>> Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Troubles come and troubles go. Questions arise, with or without answers. Many days come along and go as planned, without a second thought about it. But then there are days that bring with it many unexpected things that can bring on anxiety!
How do we deal with this anxiety? These questions in our minds? These doubts that plaque us continually throughout the day, or week, or maybe a month or more? Is anxiety good for us? Can it bring us closer to our Savior, or does it ultimately lead us away from Him? Does anxiety come from our Lord, ... or from our enemy??
To tell the truth, I deal with anxiety at the oddest times. Early in the mornings before I even wake up! From out of nowhere, a thought will pop into my head about something I need to do, something I forgot about, or something that seems so urgent at the time. How annoying this is!! Then, of course, I can't go back to sleep because I'm fretting over this thought that won't go away. Well, if I get up, have my coffee and time with the Lord, I will eventually get over it and will realize how ridiculous it was.
But there are some days that an anxiety will get the best of me. What do I do? Fret and pray. Then, honestly, fret and pray some more. Now is this honoring God? I would have to say, "No!" Now here's a bold question for ya, ...
Is anxiety a sin??
Let's look at the Word of God and see what He says about anxiety.
Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.
Now back to my question... Is anxiety a sin? Well I look at God's Word as commands, not suggestions. So when Paul, who wrote this under the inspiration of God, says to be anxious for NOTHING, then I see that being full of anxiety is going against The Word.
Is anxiety, itself, sin? Well, I would say no, but it's what we DO with it that can be sinful. When we take that anxiety and run with it and fret about it, then it is sinful. We have to ask ourselves, "Do we really trust God?" Do we trust God's providence in our lives? Can we believe that this "thing" that we are experiencing is part of a bigger plan to make us more like Him? And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son... Romans 8:28-29.
God tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) So, He knows that we will have things that make us anxious and worrisome, but He wants us to take those things and give them to Him. Isn't that something to be thankful for? Being anxious about something does not make me feel good. I physically feel terrible when I'm anxious. But to be able to give it to Him... and then trust Him to deal with it, that makes me feel better.
Jesus, Himself, had an extreme anxiety attack when He was praying about His upcoming crucifixion. So much so that He was sweating blood! Now was that anxiety sin? Of course not!! We're talking about sinless Jesus!! It's what He did with this anxiety. He prayed that the Father would take the cup from Him, BUT not His will, but the Father's will be done!! He was casting His care on His Father, giving it to Him, and was trusting in God's Providence!!
This morning was one of those mornings when something came up and made me very anxious. Of course, I fretted and prayed, but then fretted some more. I finally had to face up to it and do what needed to be done, but only after I finally gave it to God. I had to tell myself to not worry, that God would take care of the situation, regardless of the outcome. And it turned out that everything worked out beautifully. Better than I even expected! God is good! He's always good, even when things look bad. We can always trust His Providence! So, don't fret, don't worry, He is our Father who loves us with an everlasting love.
The next time anxiety attacks, my prayer is that you (and I) would be encouraged by these words and would quickly remember to be anxious for nothing and to cast our cares on Him!!