Stress and anxiety are rising issues among people in our culture that the church is usually fairly silent about.

If we do talk about it, it is a half-hearted call to cast all your worries to God without much substance or authenticity and paired with a culturally hip or relevant worship experience (tailored just right to the worshipers preference of traditional or modern music and feel).

We usually offer an overly simple idea of casting issue on Christ and then an emotional shot in the arm during worship. We then pat our members on the head and push them out the door.

It is no wonder mental and emotional health in our culture is the way it is when the church can not offer anything of substance to the people.

What we need to do is show the world that as people of faith you can struggle with these issues and still live as a faithful witness to the grace of God. It doesn’t mean that God will descend and magically heal you all the time, but it does mean that the Spirit will use even the hardest parts of your life for something good.

In some way, shape, or form the grace of God redeems even the most fearful and anxious moments in your life to help build something of immeasurable value and worth in God’s Kingdom. This is why the Apostle Paul states “that all things work for the good of those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)

This isn’t what a lot of people misinterpret as meaning that God will make you better and take away all anxiety and fear always, instead it means that through whatever stuff you are going through God can fashion something good. The fear and anxiety that grips us can be, through a sure practice of faith, be converted to something that works for good in the Kingdom.

God is in the business of taking the broken, the hurt and the useless and making something beautiful out of all of them.

If you struggle with anxiety or fear know that God wants nothing more than to help make something amazing out of you. Though those things in your life won’t vanish overnight, He is committed to walking with you in the struggles you face.

Blessings.

Rev. Eric Douglas is pastor of First United Methodist Church of Mineral Wells.

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