29 Aug Anxiety and the assurance of promises
Anxiety is a condition of heart that gives rise to many other sinful states of mind. Anxiety about finance can give rise to coveting and stealing and corruption. Anxiety about relationship can make you withdrawn and indifferent and uncaring about other people. Anxiety about how someone will respond to you can make you cover the truth and lie about things.
Jesus says the root of anxiety is inadequate faith in our Father€™s promises. As unbelief gets the upper hand in our hearts, one of the effects is anxiety. The root cause of anxiety is a failure to trust all that God has promised to be for us in Jesus. This might not sound like good news as what we thought as a simple anxiety turns out to be our unbelief toward God€™s promises. But this is actually good news as we know the root cause of it and can find the exact remedy for it.
Psalms 56:3 – When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. The Bible does not assume that believers will not experience anxiety. But it said €˜cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you.€™ Feeling of anxiety is something normal in the life of believers. But it is something that we need to fight. And we fight it by having faith in the assurance of promises. That God €˜knows the thoughts He has toward us. It is plan of good and not of evil. To give us future and hope.€™
Seven promises of future grace against anxiety:
1. V.25 – our body and life are vastly more complex and difficult to provide than food and clothing are, and yet God has, in fact, created and provided you with both, then surely He will be able and willing to provide you with food and clothing.
2. V.26 – In the account of Luke, the birds are actually raven. Ravens are scavengers. They are considered unclean and God forbid Israel from eating them. But even God take care of them. They can€™t do anything to bring their food into being, as we can by working. How much more will He provides our needs who worth a lot more than birds? Eg: Moses get caught up in the middle between the red sea and the Egyptians army. In the middle of anxieties he told Israel to stand still and let the Lord fight for them. We want to do something but the Lord€™s way is for us to stand still and let Him do the work!
3. V.27-28 – Anxiety will not prolong our life. It will do us no good. Statistic shows that stress people are most likely to die young! Worrying a lot about our problems will not help us in any way. It will not help us to live longer. Anxiety accomplishes nothing worthwhile.
4. V.28-30 – The lilies of the field grows by neither toil nor spin. It is not our hard work that makes us grow in the Lord. The flowers don€™t labor but they look beautiful because they expose themselves to the sun. If God can take care of the flowers, the temporal thing which last only for short time, how much more will He take care of us, even with our little faith! This promise is not apply only to those of great faith. It is by God€™s grace. If we are not worried, God will clothe us better than Solomon, the richest man ever lived!
5. V.31-32 – God is not ignorant of your needs. He knows it and He cares. Like a father cares for his child, He will supply all our needs when the time is best.
6. V.33 – Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness! Not mans righteousness but Jesus and His imputed righteousness in us! When we realize this when we will know that He has supply everything we need and will ever need.
7. V.34 – God will see to it that we are not tested in any given day more than we can bear. Every day will have no more trouble than what we can bear, and everyday will have grace sufficient for that day’s stress.
Paul said that ‘My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. If we live by faith in His promises, it will be hard for anxiety to survive. God’s riches in glory are inexhaustible. He really means for us not to worry about our future. For every needy circumstances that we will ever face in life, there is a promise that counter the needs already in the Bible. And the best thing about the promises in the new covenant is that it is not based on our own merit or what we must do, but based on what God will do for us in the righteousness of Christ!
Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?
This is the assurance of all God’s promises for His people. ‘He who did not spare His own son’ – its not the Jewish, the Pharisees or the Romans that killed Jesus. He surrendered his own life based on His obedience to the Father. It is the Father himself that murdered Jesus. Isaiah 53 noted that ‘it please the Lord to crush Him..’ it is something that is hard for us to comprehend but it’s what the Father did. And He did it ‘for us all.’ The very sole reason why it pleases the Lord to crush and turn His back on Jesus is so that He can turn His face toward you and me. The Lord’s back represent the judgment and the wrath of God. But His face represents His love, favor, grace, blessing and mercy. Son of God endured all the curses and the pain and the wrath of God so that we can stand before the Father forgiven, holy, justified, accepted and righteous.
Since God did not spare His own son, then surely He must and will freely give us all things with Him! Majori ad minus – arguing from greater to lesser. Just like God will take the time to clothe the lilies of the valley, which is very improbable, how much more will He take care of His sons and daughters? So when God overcomes the high improbability and clothes the field flowers, He proves that He can and will clothe the disciples.
God is love. And His love is perfect and infinite. That’s how He loves His only beloved son, Jesus. His son did not deserve to be killed. Jesus is perfect in every way and worthy to receive all worship. This is what made it so unlikely that God would hand Him over. Yet God did it. And in doing it He showed that He will definitely do all other things, to which would be easy by comparison! Giving us what we need is the easy part. The hard part is already done! Creating the world and running it for the good of His people is a relatively easy thing for God to do compare to handing over His son to be ridiculed and tortured. But He did it. And now all of His other promises is not only sure, but easy. Hallelujah!
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.