When was the last time you were anxious? For most, anxiety rears its ugly head when we find ourselves lying awake at night, tossing and turning over the challenges of daily living, counting sheep (or tubs of ice cream or whatever it is you count) . . . which gives us something new to worry about: how tired we’ll be the next morning!
So how do we rid ourselves of this “respectable sin,” as Jerry Bridges calls it, knowing that this is a battle we will anxiously fight all the way into glory? The key is to keep preaching the Gospel to ourselves—not only daily, but moment by moment.
The Gospel tells us that Jesus came and took away our sin, the wrath of God, and our death through His sinless life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection. If Jesus did all this for us, surely He can handle our anxiety when it comes calling.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
If Jesus knows the number of hairs on your head, He knows all about the anxiety that is attacking you at every moment. And for those of you who are losing much of your hair, Jesus also knows the number of them left behind in your brush!
The Bible tells us, time and time again, not to be anxious . . .
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Do not be anxious about anything
Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you
(1 Peter 5:7)
Why is it that we should not be anxious? Because God can be trusted. If we trust Him for our eternal life, we should have no trouble at all trusting Him for our everyday life. We must continually transfer our anxiety to the Almighty, who cares for us moment by moment.
A missionary was teaching a Hindu woman who had just become a Christian how to pray through the Lord’s Prayer. The woman prayed, “Our Father, who art in heaven . . .” Then she suddenly said, “Stop!” She asked, “Do you mean to tell me that God is our Father—my Father in heaven?
“Yes!” the missionary replied.
“That’s enough for me!” the Hindu Christian woman said. “If God is our Father, there is nothing for me to worry about!”
To be sure, anxiety is one of the great temptations we all face. But we have been given a way over, under, around, and if necessary, through our fears. We are never to simply accept anxiety as part of the fabric of daily living. We must shift our focus away from our circumstances and put it on our Savior.
The Gospel tells us we have been sought, caught, bought, and are currently being taught by the Spirit of Christ. Remember, Christian, that you are so deeply loved that Jesus shed His blood on a cross to have you as His bride for all eternity.
Let this truth set you free; when anxiety comes knocking, let Jesus answer the door!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!