There Is Nothing That So Troubles
Our Mind, Strains The Heart,
Distresses The Soul,
And Confuse The Judgement
- William Ullathorne
As worshipers, what will cripple us from doing God’s will and enjoying His presence? What will rob us of the joy of the Lord? ANXIETY! ANXIETY! ANXIETY!
Why is Paul so concerned with our level of anxiety? Because :
1) Proverbs 12:25 tells us that “An anxious heart weighs a man down.”
2) Isaiah 61:3 equate this as "the spirit of heaviness"
3) Psalm 139:23 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." It's a little disturbing to us that king David equates anxious thoughts with an "offensive way" (verse 24) in this Psalm.
In what way can our anxiety be awfully offensive?
- When we harbour anxious thoughts, we are saying that the One who has promised to take care of our future (Jeremiah 29:11) might not do a good job of it.
- It says that the One who has promised to walk us through the waters and not allow the fire to burn us (Isaiah 43:2) might abandon us to the waters and the fire.
- And it says that His presence in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) might not be enough to calm us
(an extract from Worship The King & Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)
What is the solution to our anxiety? We learned from last week's post that the answers are found in Philippians 4:6-7. That we “Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.” When our prayers and petitions are mingled with THANKSGIVING, we are opening our hearts (guarding your hearts - Proverbs 4:23) to His presence. Psalm 100:4 says “Enter His gates (opening your heart) with THANKSGIVING and His courts with PRAISE; give THANKS to Him and PRAISE His name.” Instead of occupying our thoughts with the spirit of anxiety, we “PUT ON THE GARMENT OF PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness (heavy, burdened, failing spirit)” - Isaiah 61:3.
Jesus taught us, " ... do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." - verse 34 (Matthew 6: 25-34 in context)
Imagine a son lying awake at night wondering if his parents are going to feed him tomorrow. Or a daughter wondering if she will have something to clothe herself in. That might happen in some homes, but what does it say of the parents? Nothing complimentary.
As worshipers of God we cannot praise Him with such insecurities. Our anxieties are forms of anti-worship - a clear declaration that our God might not have promised us enough or might not be able to follow through on what He has promised. Yes, He may let us go through hard things, but never ourside of His timing or beyond His protection. So worship Him. And don't worry about tomorrow!