The Answer to Anxiety (Part 4)

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:25-30 ESV). We come back to the first reading in this series today. My response to the person who has to deal with feelings of anxiety every day is to say: That’s more or less normal. The issue is how you deal with them. And you deal with anxieties by battling unbelief. And you battle unbelief by meditating on God’s word and asking for the help of his Spirit. The windshield wipers are the promises of God that clear away the mud of unbelief. And the windshield washer fluid is the help of the Holy Spirit. Without the softening work of the Holy Spirit the wipers of the Word just scrape over the blinding clumps of unbelief. Both are necessary: the Spirit and the word. We read the promises of God and we pray for the help of his Spirit. Here in our original reading we have the illustration of anxiety over food and clothing. Even in our country with its extensive welfare system, anxiety over finances and housing can be very intense. But Jesus says that this is owing to unbelief: “O you of little faith.” And so this paragraph has at least half a dozen promises in it to battle that unbelief. Believe the promises of Jesus, and anxiety will evaporate in the warmth of God’s care. At the end of verse 32 he says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” That is a spectacular promise. In everything you do at home and at work, put God’s purposes first, and he will provide all you need to live for his glory. And so we follow today the pattern of Jesus and Paul. We battle the unbelief of anxiety with the promises of God. So I urge you in your warfare, take up the book of God, ask the Holy Spirit for help, lay the promises up in your heart, and battle on. And remember the promise of Proverbs 21:31, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” BELIEVE...

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