September 22, 2008

Joy in the Midst of Anxiety

Philippians 4:4-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but … with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6


Have you ever been uneasy because you wondered whether you are worthy of Jesus’ love? Have you ever been distressed because you feared the consequences of personal choices that betrayed moral convictions? Have you ever felt apprehensive about an uncertain tomorrow? If so, the gospel of joy in Christ is for you.

The declaration “Do not be anxious about anything” is also an invitation. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). God delights to hear our prayers and petitions, for he is always ready to generously dispense his grace. That’s why his Son, Jesus, is our brother who shares the anxieties of our lives and is, therefore, able to help us in times of need.

Anxiety is sometimes the fruit of personal choices and behaviors that have dishonored God. It may also develop from the uncertainty of how circumstances beyond our control will adversely affect life. Anxiety may also come from a personal insecurity about life itself. Regardless of the source of our anxiety, the Lord may answer it with either comfort or confrontation so that his peace and joy will rule our hearts.

We are not alone. No person must bear life’s burdens alone.

So “cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).

Dear Lord, sometimes we are uneasy, distressed, apprehensive. Hear us, Lord, and watch over us. To you alone we look for help all the days of our lives. Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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