…..FEAR! Or, more specifically, anxiety.
According to the YouVersion Bible App the most shared, bookmarked, and highlighted verse of 2018 was Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
There were a few national variations. For example, the most popular verse in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, and Mexico was Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
In Egypt, India, and Iraq the most popular verse was 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Do you see the common thread? Fear, anxiety, worry.
This confirms all the stats I’ve been reading and stories I’ve been hearing over the past year. Anxiety is soaring to epidemic rates, especially among teens. It’s the number one issue that middle and high school teachers raise with me when I talk with them. What a need and what an opportunity for the Gospel of Peace!