Anxiety and the Christian

6003445548_bd1bce9d01_b

Solomon wrote, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad” (). In , Jesus provides a good word to His people. There are many things in life that consume are thinking and can weigh us down. The pressures of these things can cause a strong sense of fear, anxiety and worry. As citizens of the Lord’s kingdom, the people of God are called to live in total dependence on the Lord, which means they are to trust Him in all matters. This includes the worries of life. Three times in this passage Jesus says, “do not be anxious” (vv. 25, 31, 34) clearly indicating an important emphasis. The three-fold repetition of this command provides three reasons why the believer should not worry.

The first reason why the believer should not worry is because of the Father’s Provision (). By arguing from the lesser to the greater, Jesus demonstrates the Father’s provision for the birds () and the lilies of the field () as a proof of His provision for His people. The Lord cares for animals and nature, but He His care for humans is greater for they are created in His image ().

The second reason for not worrying is because of the Father’s Promise (). The Father knows all that we need, so as we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness“, He promises to grant us what we need (). To seek His kingdom and righteousness means to pursue those things that conform to His will.

The final reason why we ought not to worry is because of the Father’s Plan (). Only God knows what will happen tomorrow so we must rest in His sovereign plan.

Anxiety is something we all battle with. Despite the reality of the constant cares and concerns of life, it is wonderful to know that we have our Heavenly Father loving us and caring for us according to His Holy will.

25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.

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, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

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, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

God’s Providence: Our Comfort

God's Providence: Our Comfort

John Calvin writes about our “knowledge” of God’s providence in his Institutes of the Christian Religion:

‘Gratitude of mind for the favourable outcome of thing, patience in adversity, and also incredible freedom from worry about the future all necessarily follow upon this knowledge.’ (see 1.17.7)

By knowledge he means that we properly understand and see the ramifications of the doctrine. By “providence” he means that as described by many passages of scripture (e.g. ), and by the 1689 London Confession 5:1, which says that God “upholds, directs, organises and governs all creatures and things, from the greatest to the least … ” I wrote about God’s providence recently here.

With that in mind, read the quote again. Calvin says that when we know and trust God in his providence, we should be 3 things.

1. Thankful for all of the good things that come about in our life,

2. Patient in difficult times in our life, and

3. Free from worry.

God is in control, says Calvin. So, be thankful! Be patient! Don’t worry!

Picture credit: John Calvin’s church in Geneva, by Mark Gstohl. Some rights reserved.

10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.

The Middle of the Night

We all know what it’s like to get that phone call in the middle of the night. This night’s call was no different. Jerking up to the ringing summons, I focused on the red illuminated numbers of my clock. Midnight. Panicky thoughts filled my sleep-dazed mind as I grabbed the receiver.

“Hello?”

My heart pounded; I gripped the phone tighter and eyed my wife, who was now turning to face my side of the bed.

“Daddy?” I could hardly hear the whisper over the static. But my thoughts immediately went to my daughter. When the desperate sound of a young crying voice became clearer on the line, I grabbed for my wife and squeezed her wrist.

Continue reading The Middle of the Night

Don’t let Worrying Hold you Down

Your heavenly Father already knows all you needs, and He will give you all you need from day to dat if you live for Him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Worry… surely one of the basic banes of humanity. How much time and energy do we spend worrying? Where does it get us? What good does it pose?

Continue reading Don’t let Worrying Hold you Down

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Who’s Church is This Anyway?

…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

I’m concerned.

It’s Sunday afternoon. Our worship service today was a real blessing.

Richard Coombs brought us a stirring and encouraging message from Psalms 63.

During the fellowship time following the service most people stayed to share with each other and greet the new people that attended.

Our new church has been meeting for less than a year now and its only ten weeks since we’ve been meeting in a hall. Our numbers are growing each week. The church leaders have been working very hard to make sure that we start right.

Things seem to be going well – so why my concern?

Well, all these things have to do with what we are doing.

Continue reading Who’s Church is This Anyway?

Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.