Do Not Be Anxious For 2021 (by Elizabeth Boyd)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
As we enter the new year, many of us might be feeling the heaviness of the unknown. Will this year have as many surprises as 2020 did? The horizon of 2021 is murky and nothing is certain, but has the future ever been crystal clear? In every season we are to cling to God as our strength and comfort. Let’s break down this verse as we peer into 2021.
Do not be anxious about anything…
Anxiety can be crippling. It keeps us from performing work and even resting, well. We as humans like control. When we are met with circumstances out of our hands, it can be hard to not be at the helm of the ship.
Think of times when you are in the passenger seat of a car. If you’ve driven with the driver many times before and know they are safe at the wheel, you will feel relaxed. However, if you’re getting in the car with a new driver whom you have never driven with before, you might be very anxious! You might not be driving the car, but the one who is determining your level of peace. This is based on the trust you have for them.
How much do you trust God? Have you seen God provide for you? Take notice of the ways he blesses you daily. He is worth trusting. Do not be anxious—God’s got this!
…but in every situation…
2020 was riddled with the unexpected. Last year may feel like a lifetime’s worth of trials. You have had much to be anxious about. Yet, we are told not to be anxious about anything, in any situation. Rather there is something else we can do in the midst of tribulation.
…by prayer and petition…
We can pray! God is the one at the wheel of life. Nothing takes him by surprise. When something upsetting happens, who is the first person you talk to? Is it a friend or family member? Realize that although that might be comforting, the only one who truly knows your situation inside and out is the Lord. We are told in every situation to go to him with our cares and worries.
In every situation, we not only are to pray but also to petition. Go to God over and over with your cares! Jesus teaches us this principle in Luke 11:5-11—
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity, he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
So in moments of distress, keep talking to God! Keep letting him know your requests and worries. He cares for you.
Thankfulness is a great weapon against fear. As you enter 2021, reflect back on the ways God has gotten you through 2020. It may have been a rough ride, but you’ve made it this far! How has God’s goodness been a beacon of light for you?
…present your requests to God…
It is after acknowledging this goodness that we come to God and make our requests known. This could simply look like starting your prayer by thanking him for the way he has blessed you or for just being who he is! This helps remind you of who you are talking to — a God who loves you and wants to provide for you. He’s got this year! He’s worth trusting!