“Are You an Anxious Person?”

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Some Bible verses, more than others, just level me to the dust with their profundity, and at the same time, their simplicity. Two such verses are Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The other verse, which is as profound, is 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Such verses leave us no room to wiggle. They want us to see that all self-justification for any anxiousness in our daily lives is to be viewed simply as SIN. In other words, we must face the facts. Either we can be legitimately-labeled as being a characteristically-anxious person (i.e. because we are frequently freaking-out or having panic-attacks over many things), or we can be legitimately-categorized as being a Christian who is in the daily habit of attacking the vestiges of his or her anxiousness (which is usually the product of prayerlessness in our lives). Therefore, Paul said, “for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). This means, that the Christian who is not attacking his anxiety, each day, is probably a person who is in spiritual-disarray, spiritually-cold toward the Lord, and walking in the flesh. However, our Lord Jesus gives us the supreme antidote for obtaining habitual victory when we are tempted to lose it, “Therefore, I say unto you, be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … Therefore, do not be anxious, saying What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:25, 31-34). Dear friend, is not anxiousness nothing but pure worry? And is not worry another way of saying, “I know the way my life is supposed to go, and God’s not getting it right” (Tim Keller)? And if this sinful perspective is not repented of, it will shortly thereafter turn into bitterness. And let us understand that bitterness is “believing God got it wrong” (Tim Keller). May God help is to neither push aside His clear Word on how we are to deal with our anxiousness, nor take lightly Tim Keller’s words of wisdom cited above, along with Vance Havner’s wise words cited below, “It is not work but worry that kills, and it is amazing how much wear the human mind and body can stand if it is free from friction and well-oiled by the Spirit.” In conclusion, let us draw near to God, first, by taking heed to our heart preparation today, for encountering the living God tomorrow, in our public Worship service, both through our praises and prayers to Him, with God’s people; and secondly, through our attending to the reading and preaching of His Holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria! Happy Reformation Year 500!!

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