A Checklist for Your Fears and Anxieties

This is a good time to remember God’s words to us about fear and anxiety. Though God’s words are always beautiful, now seems an especially good time to remember how God comforts us.

Here are some of his most important words. Check to see if you are missing any of them.

1. You will be anxious.

“When I am afraid,” the psalmist writes (Ps. 56:3). In other words, you have good reasons to be anxious. Something important to you is at risk, and you’re too small and weak to do anything about it. Your Father knows this, which means that he has compassion on you, and he will act. Jesus calls us “little flock” (Luke 12:32). He knows we’re his defenseless lambs. He assures us that he is our good shepherd. 

2. ‘Don’t be anxious’ (Luke 12:22) is an invitation rather than a rebuke.

Notice the way we say it to children. We aren’t commanding them to be fearless. We’re asking them to listen to our words of comfort.

3. Speak to the Lord.

“Pour out your heart before him” (Ps. 62:7). If we believe that our anxieties are simply to be commanded away, we wouldn’t share them with the Lord. Such silence would be a tragedy.

Though God’s words are always beautiful, now seems an especially good time to remember how God comforts us.

Our fears and anxieties are personal problems. They need the right person, who is both strong and loving, who both hears us and also speaks with us. Speak your anxieties to him rather than trying to solve them on your own.

4. Remember Immanuel.

Here is the promise: God with us. This is the goal of the gospel, or the forgiveness of our sin: communion.

Scripture is the story of God’s plan to be close to his people. This closeness has been fully secured by Jesus in his death, resurrection, and ascension. Now nothing can separate us from his love (Rom. 8:35).

The challenge is to hold fast to one of the endless images that helps you see this spiritual reality.

A recent favorite is Psalm 121, which is crammed with images. “Your shade on your right hand” (121:5) is particularly beautiful to me. The Lord is so close that he shades you from the noonday sun.

5. Today.

Along with the promise of his presence, the Lord draws our attention to today. Imagine his provision of manna in the wilderness. Today he will give you enough manna, which we know as grace. It’s everything you need.

Scripture is the story of God’s plan to be close to his people. This closeness has been fully secured by Jesus in his death, resurrection, and ascension.

But God won’t give you tomorrow’s manna until tomorrow. Otherwise, you’d trust in your extra manna more than you would trust in him. Meanwhile, let tomorrow be anxious for itself (Matt. 6:34), so we can focus on partnering with him today. 

6. Pray that ‘little faith’ grows.

Jesus call us those of “little faith” (e.g., Matt. 6:30). Here, again, he’s inviting us to know him even more, so we can grow up and have the faith of a dependent child. Little faith is contrasted with courage or confidence. The plan is to have our large fears linked to large confidence, trust, and rest.

Today is a good time to be taken further into God’s words for the fearful and anxious. 

Written By: ED WELCH

First published 17.05.20: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/checklist-fears-anxieties/

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