(September 10, 2008)

At Living Room on Friday we’re going to talk about trust. Being able to trust in God – to trust our ability to be well – to trust our doctor, etc. etc. It’s so important to a life of peace. It’s so important to our health.

When I start getting symptoms that indicate a depression might be coming on, it’s important that I can trust that it won’t happen. When I trust and rely on God to help me avert it, I have a much greater chance of staying well. Someone – and I’m too lazy right now to check the source – once said that when we fear God we need fear nothing else. Of course he did not mean to “be afraid” of God. He meant to believe in God and his power – to be in awe of God.

To have bipolar disorder can bring on a lot of fears because we have had so many bad experiences of depression, mania and psychosis. The slightest indication that something is going wrong can bring on anxiety, making it even more likely that it will.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus speaks poetically: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear….Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”…(I won’t type out the entire piece.) But then Jesus says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Jesus is not saying that we will have immunity to the problems of life, but by trusting God instead of ourselves, we will have confidence in spite of them. When we seek the kingdom of God we will find purpose, power and direction. We forget about being anxious. We trust where God is taking us. It’s through faith, hope and extending God’s love to others that we will experience this kingdom of God – this kingdom where God’s rule prevails.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading various authors’ thoughts and explanations of what Jesus meant by “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus mentions these phrases over 80 times in the gospels. It’s something we should try to understand. Too often we overlook these phrases, assuming that Jesus is talking about what we’ll experience after we die. But Jesus did say, “The kingdom of God is upon us.” We can start experiencing the kingdom of heaven today by submitting to God’s rule and being the kind of people he intended us to be.

I got kind of side-tracked here, moving from trust and anxiety to the kingdom of God. But that’s just how my thoughts traveled today.

Did I make sense? What do you understand about the kingdom of God?