Growing up, I lived in Florida and in California. Hurricanes and earthquakes are pretty regular events in those states. Both can be frightening and cause anxiety among those who are affected. Wildfires also cause us to feel threatened when they occur nearby.

Having listened to people’s emotional struggles in my counseling office, I’m aware that there are personal “storms” that are not apparent to other people but cause anxiety and fear deep within us. It’s easy to worry. Most of us eventually realize that worry won’t change things.

Jesus taught us how to handle worry in His Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew chapters five through seven. He calls us to focus on today and what is valuable.

We tend to treasure things that are too often temporary. We value homes, cars, clothes, electronics and many other things that will not last. In teaching us to trust God’s care, Jesus asked a provoking question: aren’t you more valuable than things? He used the examples of the animals and flowers. A tiny bird is important enough for God to care for it, and a flower is actually more beautiful than our best fashions.

Focus on the things that are permanent! That was Jesus’ plan for priority thinking. The temporal is not unimportant. But the eternal demands our most essential focus.

Trouble is all around us and will be. If we are not careful, these “storms” can block our view of God and His kingdom. So, Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” If pleasing God is my priority, other worries will not be priorities in my life.

A friend gave me a philosophy for handling life’s storms. She said, “Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is.”

Faith answers the knock at the door from fear and finds no one there. Trust God to give you victory in your life storms and He will give you peace in the face of your anxiety. Try it today!

Dr. James E. Kilgore retired as the president of the International Family Foundation Inc. and is a Canton resident.

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