"Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year," according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (adaa.org).
And these are the ones severe enough to achieve a diagnosis. And notice that it doesn’t include children.
We did a full attack against the coronavirus in just a year. This mental illness epidemic is an ongoing and escalating problem, year after year. In the U.S., the suicide rate increased 24% between 1999 and 2014, totaling over 48,000 in 2018.
Modern medical technology has done a great job creating new names for old problems. Fear (aka anxiety) has been common to man since the Eden exit. Man’s first fear caused him to hide after he disobeyed God’s simple plan for peace and happiness in Eden (Genesis 3:10).
And that pattern has not changed. When we ignore God’s loving plan for our peace, it becomes a scary world. America has abandoned that plan and is trying to substitute government policies for God’s word. That has never worked out well in any country that has tried it.
Jack Chick understood this when he wrote Fatal Decision:
The patient in the story thought he was fine and scorned the truth. He believed a lie and threw away the expensive gift of life bought with the ultimate sacrifice.
America today is sick and doesn’t realize it. Riding merrily along on God’s mercy, she does not see the social cancer eating at her vitals.
Jesus said we would see evil “as in the days of Noah (Luke 17:26-30). God told Noah: “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” We do not know where God draws the red line. But if we compare today with then, we cannot be far from it.
A few years ago, one church leader said that the believers must begin to take a prophetic stance like Jeremiah and Elijah. They were bold in their warnings, but sometimes frustrated when God extended His mercy longer than they thought that He should.
But we are not good stewards if we do not make full use of this period of mercy. While we have the freedom to share the good news and speak against the evil, we must not shirk our commission.
Keep in mind that the heart of the problem —is a heart problem. The unbelieving heart can have no true peace (free from anxiety). The good news is that the Spirit of our Creator can make a new heart by forgiveness for sin and an eternal purpose in life.
And often a simple gospel tract will start or further the process. But it has to be put out there where it can do its job.