(excerpt from my new book coming out in 2024, Breakthrough Courage)
If COVID taught us anything, it taught us that people are fearful. Social media and 24-hour news aren’t making things better. From pharmaceutical ads to quick fix infomercials, the media traffics in fear. It sells and we’re buying.
The rapid increase in depression is at an all-time high. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that over 21 million Americans struggle with some form of depression, with youth between the ages of eighteen to twenty-five years old being the most frequent victims.[i]
People of all ages are suffering from panic, agoraphobia, social and separation anxiety disorders. The mental health and counseling systems are overloaded.
Suicide in all age groups has exponentially increased over the past few years. Time Magazine records that suicide is the highest it’s been since World War II.[ii]
How to Overcome your Fears
While the culture is pressing in on us externally, our increasingly unstable emotions are weakening us internally. So, where do we turn? Where can we find solutions for our panic and anxiety? Can we find a source of strength and courage?
The famed German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”[iii]
Jesus understands our dilemma and our tendency to worry and fret. Knowing this, He provided the most astute solution ever given. We worry, fret, and get boxed in to a life of fears, frustrations, and depressions because we haven’t made the Main Thing OUR First Thing! Jesus made this most noble, outstanding statement the world has ever known.
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:30-33).
In the valley of a worry-filled life, Jesus instructs us: quit worrying, take your mind off all your problems and start seeking Me and My Kingdom. If you do, I will take care of everything else. If you make Me primary, I’ll take care of the secondary.
Quit looking around you—quit comparing, quit chasing success, quit dwelling on your failures, and Start Looking Up. Make the Main Thing, YOUR First Thing. Seek first the Kingdom of God!
Jordan Peterson, Canadian Psychologist and NY Times bestselling author has said, “Seeking first the Kingdom of God…is the most profound and noble statement ever made to man.”[iv]
Jesus, understanding the human condition of fear, worry, and anxiety, is challenging us to seek the highest good, the most noble cause of the universe–the Kingdom of God. Jesus is proclaiming that if we start off with the right goal, the goal above all other goals–the Kingdom of God, all other things we think we need–job, finances, and family, will be taken care of. Start today to make the main thing your FIRST thing! It works. I’ve tested it for 57 years.[i] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression [ii] Time Magazine, https://time.com/5609124/us-suicide-rate-increase/ [iii] Bob Desautels blog. . https://www.bobdesautels.com/blog/2019/2/8/things-which-matter-most-must-never-be-at-the-mercy-of-things-which-matter-least-goethe#:~:text=Goethe%20—%20Bob%20Desautels-,“Things%20which%20matter%20most%20must%20never%20be%20at%20the%20mercy,things%20which%20matter%20least.”%20Goethe&text=One%20of%20the%20most%20frustrating,things%20that%20are%20more%20important. [iv] Jordan Peterson, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_-6gqdJbnc