One is the morning-time as we awake to find ourselves resting in His love. One is the quite-time where He so delights to still our anxious thoughts as we rest in Him.
Anxiety of Many
Sadly, in this increasingly dark world, many lives are in a state of unbroken anxiety. Other fret and fume, while others search relentlessly for unachievable answers. To be perfectly at rest amid the hurly-burly of daily life is a secret worth knowing. It is only achieved in a life abandoned to the Lord – a life that trusts His Word. Looking away from the raging world and fixing your eyes upon Jesus. It is achieved by the one that will come to Him – and rest.
I must believe what He promises, accept His gift and refuse to be anxious, or I live a defeated life — a life where I see the condition of my problems, instead of my position, as a blood-bought Son of the Highest.
It is a tremendous power.... The Lord says, in quite simple language, If only you will trust Me, and trust My provision, and stop worrying, stop fretting, stop being anxious; if you will but believe Me, I have the ground upon which I could meet all your need; I am no longer without ground.
There was a time when I had not the ground upon which to do anything with you, and for you, but now you are on the ground of Christ, the ground which I have provided; if only you will trust Me, if only you will rest in Me to bring you through, you will be saved from so much of this weakness, and fret, and anxiety!
At the back of a lot that we suffer in body, and in mind, there is so often a secret, hidden restlessness, something deep down in our subconscious being of a fret, an anxiety, something that is not rest.
Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things – but ONE thing is necessary.
He knows the troubled and anxious breast. The Lord knows that His wonderful peace is freely available to calm the anxious one, and so He reaches out with words that only He can utter: Let not your heart be troubled, beloved child, neither be afraid. Here is my peace for you, My precious children – I give My peace to you.
We live a life of busyness and chores and things to do and activities to be completed. We live in an anxious and instant society, with it’s ‘must have it now,’ mentality, and sometimes we lose sight of the fact that our spiritual development takes a lifetime – God is in no hurry to pander to our desires for instant answers.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6,7
Guarantee of Escape
But remember, precious child of God… no temptation, anxiety, burden, oppression, persecution… no harassment, attack, wound or pressure has overtaken you, except such as is common to man.
Our testimony and our ministry is jeopardized, weakened, limited and discredited if we are not ourselves in rest; and this is the object of the enemy's activity in this matter to discredit us by taking from us that very birthright of our union with Him Who is never perturbed, never anxious, never in doubt as to the issue, the One Who reigns.
All the anxiety lies in the realm where the heart is not wholly for the Lord.
He could not speak too highly of them or in terms too glowing, simply because they turned from the world unto God, i>to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven,and he had no anxiety about them.
Just sit calmly still!Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord’s will!While anxious thoughts would almost steal their wayCorrodingly within, because of His delay.Persuade thyself in simple faith to restThat He, who knows and loves, will do the best.
But remember..what Jesus said, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things.
The believer is exhorted to lay aside all that makes us anxious or bothered, for Scripture indicates that the faithful servant must lay aside every weight. Cast all your weights – all your burdens upon Me.
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.Philippians 4:6-7
They knew of His coming kingdom, but they were anxious and worried..
No surprise that the disciples were anxious and worried – bewildered and afraid, and so the Lord said, Don’t be afraid – you believe in God; believe also in Me… In my Father’s house are many rooms.
We like the disciples can become anxious when we don’t know the whole of God’s plan – but like them, we have to wait as the holy Spirit opens our eyes – more and more,
Be careful for nothing –Be anxious for nothing –Don’t be concerned about anything –Don’t worry about anything whatsoever, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto GodPhilippians 4:6
Care and Concerns
How often and how frequently our hearts are prone to worry and anxiety, fret or fear. How often our brow is furrowed with tension as the pains of life reflects in our face. How frequently fear of the future or personal problems divide or distract our hearts. How regrettable that cares and concerns of life should steal the Lord’s perfect peace.
It was Paul the apostle that called us to be careful for nothing – to be cautious and concerned about nothing – to be anxious and troubled about absolutely NOTHING!
But to be careful about nothing is to cast aside all the worry that destroys our lives. To be anxious about NOTHING means to cast all your care upon the Lord Jesus.
We are instructed not to worry or fret or be anxious about anything whatsoever.
But as our trust in our Saviour enlarges, so anxious worries fade away.
Let us not be faithless, but let us be anxious for nothing..
Test that out and the result is that when the mind is bewildered by the perplexity of a situation, and the arguments are all in the direction that a mistake has been made, a wrong course has been taken, everything is false when all the feelings are churned up, disturbed, anxious, fearful, or when there are no feelings at all, they are simply petrified by the position when circumstances are all arguing in the opposite direction of that which we, in the purest moments of our fellowship with God determined upon.
One of the things which is lacking in so many of us is this rest, or, to put it the other way, the things which characterize us so much are fret, anxiety, uncertainty, and all those things which are just the opposite of calm assurance, quiet confidence, the spirit and attitude and atmosphere which says all the time, Don't worry, don't fret, it is all right.
What must the obedient disciple do in a season of such anxiety of heart? What actions should the faithful believers do in such moments of nagging concerns? What should you do if you’re groping your way through a fear that the Lord delays?
One person that Paul named in certain epistles is Timothy.Paul knew that the Thessalonian believers had been undergoing some severe persecution and was anxious for their well-being… and so he entrusted Timothy, his faithful fellow-worker, to travel to Thessalonica, to find out how the believers there were getting along – to the establish them in the faith and give them spiritual support and godly encouragementPaul rejoiced when Timothy returned with the joyful tidings, that they were being established in the faith and well-grounded in the Word, despite the many difficulties and distresses they were facing.
What is man that we should be fearful of him when we have the almighty strength of the eternal God as our shield and buckler... for He is our God and those who reverently fear Him have no need to be anxious or fearful.
Having taught His disciples to pray to the Father in faith, Christ gave a long dissertation on the futility of fretting, the fruitlessness of worry, and the anxiety that is caused when our primary attention is on how WE can provide for our own temporal necessities of life.
Spiritual JOY is from the Lord, and gives strength and rejoicing, even in the midst of problematic and painful circumstances, while spiritual PEACE is inner tranquillity and godly composure, that is free from anxiety through faith in God's Word.
Death holds so much anxiety and fear for the unsaved soul, but it should never cause God's children concern, for we have the Lord's assurance that we will one day take off this mortal tent and will be clothed in a resurrected body of flesh and bone.
To doubt the veracity of God’s word is akin to unbelief but many stagger in fear as they magnify problems, perceiving them to be insurmountable, flooding their imaginations with anxious fear, and causing confidence in Christ to crumble.
Love describes the character of God, for God is love, and when the love of God permeates a soul, no anxious thoughts can overwhelm the love of God within, for the one who fears is not perfected in love - their ability to love others has not reached the fulness of love.
The emotional fear that brings with it anxious thought, the threat of pain, and the dread of punishment is very different from the biblical fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.
We are not to be anxious about anything, but are to bring everything in life to the Lord in prayer.
Being anxious for nothing is not a suggestion... it is a command and a responsibility for all who are born from above.
Anxiety not only demonstrates a lack of confidence in God and a lack of faith in His Word, it is deliberate disobedience to His clear directive.
The more we recognise God's sovereign hand in our daily problems and life's uncertainties, the more our anxious thoughts will melt away.
We are to tell Him all our needs, lay all our burdens down at His feet and leave them there... for as anxiety is set aside, so our faith will correspondingly increase.
We are instructed to cast all our anxiety upon Him because He cares for us, but we are to do this with a heart of thanksgiving and an attitude of worship.
There is no anxiety so disturbing that cannot be guarded by the perfect peace of God and no pain so deep that cannot be healed by His tender touch.
When the prayer of faith sees the Lord as the sole Supplier of our every need, we should be anxious for nothing but trust Him in everything.
It is by faith that every anxious thought is banished from our heart, and when faith in our heavenly Father is translated into prayers and supplication, with thanksgiving, our requests may be made in quietness and in confidence that He will hear and answer.
May we maintain a heart of grateful thanksgiving and praise for all His goodness and grace to us, and may we be anxious about nothing, but in everything through our grateful prayers and entreaties make our requests known to Him... and we will discover His peace that passes understanding, guarding our heart and mind, as we abide in Christ and He is us.
When anxious thoughts start to flood our mind or when we are tempted to sin - our immediate reaction should be to look to Jesus and to remember who we are in Christ.
But too often we allow anxious thoughts to drag us down into deep despair... but controlling our mind is a conscious choice.
And Paul reminds us that the best way is to react to anxious thoughts is to cast all our care upon Jesus and to take all our needs, necessities, concerns and cares to the Lord in prayer - but to do so with thanksgiving and praise.
Paul teaches the Philippian Christians that IF they are anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make their requests known to God with a thankful heart - THEN the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Every culture and each generation has its own particular brand of magical folk-lore or frightening tales of the unexpected, which are satanically inspired, and give rise to anxious thoughts and fearful hearts.
And yet how much this violates the wisdom of Scripture for we are admonished not to fret nor to fear - nor to carry our own burdens but to cast all our worries upon the Lord - to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication to talk to the Lord, in our own words, and in the quietness of spirit to Spirit communion - to tell God what are our needs – to talk to Him about the things that so often cause us to fret and worry – and to thank Him for all he has done for us.
Rather than being anxious we are to abide in Christ – to remain secure under the shadow of His wing – to repose in the arms of our beloved Saviour, Who died and rose again so that we might live with Him for ever - - - for our hope comes from Him, alone.
Were we to read this verse and act on it the moment that a worry cast a dark shadow across the portal our heart, we would neither fret nor be troubled – we would not be anxious about anything - we would safely abide in the arms of Jesus, for He is our eternal sufficiency.
But in considering the insignificant life-span of a little wild lily, whose covering dress simply declares God to be its sole Creator and Provider, we are charged to cast our concerns and worries upon Him, rather than to engage in anxious pursuit of worldly wants and waste our strength in fretting about our daily needs.
He alone is the One Who is able to still our troubled thoughts and bring peace into our anxious minds.
But he knew that any anxious thoughts that were concealed within could not be hidden from the penetrating gaze of His God and Saviour.
He knew that God alone could bring calm to his distressed soul and knew that any ungodly thoughts that are masked within a man’s heart, are seen in clear view by the Lord, and David wanted his anxiety exposed and his troubled thoughts cleansed and made clean, by the purifying light of God’s perfect character.
We can be anxious about the future and we can fret about the past – we can worry about our finances, our families and our futures – our reputation, our relationships, and yet the Lord points out the futility of worry – for if He provides for the little bird, how much more will He provide for those that are His children.
He continues to revive our fainting soul and reinvigorate our sagging spirit, when we find ourselves wearied by the world's pressures or discover we are exhausted, hurt, anxious, or simply worn down in this troublesome life.
Both joy in the Lord and gentles of heart are attitudes that should permeate the soul and spirit of the righteous, for we are called upon to be anxious for nothing – but in everything, by prayer and supplication to make our requests known to the Lord, knowing that when we do so – the peace of God, which passes man’s comprehension will flood our hearts and minds in a deepening knowledge of Jesus Christ – our gentle God and gracious Saviour.
They were uttered to the confused disciples as they approached their greatest time of trial and anxiety that was to shroud their lives for three days of deep dark agony of soul - as the One they loved and trusted was snatched from their sight and all hope of the coming kingdom Christ promised, evaporated like the mist of the morning.
Christ not only warns of the danger of following after the fluff and glitter of this world's dainties, but points out that an over-anxious pursuit of the simple necessities of life, runs counter to an attitude of utter reliance on God for our daily provision.
We are similarly informed that He will never allow the righteous to be shaken and to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we are to let our requests be made known to God, for when we trust in the Lord with all our heart, His incomprehensible peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
He will not fear when the heat comes, but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.
Anxious thoughts and futile strivings, in their various guises and disguises, is a sin that reflects unbelief in God's gracious promises of provision.
Christ's simple lesson about the birds of the air and flowers of the field should expose the futility of anxious strivings and futile cravings, for God provides for the simple sparrow and dresses the lovely lily of the field in a magnificent gown.
Worry is a fruitless exercise and too often has a detrimental effect on home-life and health, for anxious thoughts cannot achieve anything and are likely to increase fretfulness, spawn fear, and cause illnesses.
Rather than permitting our minds to be dragged down into the miry clay of the world, through fretful worry and anxious thoughts, we should take every thought captive to Christ, and allow our hearts to ascend into heavenly places in Him, knowing that His way always turns out for the best - especially when it differs from our own objectives!
If anxiety or worry causes a man to be controlled or restricted by his circumstances, or if he seeks to escape the consequences of life's pressures by committing some sort of evil act, then that man sets a trap for himself.
Reverence for the Lord brings with it wisdom and strength, hope and joy, while esteem for fallen man too often entraps the soul and is accompanied by anxiety and worry.
Jesus was attempting to show them that if they had trusted Him for their redemption, how foolish, therefore, to become fretful and anxious over their daily needs.
Jesus wanted to show that anxiety about their daily needs demonstrated a shocking lack of understanding of the tremendous love the Father has for those that are His children.
By saying that Solomon in all his glory and greatness was not dressed as beautifully as the simple little insignificant wayside flower, was not intended to suggest that God did not care for Solomon - but indicated that our heavenly Father provides for absolutely ALL the needs and necessities of life. If God takes such care to clothe an insignificant little wild lily, growing at the side of the road – how foolish to allow anxious thoughts to flood our minds.
Without faith, it is impossible to please Him and one of the biggest demonstrations of a lack of faith is worry... which is why Jesus concluded by addressing the issue of fretfulness and fear, anxiety and worry.
So many of the Lord’s words to the disciples were spoken to move them from the fraught emotional thinking, that ravaged their anxious hearts to the calm influence of the gospel truth that would set their hearts free and keep them from stumbling.
Let us not be anxious about anything but listen obediently to His voice - trusting in the Lord with all our heart and not to leaning to our own understanding, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
After having touched on tangible things like charitable giving, prayer, fasting, and one's attitude towards possessions, Jesus addressed issues like worry and anxiety and the need to place one's total trust in God for all eventualities of life, For this reason, Jesus told them, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.
Do not be anxious!
But anxiety, worry, fear, and fretting about the smallest thing, seems second nature to each one of us and we all have asked the question, what if..?
His victory at the Cross secured for us the power to overcome every anxiety, worry, fear, or fret - however large and however small.
He comes as the accuser of the saints and as the destroyer of nations - for he is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning - and he comes as a roaring lion seeking to ship-wreck the faith of many Christians through fear, anxiety, worry and depression - weakening our witness; rendering us useless as ambassadors for Christ and stunting our Christian growth.
No surprise that we receive such a stern and vital warning against worry and anxiety and such a strong admonition to be spiritually alert, sober-minded..
He knew that the joy of the Lord was their strength, and that the secret of possessing the peace of God was to be anxious for nothing, but in everything to pray to the Lord, and give thanks to our heavenly Father, for His goodness and grace.
We are warned neither to fret nor to become anxious about anything that life may throw at us... but rather we are strongly exhorted to depend entirely upon the Lord for everything, for His Word is true and His promises are all 'yes' and 'amen' in Christ Jesus.
How easy it is to start to worry about the necessities of life and to become anxious when we see that food is getting scarce; clothes are getting worn; the rent is overdue or when we have to face the loss of a job or a home.
To adopt a heart of worry when we are faced with lack is to step into the realm of the unbeliever, for scripture reminds us that in the world system it is the unbelievers; the Gentiles; the pagans that fret over the basics of life and adopt an attitude of anxiety.
When our heart is trusting Him in all things and Christ is in the centre of our lives we will find that anxiety has no place in our thinking and faith in His Word will increase, despite life’s circumstances, until we come to know Him as our all-sufficient provider as well as our all-sufficient saviour.