A Word to the Anxious Christian
We all have different things that may stress us. One person can enter a potentially dangerous situation and everything seems to slow down, their focus becomes clearer. They are calm. Another person can enter that same situation and panic sets in. Everything appears to be racing. They are not only anxious, but stressed. They feel overwhelmed.
In this example, what is interesting is we could take the same two people and put them in another situation that is potentially dangerous, and the person who was anxious might well be calm and the one who was calm might well be anxious.
I have seen this many times in ministry. I have seen it in others. I've seen it in my own life.
We are not as consistent as we would like to be. We all have areas of life in which we need to grow.
However, there is a difference between these examples above and the professing believer who is characterized by anxiety and fear whenever they experience discomfort or challenges.
Right now, there are some Christians who are profoundly wrestling with 'what if's' concerning Covid-19 pandemic.
On one hand, it is understandable to be concerned. This is an invisible enemy. It knows no borders. While it does have certain patterns, there are, as leading doctors and scientists admit, many things about Covid-19 that are head scratching.
Taking proper precautions (handwashing, social distancing, etc.,) are normal reactions. What we do beyond taking proper precautions is supremely important. Worry changes nothing (see Jesus' Sermon on the Mount). God does not give us a spirit of fear (see 2 Timothy 1:7), but one of power and love and a sound mind
Here are a few realities we all must come to terms with as Christians.
1) God is Sovereign. He is in control of everything. The universe is not spinning out of control. God is in control of everything.
2) God is Good and Loving. He cares for you. He loves you. This is an opportunity for people to turn to Him, for His people to return wholeheartedly to Him, for us to grow in sanctification, for Him to be glorified, for the gospel to advance, for us to rediscover those things in life that are truly important. There are many good things that we can understand on this side of eternity coming out of this. Some things we won't understand on this side. For the Christian, because God is Good and Sovereign, we can rest in Romans 8:28. Look it up. Memorize it.
3) Unless Christ returns in our lifetime, we all have an appointment with death. 'Wow. That was morbid,' you might think. No. Actually we contemporary Christians in the West have not thought deeply about a Christian theology of death for some time. We put it off. We block out such thoughts. Reality: We all have that appointment. All of our days are recorded in God's book and we won't live one day shorter or longer. We are in His Hands. This has always been true. What matters is...
4) What you do with the life you were given-matters. John Piper famously preached 'Don't Waste Your Life' (look up that sermon). Don't. Waste. Your. Life. Somehow we lost sight of that in our culture. For many professing Christians, life was about distractions and accumulating things and stuff and more stuff and we were the center of the universe (though we wouldn't admit such a thing). How sad. Something like Covid-19 has a way of clarifying what is important. God first. Love Him wholeheartedly. Your neighbor second. Your family. His Word. Sharing the Gospel. Walking with Him. Running the Race set before you.
Those things matter. What are you doing with this moment of clarity, this gift, He has given all of us?
If this gift (and in many ways this is a gift in this sense), is being wasted by being anxious or retreating from others (and now that means retreating from others in our virtual community of faith), or worrying,ask the Lord to help you stop wasting life, and to trust Him. Ask Him to show you how YOU can shine, how YOU can share the gospel, how YOU can encourage someone else! Don't retreat!
Take every single anxiety and fear, lay them before the Lord and entrust yourself and those issues, to Him. Go deeper in the Word and in prayer. Go deeper into the many ways we have to engage as a community now.
Remember: He is Sovereign. He is Good. He loves you. He is with you in this. He always has been.
Run the race well that is set before you. Please pray for me that I would as well. This is an amazing moment to be alive. It is an amazing gospel and kingdom opportunity. It is an amazing sanctification opportunity. It is an amazing moment that brings clarity to the things that truly matter.
Don't waste it.
Grace to You,
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