A couple of weeks ago at our church Gathering, in a sermon on Generous Living, I mentioned
that fear/anxiety is the enemy of generosity. It really got me to thinking about anxiety and
worry in general. I’d like to think of myself as a person of faith and trust in God but I have to
admit, there are a lot of things that have been causing me anxiety these days. I find my
thoughts wandering and my heart racing as I call to mind, things out of my control.
It is very discouraging and disheartening to watch the news or to get on any social media and read the comments of people; especially believers. There is so much division over EVERY
subject imaginable. With the anonymity that comes with the online “community”, people
believe they are empowered to express venomous thoughts and feelings. Not surprisingly,
many of these thoughts are unbiblical and anti-Christian. This has and continues to cause me
great anxiety as I don’t see much hope for change.
I also think about my church family. Even though I don’t know each and every one of you
personally, I carry you in my heart. I pray for you, think about you, wonder how you are doing. I know the deceitfulness of sin and the craftiness of Satan and am concerned about your well-being. At times this causes me to worry…Yes, I know worry is a sin…so I confess it. Over and over again.
My church family is not the only family I think (worry) about. I carry the concerns of “my” family too. Can you imagine , 7 kids all in their 20’s, plus two teenagers and a prepubescent son. I find myself worrying about their safety, their decisions, their dating relationships, their lack of dating relationships, their job changes, their career choices, their health, their lack of physical proximity, their spiritual walk, their sinful expressions, their FUTURE… On and on it goes!
How about you? What causes you anxiety? Is there something(s) that wakes you up and keeps you up? Money problems, relationship problems, sin problems? These things and more can rob us of the rest that we have in Christ. Worry can steal from us the joy that gives us strength. Like Psalm 127:2 says… “ It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
At the heart of worry is not your circumstances, but your belief about God; belief that God is
not good, belief that God does not care for or love you. These lies which are generated from
the pit of hell and are embraced in our sinful hearts must be rejected and exposed by the truth of God’s word! As I and others have said many times before, we must stop merely listening to ourselves and start preaching to ourselves the truth.
Here are a few verses I use to “preach to myself”. Also, one of my favorite hymns by Edward H Joy that reminds me what to do with all of my anxieties:
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor
barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Hebrews 4:15–16 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our
weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
All Your Anxiety
Is there a heart o’erbound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross, each burden bearing;
All your anxiety—leave it there.
All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there,
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!
No other friend so swift to help you,
No other friend so quick to hear,
No other place to leave your burden,
No other one to hear your prayer.
Come then at once; delay no longer!
Heed His entreaty kind and sweet,
You need not fear a disappointment;
You shall find peace at the mercy seat.
When worry comes knocking let TRUTH answer the door!