SALT & LIGHT TRUSTING GOD WITH OUR ANXIETIES
We continue with the re-publication of our early articles in commemoration of Salt and Light Ministries' (SALM) 10th Anniversary.
As you read this article, which was first published in July 18, 2003. It is our prayer that you will heed to the admonishment of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6-7 “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 Christ Jesus.”
Most times we feel rushed or caught on a treadmill, always focusing on future needs, always thinking about what is happening next rather than what is happening right now. The people of Isaiah's time were consumed with anxiety about the Assyrians. They were busily making plans and preparations in case the enemy invaded them. But God warned them that the key to withstanding the threats of Assyria was not in frenetic activity, but in quiet, confident trust in Him. “ The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, “Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it”
Resting in the Lord
The story is told of a London Doctor who was paralysed and bedridden but whose courage and cheerfulness, radiance and brave smile touched everybody. People even forgot that he was so incapacitated. One day his son came to tell him that he wanted to leave home and go and make a life for himself and this is what his father the bedridden Doctor told him “son, the thing to do is to hold your own end up, and do it like a gentleman and please remember that the biggest troubles you have got to face are those that never come.
Jesus tells us that worrying is of no use. In Mathew 6:25-34 we find seven (7) reasons why Jesus says we should not worry:
1. God is the giver of our lives and so we can trust Him for all that is necessary to support life.
2. Even birds, who own no farms and barns, are well taken care of. They have no cares. The work they do is to identify where their needs have been provided and they fly thither to appropriate them.
3. Worrying is pointless because we have no control over the most critical and essential things; we have no power to change them.
4. The lilies of the fields in His day had but one day of life and after that they would be used to heat an oven. And yet God clothes them with beauty beyond man's power to imitate. And if God give such incredible beauty to a short-lived flower how much more will He not care for us who have been created in His image. If God can lavish such generosity on a flower whose lifespan is only a day, surely He will be even more generous to human beings who are the crown of creation.
5. It is only those who do not know God who worry. Worry is therefore a distrust of God and we who know Him have no business distrusting Him because we know that He is a God of love.
6. We can defeat worrying, if we seek first and concentrate upon the kingdom of God. Worrying is banished when we make God the dominating power to our lives
7. We can defeat worry when we learn to live one day at a time. We should learn to handle the demands of each day as it comes without worrying about the unknown future and the things which may never happen as the London Doctor had told his son.
Worrying is Pointless
Beloved in Christ, worry is needless, useless and actuallyq1 injurious to our health both emotionally and physically.
a. Worry is blind because it refuses to learn the lessons of nature such as we find in birds and flowers. It refuses to learn the lessons of history which clearly show that God has always been good and has never let us down. No wonder the Lord God told the children of Israel never to forget what He did for them in EGYPT, at the Red Sea; in the dessert and in bringing them to the Promised Land. “Then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. Who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with it's venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock - Deut. 8:14-15.
b. Worry also refuses to learn the lesson of life. The lesson of life is that somehow we are always enabled to bear the unbearable and to accomplish the impossible and to reach the breaking point and yet not break. Let us think about how often God has been our help.
Worry is irreligious – worry is not caused by external circumstances. It stems from a distrustful heart – a heart filled with doubts and fear. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
The antidote to worry
The Bible says that the name of the Lord is a strong tower – the righteous run into it and are saved -Prov.18: 10. In the same manner the name of the Lord
El-shaddai is our antidote to worry and anxieties.
El Shaddai is translated God Almighty and first appears in Gen 17:1. It is found 218 times in the Bible. El signifies Strong One and Shaddai – the Breasted One. This gives the picture of God as the:
* Strong nourisher
* Strength Giver
* All bountiful
* Supplier of the needs of His people
* The fruitful one who is able to cause dead things to come to life. For instance, 150 years old Abraham and 90 years old Sarah gave birth to Isaac.
* The life giver
No wonder Jesus says we should not worry. Our knowledge of God should cause us to leave our anxieties in His care.
We are vulnerable – the world scares us with its myriads of demands, most of them impossible. Under such circumstances our only recourse is to practice what we read in Phil 4:6. We must:
i. Stop being anxious and fretful
ii. Go to God in prayer with everything – not just some of our needs
iii. Pray for ourselves. We have a relationship with Him as a Father and we must go to Him.
iv. Thank Him as we pray – knowing that He promises to hear us and answer.
We must remember that He is a
* God of Love – He desires our ultimate good
* God of wisdom – He knows what is best for us
* God of power who alone can accomplish what is best for us.
When we do all these things then we will find peace – peace that is beyond human understanding. We find God's own peace and this peace garrisons our hearts and minds from the assault of the enemy and firmly plants us in Christ Jesus as we read in Phil. 4:7.
PS: Look out for our programme of activities for the rest of the year to mark 10th Anniversary. If would like to support the work of this ministry, please call us on 021-772013; 0243787599 or 0243807088.