You’ve probably heard all of the Biblical truths about being fearful or anxious. Do not be anxious about anything, do not be fearful, cast all anxiety on the Lord…Blah, blah, blah. There is absolutely no way to avoid anxiety. It surrounds us. Whether it is a marriage on the rocks or kids gone astray or the cash flow in your business, don’t tell me to be calm about all of that. It bugs me and stresses me and I am sure you will probably agree with me on this one.
I don’t think God says not to be anxious, it is a human condition. He says there is a problem with anxiety that can lead to far greater problems. It weakens us. It makes us vulnerable to real sin. Anxiety about finances can give rise to coveting, greed, hoarding and stealing. Anxiety about succeeding at some task can make you irritable, abrupt and surly. Anxiety about relationships can make you withdrawn, indifferent and uncaring and can lead to sins of lust and sexual perversion. Anxiety about how someone will respond to you can make you cover over the truth and lie about things.
THE ROOT CAUSE OF ANXIETY IS FAILURE TO TRUST GOD!
Ouch, that hurts. That means when we are anxious, we are just not trusting that God can deal with it or help us or we want it now; in our time, not His. There are two responses to this truth about anxiety being a failure to trust God:
- Imagine you had pain in your stomach and took medication and ate the right foods but it was still there. Then suppose your doctor tells you that you have cancer, but with the right treatment, you can beat it. Would this be good news? You bet. You are not happy with cancer but you found the root cause and you can beat it. So discovering that the real problem is the cancer of unbelief is both good news and bad.
- If you were in a car race and the opponent throws mud on your car windshield to get you to stop the race. Would you stop? No, you would turn on the windshield wipers and continue on. When anxiety strikes, it blurs our vision of the ultimate goal of God’s glory and the greatness of our eternal reward. It just means our faith is being attacked!
What I am saying is that the Bible does not say don’t be afraid. Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” The Bible tells us how to fight against anxiety. 1 Peter 5.7 says, “Casting all your anxieties on Him because he cares for you.” The issue is, How do we fight the feelings of anxiety.
God provides a number of promises related to anxiety that are a comfort to me when I get anxious:
Promise # 1
God has given us life and our bodies, so it stands to reason He would give us drink and food. Matt. 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body…”
Promise # 2
If God is willing to feed birds who cannot do anything to bring themselves food, then he will certainly provide what you need. Matt. 6:26 “ Look at the birds of the air…”
Promise # 3
Compared to the flowers of the field that wither and die, you are much higher in priority because you will live forever. Matt. 6:28 “Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow…”
Promise # 4
Do you think God is ignorant of your needs? He cares. Matt. 6:31 “ Do not be anxious saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink.’…the Father knows your needs…”
Promise # 5
God says that if you will give yourself to the causes in the world, he will make sure your needs are met. Matt. 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Promise # 6
“God will see that you are not tested any day more than you can bear.” 1 Corinthians 10: 13. “Every day will have no more trouble than you can bear…”Lamentations 3:22-23.
Believe me, this life is filled with anxiety and every day I am learning to trust the Lord so my stress is less and less each day. It takes prayer and meditation each day on God’s word, a healthy dose of blind trust and above all faith in His future promises.
“FEAR NOT, FOR I AM WITH YOU; BE NOT DISMAYED, FOR I AM YOUR GOD: I WILL STRENGTHEN YOU, I WILL HELP YOU, I WILL UPHOLD YOU WITH MY RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND.”
(Hang this one on the wall!)
source: “Future Grace”, by John Piper
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Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
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