Did you know that we don't have to have anxiety in our lives!
That's right - we can overcome even the slightest trace of anxiousness if we give everything over to God .
Ho Hum here we go again - I've heard all of that before - it doesn't work I can hear you say.
Well, I must admit I have been a Christian a long time and it has just been recently that I have learnt that there is really no place in the Christian life for anxiety.
That's right - no place at all - in fact if we let ourselves become a slave to anxiety we are virtually saying to God that we don't trust you enough to believe what you say in your Word and we want to live without you.
Yes, anxiety is a sin. - pretty horrible sin at that - anxiousness can lead to all sorts of problems in our lives. Physical problems - Like not sleeping, depression, eating disorders, stomach and liver problems, tobacco and alcohol abuse in fact all sorts of stress related issues - stemming straight from an anxious and worrying lifestyle.
|Stress/anxiety can cause countless problems|
All the hype and "go-go-go" in the business world has a marked effect on us as employees/employers.
Mental Health issues has become one of today's main concerns - The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells me that almost half (45% or 7.3 million) of 16 million Australians (aged 16-85 years) met the criteria for a diagnosis of a mental disorder at some point in their life. One in five (3.2 million) had experienced the symptoms in the 12 months to the survey - and most of these cases can be attributed mainly to anxiousness.
Pretty staggering statistics - I must admit feeling a bit overwhelmed by all that - stats have never been my strong point but with figures like that you must take notice!
What is happening to the world? I can certainly tell you - because I have been caught up in the downward spiral myself and being there it is not a pretty place.
We as human beings have systematically turned our backs on our Creator God - we have turned to others things that give us a feeling of well-being for the short term.
We have in short become idolaters - looking to other people or other'idols' in our search for so-called happiness - You know how it goes - "If I can just buy this new house I will be happy" - or "If I can just go on this holiday that will be my hearts desire" or "If I can just live with him/her all my troubles will be over".
We hear it everyday - things that we figure will make us 'happy' and 'fulfilled'. I'm telling you right now that these 'things' will never make you happy and fulfilled - they will certainly give you a 'buzz' in the short term but they will never ever give you your hearts desire and fulfil that longing that we all have for perfect happiness and contentment.
I have been reading lately and also studying in our Bible Group a book by John Piper - "Faith in Future Grace" - I must admit that it was a bit daunting but one thing bounced out at me and smacked me fair in the face - that thing is:-
God has given us grace to save us in the first place - without that grace we cannot come to Him at all.
It was grace that drove Jesus to Calvary - Grace that nailed him to the cross - Grace that enabled Him to take all the mocking, scourging, torture and death.
It was also grace that enabled Him to rise again and seal our salvation. - Pretty amazing stuff but stuff that I knew and was always amazed at BUT..
It is also His ON-GOING grace that keeps us walking with God - to enable us to continue worshipping, praising and living for Him.
This ON-GOING grace is a day by day - moment by moment thing graciously given to us by the Father.
This is the thing....
God will give us this grace for today - the grace for tomorrow will come tomorrow.
Think about that!!!
We don't have to concern ourselves with what will happen tomorrow - because tomorrow's grace hasn't been given to us yet - in other words our worries about tomorrow will be taken care of by God tomorrow - not today.
We can spend so much time worrying about tomorrow when in fact as Christians God has enabled us and given us the ability to cope with everything JUST for today - in fact JUST for the moment!
Last year we were "thrown a curved ball' when from left field we were given some pretty devastating news - My immediate thoughts were - How are we going to cope with this? - I must admit that I lost it - wrung hands and got depressed - did it help? not at all - only made things heaps worse.
God didn't promise us a life free of trauma and problems. He did promise us the ability to get through them - He WILL see us through to the end IF we keep our eyes on Him.
God also promises us His grace and the ability to get through the day - He will give us the strength we need to cope with the problems and trauma associated with what you are doing NOW not tomorrow.
Through our trauma of last year and of course the continuing uncertainty we were and are able to cope by God's grace every day - we had and have to keep our eyes on Him and don't look to the future - knowing that the grace to cope with tomorrow will come tomorrow by our gracious Lord - it won't come today.
Looking at tomorrow's problems today WILL definitely cause anxiety and worry.
God's grace will see us through today it is His promise and God's promises never fail.
Matthew 6:34 says "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own"
Up to just recently I hadn't really got a handle on that verse - BUT it is amazing and awesome to think that God can and will give us the strength to cope with what is dished out today - Let's not take tomorrow's troubles and concerns on our shoulders today.
His grace is all sufficient, all powerful and all conquering.
Trust God for everything we need for today - His grace and strength will see us through both today and tomorrow.
I wrote the following song when I was 15 years old. I have never forgotten it and every now and again I will sing it to myself - luckily no one else can hear.
I guess it has become more of a poem now but the interesting thing is that the words mean more to me now than they did 50 years ago - Our God is indeed marvellous in our eyes - He is awesome and amazing and I am ever spellbound by his wonders.