Wednesday, June 2, 2010
What If...? A short discourse on anxiety for the Old Geezer
Well, he emailed me and here is what he said:
Brother Gregg, on top of being an excellent expositor of God's word, I think you have the gift of mind reading.
After I posted my "Worry Wart" blog I said to my wife, "I can't wait to read my friend Gregg's comment. I'll bet he gives a sermon about Thou Shalt Not Worry". I was actually looking forward to it. I seem to be receptive to almost everything you write on my blog and so do most of my readers. If you have the time a short sermon on worry would be more than welcome. :-)
My email was response was:
Ron - you are too much! That was a wonderful email, and I am still laughing. I saw a chance here when I read your post and then I thought no, he is just baiting me. It was too easy, and my mother used to say, "If it sounds too good to be true, it is." So I passed! Then you email me with an open invitation?
So, here are a few thoughts on the topic of being a worry wart and being someone who gives into worry, anxiety, fear, and unbelief.
I realize that all of us, believers in particular are human. Worry is an avenue available to all of us, yet it is one that we do not need to utilize.
I didn't realize this until very late in my Christian life but worry is equal to pride and unbelief. This is why I think it is so serious and why God treats it so seriously.
What do we need to know?
First, God is absolutely sovereign. He acts sovereignly in accordance with every other attribute that He possess, including perfect wisdom, perfect love, perfect compassion, and etc. God sovereignly directs every event in our life by either direct or indirect purpose.
Read Genesis 50:20 carefully. Joseph’s brothers meant selling him into slavery as an evil thing, yet God meant it for good in His eternal purpose. God used the hatred in Joseph's brothers’ heart to cause them to sell Joseph in order to place him in Egypt in order to eventually be exalted to the 2nd highest position in the land in order to save his family.
Grumbling, complaining, and worry puts ourselves equal to God and says, "in my human wisdom, I have decreed one or all of four things":
• I don't like your plan God
• I don't think you utilized the best wisdom for me in this plan
• I deserve better than what you seem to have decreed for me
• I don't trust you to fulfill your words or promises even though you are God and have never lied, broken a promise, proven yourself to be unwise, unkind, unloving, or unsympathetic.
That is why when the people complained in Numbers 11 the LORD sent fire and killed a good number of them. God hates complaining, the NT tells us to do all things without murmuring and complaining. Worry is the child of murmuring and complaining. Read what God did and how he responded in Exodus and Numbers when the children of Israel worried and was full of anxiety that spilled out as murmuring and complaining.
As your (The Old Geezer’s) other commenters have already mentioned, we are told in Philippians not to worry about anything, but we are to pray and share our hearts with God. What happens? He gives us peace, freedom from worry.
We worry, first because it is a normal human reaction, and second, because we have not trained ourselves through discipline to not react normally, and third, we worry because we do not see it as the sin that it is - it is sin against God.
Have I gotten to where I don't worry? No! But, when fear, worry, concern, or anxiety rears its ugly head, I have trained myself to run to God, share with him that I am worried, why I am worried, confess it as sin, and pray for my needs or what I am "worried" about and linger with God until that peace that He promised floods my soul.
God is true or He is not true, His word is true or it is not, He can be trusted or He can't, He is wise or He isn't, He is caring, or He isn't - this is what it boils down to.
The opposite of trusting God is anxiety or frustration. Jesus taught on anxiety in Matthew 6:25-34, where He used the word anxious six times. We are not to be anxious about what we are to wear, eat, and drink or about the unknown circumstances of tomorrow. Jesus tells us not to fear or be afraid. Look at what Peter said in I Peter 5:7 "Cast your care or anxieties on Him." Christians should be “casting care” not “taking care.”
The biggest reason Christians fear, worry, or are anxious, is this: they don't like God's plan for their life. They believe they deserve better. They don't like how it is going. We are unwilling to accept God's agenda because we have our agenda.
“I should get that job, I should be liked by so and so, I should have gotten that raise, I should have that house, I shouldn't be sick. I should have her and on and on and on and on.”
We can sure excuse our worry and anxiety can't we? We can rationalize and justify it to where we think even God should be apologizing to us for letting us down.
So, until you come to understand and accept God as absolutely sovereign and in charge of every detail of your life - go ahead and worry.
Until you meditate deeply on His glorious, majestic, and magnificent character until you see how wise, loving, kind, generous, giving, gentle and perfect he is - go ahead and worry.
Until you make prayer your refuge without ceasing always sharing your heart and concerns with him in submissive agreement - go ahead and worry.
Until you come to that point where you are convinced (I forget who said this so I can't give credit here to whom credit is due) that God is God and that you are not - go ahead and worry.
All tongue in cheek, but trust God, for He is worthy - He will never let you down. He has promised to stick closer than a brother, He has promised to never to abandon or forsake you, He has promised to take you up even when mother or father or friends abandon you, He has stated in Romans that if He did not hold back His only Son but gave him on your behalf, He will not withhold anything that He knows we need.
By the way Ron, now you have me "worried", what do you mean you are receptive to almost everything I write? Just kidding!!
Love ya brother, and remember you asked for it.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 3:00 AM