2020-01-02
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God tells us not to worry or be anxious. In fact, we know from Scripture that worrying is a sin that separates us from God. There are countless verses in the Bible that remind us of God's presence in moments of anxiety, worry and panic.  First Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or drink, not about your body, what you will put on.” Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” These are just a few. Scripture tells us not to be anxious. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus “in every aspect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Reading this verse, it would seem as if Jesus never worried or was anxious about anything, right?

In order to answer to this question, you have to first look at the nature of Jesus. He was fully human, but also fully God. Since Jesus was fully human. He experienced the same struggles, temptations in addition to other human emotions. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that Jesus can relate to the things we experience and the temptation we face because He too was tempted by the enemy. He also knows what we’re going through. While Jesus was tempted in the same ways that we are, what separates Jesus from us is the fact that He never gave in to temptation. Jesus may have been tempted by sin, but that didn’t mean He sinned.

One of the greatest examples of Jesus facing temptation was in Matthew 4:1-11 where satan tempted Jesus. At that time, Jesus was in a very weak state physically. It would have been very easy for Jesus to fall victim to sin because He was so weak. However, Jesus not only didn’t fall victim to sin during this period. In fact, Jesus rebuked satan. He could have fallen victim to sin, particularly satan’s lies and requests but He didn’t because Jesus is without sin.

Some people believe that the night before Jesus’ persecution, He worried. Those who think this usually reference Luke 22:44 which says, “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” At quick glance, it may appear as if Jesus worried. However, a deeper dive into the text reveals that He was not controlled by fear. The sorrow, and distress He experienced were natural human responses, not examples of sin. When we worry, doubt or experience anxiety, we are allowing the acts of fear to control our life and our decisions instead of placing our trust in God. Jesus never stopped trusting in God. Jesus would have sinned if He had allowed His feelings to lead to worry and not follow through with His Father’s plan. Yet, this wasn’t the case.

Jesus reveals to us that He was without worry. He knew what He was going to face on the cross and took it on directly. Jesus said His prayers that night, turning to God saying, “not as I will, but as You will.” He did not worry or doubt God.

If you’re anxious or worried, there are a number of Bible verses you can turn to that can help you overcome your fears. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” There are three times in Joshua 1 that God tells Joshua to be strong and to be courageous because he’ll need to be ready for what’s coming later. God also commands that he not be frightened or dismayed and for one reason only; “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” If you are going into a particularly unsettling situation and your soul is anxious, have comfort in the fact that God is with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Sometimes, we can read certain verses from Scripture a hundred times and fail to take them to heart the way the Lord wants us to. Other times, we can linger on a verse or two, and let them minister life, healing and comfort to us. Isaiah 41:10 is so rich with the promises of God that it warrants special attention from us. Ultimately, the Lord wants to impart to us through this verse that we shouldn’t be afraid. “Fear not [there is nothing to fear].” One reason why God warns us against fear is that it can short-circuit the answered prayers and blessings that He has in store for us. When you are anxious, hold onto the promise that God is upholding you in His righteous hand.

Psalm 46:1 reminds us that, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” By definition, a refuge is a safe place. When the Bible describes God as our refuge, it is saying that God is our safe place when we need protection from something. Knowing God is our refuge enables us to trust Him more freely. We need not fear situations or people who threaten our well-being, whether in a physical or spiritual sense. There is no situation we will ever face that is out of God’s control, so the best place to be when your soul is anxious, always, is right with Him.

When we worry, we get so lost in what might happen that we lose sight of our own peace and happiness. If you are facing worry today, remember how Jesus handled moments where worry and fear could have ensued. When we truly trust the Father, there is nothing we can’t get through.

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