June 19th

 

Anxiousness">

June 19th

 

Anxiousness, Control and Trusting God

Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; Luke 21:34 NASB

 

19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:19-25 NIV

 

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

 

Jesus warned about the “worries of life,” which could weigh our hearts down and distract our focus from God.  A common temptation we may experience is to become anxious about the worries of life that we’re facing. The Bible warns us not to be anxious for good reason.

 

A root of anxiousness is the desire to be in control.  We humans love to be in control of our environment and when we’re not in control, we tend to get uncomfortable.  For example, I had been getting distraught over the weeds invading my lawn.  No matter how many chemicals I put down, nothing seemed to stop the advance of the weeds.  I was not in control and nature was taking its course.  Every time I mowed the lawn I was reminded about the fact that I could not control the grass.  In desperation, I rehearsed the possible emergency actions I could take including re-sodding the yard, paving the yard or turning into a “rock garden.”  This desperate thinking was dragging me down and distracting me from focusing on God.  I was allowing the grass to ruin my day every time I had to mow it.

 

I thought about other areas of anxiousness in my life and realized that lack of control seemed to be at the root of all of them.  Most of the areas were linked to the inexorable decay of this present world as we know it.  John wrote, “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17 NIV).  If we derive our hope and comfort in life from controlling things in the world (or people), we’re bound to be disappointed. 

 

God wants us to focus on him and not allow the worries of life to distract us and weigh our hearts down.  We can realistically expect that things around us are going to decay and that we cannot stop it.  We can, however fix our hope on the coming redemption of our physical bodies and the full manifestation of our identity as children of God.  As the things of the world fail around us (ex. cars breaking down, bodies getting sick, home repairs, lawn problems, etc.) or threaten to steal our peace, we can lay them down at God’s throne in prayer and receive God’s “perfect peace” that surpasses understanding.  Paul wrote:

 

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

 

God’s peace will help us trust him with those concerns and wait on his timing and provision to solve them.  We can also remind ourselves of God’s word whenever we’re tempted to get anxious again over those issues: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV).  Our trust in him will be reflected by our willingness not to take the issues back from his arms and worry about them. 

 

Questions for further thought:

  • What are the primary worries that seem to recur in your life?
  • What did Jesus say concerning worry? (Matthew 6:25-34)
  • The desire to always be in control can reflect what sin tendency?  How does this affect our relationship with God? (James 4:6-7)
  • Submitting to God involves doing what with our will? (Matthew 26:39)

 

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you that I don’t have to worry about the issues of life. Thank you that I can take all the cares of my life and cast them before you in prayer.  I recognize that I live in a decaying world and put my hope and trust in you.  Please help me trust you with my concerns and not drift back into anxiousness about them.  Thank you for loving me and caring for me!   I praise you now and forever.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”