Originally posted December 2, 2009
Columbine, Katrina, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, the economy, loss of jobs, Tribulation, murders, poverty, personal struggles, addiction, mistakes, add it all up and it’s enough to make a person go crazy. Think it will get better or worse? Where are you going to turn when things fall apart or when things get rough in your life? When everything around you is in chaos, whether it is in the world as a whole or your individual world through certain circumstances like loss of a job, loss of a loved one, unexpected changes or failures, on what will you stand? What keeps you from panic or being consumed by your own anxiety? If you are a Christian, saved by the Grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then you have a rock, a beacon shining on the distant shore through the most difficult storms. Jesus Christ is the rock on which you stand and in His Word He has provided comfort to endure the most difficult, most trying conditions.
The first words concerning this comfort are provided by Jesus in Matthew 6:25-34 ESV:
25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Do you think it’s a coincidence that in His most powerful Sermon on the Mount Jesus dedicates so much attention to anxiety? The world wants us to be worried about anything and everything because it displaces our trust and faith in God. It would rather we become dependent on medication than on the cross. But Jesus is reminding us that all things are provided by Him and for that reason there is no cause to be anxious about anything. Just as the Apostle Paul affirms, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36 ESV
Our second provision comes from I Peter 5:6-7 ESV, “6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” In Jesus’ sermon earlier He taught us not to be anxious about anything, because He is the Provider (Jehovah-jireh) we have no cause for worry. The Apostle Peter knows as well as anyone how detrimental a lack of faith in Jesus can be and he knows how easy it is to fall into the sin of this faithlessness. It’s for that reason he explains that should those anxieties creep up and grab hold of us, attempting to displace our faith, we should cast all of those cares onto Jesus because He cares for us. How do we know that He cares? If you’re in Christ, then you have the assurance to know that Jesus cared so much that He laid down His life for you and took it back up so that you might have everlasting life if you only believe in Him. If Jesus cared enough to secure you eternally in Him, would He not also care enough to take away the worries and concerns of your short time here on earth? Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 for all those who are burdened to come to Him and He will give them rest. This is the assurance of the Almighty Christ!
The third guarantee is a rock from Romans. A stalwart passage from Romans that shines a light on the darkest situations, it provides comfort in a time of crisis, direction in a time of confusion, a harbor of refuge in the strongest of storms. Romans 8:28 NKJV “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” God didn’t inspire the Apostle Paul to say, “some things”, or “well depending on the circumstances” he implicitly states ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God. Trials, tribulations, death, sorrow, no job, no money, anything and everything works together for good to those who love God. No matter what, God pulls us through the struggles or even the most hideous, heinous circumstances and it’s always brighter on the other side and we are stronger for it. This is your rock Christian. “To those who are called according to His purpose” and just what’s His purpose? As we discussed in The Why Purpose, His purpose for us is to “make known the riches of His glory” and in that statement there is divine power because He didn’t create us on a whim, we weren’t an accident or a mistake and we won’t be left to our failures, our sorrows, or our sufferings if we trust in Jesus. Trust in Him through all things because the riches of God’s glory lie just on the other side and Jesus has assured us, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 ESV
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-38 ESV