Daily Devotionals

The Antidote for Anxiety

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Scripture: “’Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’” – Ecclesiastes 1:2

During this plague year, we search for small comforts and the greater good as we close our doors and avoid our neighbors. The scripture referenced above could speak to our troubled natures, but the lesson of Ecclesiastes need not be a fearful partner. This book of the Bible, as “wisdom literature,” points to the knowledge that we will end our lives as we began them — with nothing. Our efforts are at best an opportunity to live well and, in the notes to the NIV, “enjoy (our) life and work and its fruits as gifts from God.”

But, as we strive, anxiety reigns. And the antidote —  Ecclesiastes 12 :13-14, which states, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

The profound series of thoughts in Ecclesiastes, while listing our multiple failures, puts forward a defense against this shadow of the human plight, anxiety from meaninglessness, mirrored in the thoughts of a 19th century philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard.  “The anxiety in man is a gift from God that motivates one toward being brave in the face of futility.”*

All times for mankind are filled with troubles. We each must find the strength in ourselves through the needs of those around us and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to face this gift of life in all its forms. 

Prayer: Bless, O Lord, our weakness with Your strength, and burden us to Your purpose. Amen.

Submitted by Harold L. Lane Jr.

*Kierkegaard, Soren. The Concept of Anxiety, 1844.