Overcoming Fear and Anxiety Pt. 2
Read Jeremiah 17:5-8
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord."
Whom do we trust to provide us security? For many, the focus of their trust is upon the direction of our national leaders. There is a great deal of apprehension and fear about the future. There are economic fears that the prosperity we have enjoyed is not going to last. Many fear the destruction of the environment, which they believe becomes a threat to humanity's very existence. If there one thing that both the left and the right can agree on is that people are anxious about our country's direction. However, in response to the fear, people look to our national leaders. Our country is so divided because people are looking to their political party to alleviate their fears by setting forth their agenda. Both sides agree on the problems but radically differ on the solution, and so the battle lines are drawn.
In Jeremiah 17:5-6, the prophet warns of the danger and consequence of looking to man for answers and solutions for the threats we face in life. When we start looking to people and putting our trust in them, whoever they might be, it is that they will ultimately fail to deliver. Instead of bringing hope and security, they will only bring a curse. The reason why humanity can never provide any real, lasting solutions to the problems we face is found in verse 9, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understanding it?" Humanity can never provide ultimate security because it is ultimately flawed and corrupted by sin. The problem in looking to national leaders is we are not only looking for wrong solutions, we are looking for the wrong source for our answers. Instead of humanity giving us hope, they ultimately bring destruction. We see this in everything humanity touches. While medical science has brought cures for many diseases and given life to many people, it has also brought death to millions through its misuse, as we see in the case of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Atomic energy brings hope for future energy sources but also has brought the threat of a bomb that could destroy all of humanity. Social sciences have helped us understand the presence and tragedy of poverty and prejudices but are destroying society's foundation by undermining the family. In the end, our trust in humanity leads to a lifeless wasteland.
In contrast to the cruse found in trusting in humanity, we see the blessing that comes in trusting in God. When we place our trust in God, we find our ultimate security. In contrast to those who trust in humanity and see the only destruction even when prosperity comes (vs. 6) is the one who trusts completely in God. This person finds prosperity even when adversity strikes. They are like a tree that has a continual source of nourishment and is unaffected even by the severest drought. The person who trusts in God no longer needs to fear any circumstance or situation, or even the future, for God provides their complete security.
We struggle with anxiety because of our circumstances or the perceived threats we face; it is because we have the wrong object as the focus of our trust. Instead of trusting in humanity (which includes others and even ourselves), we are to place our complete trust in the God of the universe. He knows our heart (vs. 10), and when we trust him, he promises us divine protection and care (vs. 14).