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Prone to Panic

A problem arose at church recently. The reaction of several people was panic. But one person went to the church, found a helper, and in a few minutes they had it all cleaned up. No need to panic, people. Just pitch in and solve the problem.

Why are we so often prone to panic? It’s kind of a knee jerk reaction. Wouldn’t it be better to trip over each other trying to help than to contribute to a “woe is me” scenario? Some problems are bigger than others. Some can be solved. Some can’t, maybe. But with God the possibilities are endless. Let’s try to see things from His perspective.

I’m remembering that Jesus’ disciples often reacted to situations with negativity. They discouraged sick people from “bothering” the Master. They wanted to send thousands of people away who were hungry after listening to His teaching all day. They criticized Jesus for allowing an extravagant act to bless Him. But Jesus never panicked. He healed. He fed people. He graciously gave and received with loving actions.

When Jesus and His followers were in a boat in the middle of a storm, there was reason to panic. But Jesus spoke to the sea, calmed the waves, and rebuked his disciples saying, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40, NIV). Of course, they were still learning about this amazing God/Man. We have the advantage of knowing what they didn’t yet know. They would still experience many more miracles, including the resurrection. We, in retrospect, shouldn’t have trouble trusting God, should we? Haven’t we learned better? I wonder why we are so often fearful and upset. Would you rather spend your energy worrying or doing good things?

Anxiety produces fear. Fear produces panic. But “perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18). So here’s our verse for today. Maybe for the week, or the month, or the year, or for a lifetime. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). In other words:  “Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, J. B. Phillips).

Is your “panic button” disengaged?


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