Last night was a fierce and wonderful spectacle. Thunder shook my windows, gargling as they ran off in the distance. The heavy wind made all the trees bow as if they had just seen their King; fearfully and wonderfully submitting to His authority.
All of this uncontrollable force surging, bending, breaking should be the ideal picture of my hearts default position of anxiety. The complete inability to control what happens in the world around me.
But scripture shows me that that is exactly the opposite of what I should believe.
Look at how God shows us His control here in these verses:
Controller of the Universe
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:3)
Calmer of the storms
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boatworshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Maker of all things
And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, (Acts 4:24)
The list could go on…
The funny thing is that we were headed into our third week on “Killing The Anxious Heart” last night at youth worship, when youth had to be cancelled because of that great and awesome storm. A storm that probably caused – actually, because of Facebook, I know it caused – much anxiety in the hearts of the people of our state.
The verse that we were to take a look at was this:
“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.” (Philippians 4:5-7)
We said last week that the supreme killer of anxiety is the cross. I know, Churchy, right?
The cross isn’t just the reason that anxiety is laid to rest.
i.e. life, hope, forgiveness, atonement, justice, sacrifice, joy, rest, peace.
The cross is also the power that anxiety is, and can be, laid to rest.
i.e. grace, the Holy Spirit, mercy, election, keeping, and pursuing.
A few thoughts on battling unbelief
An anxious heart is a prideful heart. Why do I say that? Well, when we face a problem, like a storm, or a walk through the school cafeteria, we tend to feel afraid if we aren’t in complete control. And when we want control in ourselves, we don’t trust ourselves to God.
Anxiety = Pride, Pride = self-sufficient, self-sufficient = I don’t need God
Philippians 4 gives us an insight on what to do.
“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.” Phil. 4:5-7
In everything – school, dress, sports, social media, dinner, vacation, movies, etc
Pray – “God, help me not to depend on myself for beauty. I want to know that from you.”, “God, I have a big test today. Please help me to be honest, and to study hard.”, “God, there is a huge storm outside. Please help to remember that you control where every drop of rain lands.”
Supplication – (It means, Ask) “God, please give me strength, joy, compassion, mercy.”
Thanksgiving – “Lord, you have been so good to me. Thank you that you control all things for your glory and my good.”
Try these things, and let the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, begin to kill the anxious heart and replace it with a joy saturated, dependent one.
I hope to see you all next Wednesday night.
Amplify the truth,