February 10, 2010

Be anxious for nothing

I have never relished change. Change produces fear of the unknown as well as fear of things that I know are coming and would prefer to avoid. But I know that reacting to change like I do indicates a lack of trust in God, who is in complete control of all situations and who has promised to do what is best for his children.

In The Necessity of Prayer, E.M. Bounds wrote:

If Jesus dwell at the fountain of my life; if the currents of His life have displaced and superseded all self-currents; if implicit obedience to Him be the inspiration and force of every movement of my life, then He can safely commit the praying to my will, and pledge Himself, by an obligation as profound as His own nature, that whatsoever is asked shall be granted. Nothing can be clearer, more distinct, more unlimited both in application and extent, than the exhortation and urgency of Christ, “Have faith in God.”

Faith covers temporal as well as spiritual needs. Faith dispels all undue anxiety and needless care about what shall be eaten, what shall he drunk, what shall be worn. Faith lives in the present, and regards the day as being sufficient unto the evil thereof. It lives day by day, and dispels all fears for the morrow. Faith brings great ease of mind and perfect peace of heart.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. 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. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You know, I was already aware of what E.M. Bounds stated in that quote. I know that God is the Sovereign of the universe and “declares the beginning from the end” and “the king’s heart is a stream in his hands; he turns it wherever he will.” These are not new concepts to me.

So why then is it so easy for me to become anxious? Why do I worry about each new change? Why do I concern myself with things that are completely out of my control?

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

It actually doesn’t seem so hard when you look at, for example, Micah 6:8. All I have to do is to act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. That should not be so difficult. If that is all I need to do, why do I worry about things over which I have no control?

I guess the obvious answer is—there’s no reason for me to worry. I need to act in a just manner, love kindness, and walk humbly. I need to be thankful to God as I bring my prayers and supplications to him. And I need to focus my attention, not on those crazy winds of change, but remember that “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

May God grant me faith.


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