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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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CONSIDER THE LILIES

Samuel A CainConsider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! (Luke 12:27-28 ESV)

In the verses above, Jesus tells us that anxiety is inconsistent with His follower’s standing as believers and the children of God. Our Heavenly Father is perfectly aware of all our needs. Will He not supply them?

Consider the verses above. We have received a new nature in Christ Jesus. We are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. This new heavenly nature, we have been blessed with, now helps us to be at peace when we face the problems of daily life. We are blessed. We can rise from our beds each day and by the power of Christ within us, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. (2 Peter 3:18 ESV) God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3 ESV) Jesus has said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27 ESV) Continue reading

Trouble with Anxiety?

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:5-6 ESV)

Most of us have suffered from anxiety at one time or another. I can truly say from experience that anxiety has never helped solve any problem I have encountered and, most of the time, my anxieties were eventually proved wrong. Uncontrolled anxiety is counterproductive. It is like playing the same song in your head over and over and takes great will-power to stop the loop of negative thoughts.

Anxiety is unreasonable when it is distress over what is going to happen next. A little anxiety may be a positive thing, but what I am talking about here is overwhelming anxiety. Overwhelming anxiety produces insecurity, a sense of isolation, and a feeling of helplessness. It is a form of fear.

A Christian may feel very insecure, but in reality he is very secure. “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:25-26 ESV) A Christian may feel helpless, but in reality he has great help. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 ESV) Even though the Christian may feel isolated, the reality is that God is always at his side. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 ESV) The real remedy for anxiety is complete trust and confidence in God’s ability to deal with anything that threatens us. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 ESV) God has promised peace of mind to those who are willing to commit their anxieties to Him. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

My prescription for overly anxious people and myself – when I catch myself in this mode of thinking – is to commit your all to the Lord and ask that His Will may be done in you and through you. Secondly, commit yourself to Scripture study, especially the Psalms in time of trouble, and pray.

Remember that peace of mind does not depend on solving all the problems in the world. There are problems that we simply cannot fix. Trust God and resolve to persevere through troubled times. Things are never going to be absolutely perfect for us this side of the Kingdom of God, but any problem is easier to face with God.

God’s Providence And Worry

Bonhoeffer-1932

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

How often do you find that worry keeps you from making a decision that needs to be made. Worry can immobilize us by tying us up in knots within. I am not talking about logically thinking a problem through. Worry is repetitiously obsessing on an outcome which is out of your control or a “best laid plan” in which there is always the possibility of failure. Christians should trust in the providence of God, but we often fail to do this.

It has been said that “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.” (source unknown) Paul tells us in Philippians to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (4:6) Fear creates a divided heart. It changes our focus of trust and faith in God alone to anxiety about earthly troubles.

I know this, but my wife says I am the king of worriers. There is obviously a gap between my knowing how to live and my actually living that way. I try to excuse my behavior by saying that I am cautious and careful, but the truth is I often worry needlessly. I have lost a lot of time by thinking about the trouble that never came.

After you have done whatever is reasonable to do (which may be nothing at all), your anxiety will change nothing in the future. It is better to trust in the providence of God and pray, for He holds the future in His hands. Therefore, when we are confronted with problems, it is best to cast your cares on God – for He does care for you. (1 Peter 5:7) God will provide relief if you cling to Him.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer expressed his thoughts on this subject in this manner:

Much that worries us beforehand can afterwards, quite unexpectedly, have a happy and simple solution. Worries just don’t matter. Things really are in a better hand than ours.

I continue to pray that I will develop this attitude of mind. Maybe you should too?

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