I came across a meme the other day that said, “I thought my anxiety had imagined every worst case scenario, but this year has given it some new material to work with.” With all that is going on in the world right now, it’s easy to feel like we live in an unsafe and scary world. Everywhere we turn there seems to be a new threat. There is an invisible virus that threatens to take those we love. There is hatred and violence; hunger and poverty; loss and grief; instability of jobs and resources; relationship conflicts, and don’t even get me started on the murder hornets!
We have so many questions about what is safe, how the future will look, when will all this end and go back to normal, but we have so few answers. Looking around at this earthly kingdom, everything seems to be shaken to its core. And while we can acknowledge that good things can and will come from these difficult times, it’s challenging to see how and when.
One thing I’ve learned is that the direction of our attention decides what we will focus on. I’ve found that the more we focus on all the hardships going on around us, the more fear and anxiety can well up in our souls. More times than I care to admit, I have been caught up in the grip of fear as my anxieties overflow. When our focus is on our fears, they can become all we see. Fear will keep us wrapped up in our anxieties and away from the peace that we long for.
Our fear keeps us from seeing the truth of God’s reality for us. The truth is, even though the world can feel like an unsafe place to be, we are safe because we belong to the unshakable kingdom of God.
“The kingdom of God is never in trouble, the kingdom of God never runs out of resources and the kingdom of God is never lacking in power. Therefore, those who live with God in this available kingdom are never in trouble, never lack provision, and never lack power. In the kingdom of God, I discover that I am safe, significant, and strong.”
James Bryan Smith, Eternal Living
In God’s kingdom we are safe, significant and strong because His kingdom stands secure. It does not waiver in adversity, or topple under pressure, or change with the wind. God’s kingdom is steadfast, as He is steadfast. When we are being tossed about by waves of fear and anxiety, He gently reminds us of what is true.
As beloved children of God, we live in the available, powerful and provisional kingdom of God. This isn’t a distant hope that is only available to us for the afterlife, but it’s a real and present reality in the here and now. God has been, is still, and always will be the great I AM and Jesus has overcome the dangers and turmoil of this world for good.
“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son…” – Colossians 1:13
“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” – Hebrews 12:28
We don’t have to strain or yell to be heard by Him. We don’t have to engineer our status in His kingdom or make our case for acceptance and love. We have all the provisions of His kingdom at our disposal because we belong to Him. He guards our hearts and minds and plans ahead for us. This is our reality no matter what new threat appears in our news feed. No matter what happens in this world, this reality is still true. We have nothing to fear, for we have the great King on our side. He loves to provide all we need as we seek to live in His unshakable Kingdom.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33
Even if this world threatens to destroy us, to scare us or to steal our joy, we live in a kingdom that cannot be destroyed. It is a kingdom where we find steady peace, abounding joy, unconditional love, and the powerful presence of God. He is always by our side and fighting for our cause. He is pouring out His love and provision on our behalf. His perfect love drives out all fear.
Remember who you are–beloved, daughter of the King! When we focus on our identity in Christ as citizens of God’s kingdom, we will find peace and freedom even in the midst of our fears and anxieties. Because even if the very foundations of the earth should tremble, God’s kingdom and our place in it will always stand firm.