AnxietyBro. David Chancellor
5/25/2008 6:00 PM
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue. Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand. When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makes his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.
This is a quiet reflection of David on things he saw. We can learn from observing others. We need to be stirred about our own condition from time to time. We need to consider the brevity of life. We’re limited in our abilities. Our frailty doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety to us. We know that God is great and we are small in comparison. At our greatest, we’re nothing compared to God, but many people have an elevated opinion of themselves. Our problems inflate themselves to appear greater than anything anyone else has faced. People can worry about a lot of things for nothing and not focus on what they should focus on. What are you all worried about? If you have God, there’s really nothing to be anxious about. If our hope is in God, he’ll take us through whatever lies ahead of us. We don’t have to be a stranger to God. When we know God, we find comfort, strength and assurance for life.
And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Jesus didn’t want them to be anxious about life. Worry takes from us what God would give to us. Joy doesn’t spring from a doubtful mind. God can supply our needs, whether physical or spiritual. If your faith needs to be increased, keep seeking God until it is. Don’t settle for less than confidence in God. Learn to trust God. Put your soul in God’s hands. Let go and let God handle whatever the situation might be.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Don’t expect verse 7 without verse 6. Don’t expect peace to coexist with anxiety. All kinds of trouble can be taken to God. Anything and everything is God’s business. Can you thank God for where you’re at while you’re asking? Are your requests mixed with thankfulness? God knows what’s going on. We don’t have to approach God with anxiety. We can approach with peace. Some things we just need to ask for grace to deal with it instead of asking God to remove the source of the problem. Do you believe that God knows what he’s doing, whether you understand it or not? Requests aren’t demands. We can come with expectation and hope that he will help us, but we want to have the right attitude toward God. Come trusting and thankful. This is how you will have peace. Cast your cares and worries on God.
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I? For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
How do you feel about life’s work? Life has labor. We all have something to do. You can work hard and feel like life is a struggle; it doesn’t have to be a drudgery of an existence. You can enjoy life and work hard. Labor isn’t the source of our troubles. You can still enjoy life. Live to please God. This is where the joy is found. You can have wisdom and knowledge and joy. We have work to do. Anxiety would steal your joy. The sinner’s labor is described as travail, or a big pain. They work and work and never have enough. They’re like a hamster on an exercise wheel – expending lots of energy and getting nowhere. The difference between the two lives is faith in God. Life doesn’t have to be vanity and vexation of spirit if we have God. As long as we live, we can give of ourselves joyfully when we have trust in God. The joy of God is lasting. We can have abundant life in God. Why settle for a life of travail?