear or be anxious anymore. You can be content in any and every situation. Even today, many people are content, while in a situation you fear you may be in one day. They are content by God’s grace. Grace and contentment will never be earned by worry, fear and anxiety.