Sunday, May 6, 2018


I want to be in control to avoid stress, worry, and an array of various threats. I need to assure myself that I can handle any eventuality - a flat tire, a cancelled flight, catching the plane on time, sleeping through the night, or just worrying that my back and knees might not hold up. It is just too threatening a thought that I will not be able to handle these eventualities.

I give these things to God, but worry has such deep roots that it pops up again like garden weeds. So I have been thinking a lot about how to entrust my fears to God. Here is a strategy that makes sense to me:

Knowing that I am not in control and that I cannot entrust to myself with the burdens of life. In fact, I am not supposed to trust myself:

* Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.”(Jeremiah 17:5-7)

When I trust in my flesh (myself), I am doing the very opposite of trusting in the Lord. In fact, all of the worry gives me little more than a headache. Jesus also taught us that worry and anxiousness accomplishes little:

* “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27)

Hyper-control and the anxiety it provokes are costly. “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad” (Proverbs 12:25).

Our Savior is willing and able to carry our burdens. He beckons us to give Him our cares and anxieties:

* Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Now, from Jesus’ lips:

* “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

According to Jesus, He is certainly able to shoulder all of our concerns:

* But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

Even now, He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). Even now, we are the product of His workmanship:

* For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

This means that we don’t have to worry about our decisions or competence. Instead, it is about Him and not about us:

* I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Therefore, the battle is the Lord’s, who informed the terrified King Jehoshaphat and Jerusalem that they would not even have to fight against the unstoppable enemy that was coming against them. They would simply watch as God delivered them:

* Thus says the Lord to you, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's...You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)

He cares even about our smallest concerns. Jesus taught us that if God cares about sparrows, He also cares about the number of hairs we have on our heads:

* “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:28-31)

Remember how the Lord has rescued! The Psalmist confessed that he had been so tormented that he was unable to speak, but he knew where to find the answer:

* Then I said, "I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High." I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” (Psalms 77:10-12)

We find these deeds written in His Word for our encouragement, but we should also recall the ways He has delivered us. I therefore love to tell my testimony to friend and foe alike. This places my attention where it belongs - on God - and reminds me that I need not be in control because He is.

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