The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 12:21-28 No harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal faithfully are His delight. A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims folly. The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be put to forced labor. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray. A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence. In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.
Where will we live?
When will my child repent and trust Jesus?
What will I do after college?
Will I find a spouse?
Why do the wicked seem to prosper?
Does God hear my prayers?
Will I ever have relief from my physical ailments?
When will I see the fruit of my labors?
Why can’t I seem to find any peace?
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down. Jesus in the parable of the sower warns us of the dangers of being troubled by the cares of this world: the Word is choked out and becomes unfruitful. Anxiety is apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill (Merriam Webster’s online dictionary). It is tension which exists when you are at the crossroads of a decision in which the ramifications are not clear. Being finite, with limited knowledge, and unable to predict the future, fallen man descends into a bottomless abyss of despair when confronted with the reality that for all of our planning, strategy, and seeking to head trouble off at the pass, we are at the mercy of the unknown when we lack a proper perspective of Who it is directing our steps. When we forget that all things are working together for our good, we are quickly overwhelmed by situations in our workplace. When we fail to remember that Jesus said in this world we will have tribulations, every little shift in the winds of favor seem like life ending ordeals. When we do not bring to remembrance that James in his epistle warned us to not be surprised by the fiery trial, we wither when trouble comes. We worry about the future. We fret over things we have no control over. We sigh and moan over problems we see in other people’s lives. We see all the humble brags on facebook and grow anxious about things like “Why isn’t my wife like that”? “Why don’t my children respond that way”? “I work hard, why am I not successful like so and so?”
The ways in which we allow anxiety to dominate our lives are innumerable. Jesus asks “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27)
Yet worrier’s we are.
Matthew Henry says this about Proverbs 12:25:
“The cause and consequence of melancholy. It is heaviness in the heart; it is a load of care, and fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, depressing them, and disabling them to exert themselves with any vigour on what is to be done or fortitude in what is to borne; it makes them stoop, prostrates and sinks them. Those that are thus oppressed can neither do the duty nor take the comfort of any relation, condition, or conversation. Those therefore that are inclined to it should watch and pray against it.”
Anxiety in a man’s heart leads him to doubt his course of action. He becomes double-minded, unstable in all his ways. An anxious man will be driven more by instinct and what may most quickly bring about a sense of peace in his flesh, than by the Holy Spirit of God. Anxiety is a paralyzing pastime in which we make war on God’s sovereignty in ordering our lives. When we are anxious, fretting, and incessantly worrying about tomorrow, we show that our faith is not in a Holy God Who gives good gifts like trials and tribulations to His children, but rather in our ability to bring about peace in our life apart from Him.
So, what is the remedy for anxiety? God’s Word says for us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). The Proverb is clear: Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
Matthew Henry says:
“The cure of it: A good word from God, applied by faith, makes it glad; such a word is that (says one of the rabbin), Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; the good word of God, particularly the gospel, is designed to make the hearts glad that are weary and heavy-laden, Mt. 11:28. Ministers are to be helpers of this joy.”
Brothers and sisters, would you be free of anxieties and fears? Cast your cares upon the Lord, knowing that you have a Great High Priest Who understands your weaknesses.
Philippians 4:7-9 NASB
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Friends, you have a Savior in the Lord Jesus Christ Who loves you, died for you, has taken yours sins as far away as the east is from the west. Your Redeemer has rose from the dead, giving you the hope of eternal life, and has sat down at the right hand of the Father, making His enemies, your enemies, such as those things which seek to rob His people of peace, a footstool. Take heart brothers and sisters. Repent of your anxieties. Repent of your fears. Repent of your ungodly worrying. Lay aside the weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares you, and look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.
If you are able, please kneel as we confess our sins before a Holy and Just God:
We are like chaff before the wind, blown here and there by every trial of life, attempting to stand upon the sinking sand of our limited wisdom and strength.
Please forgive us for our foolishness, and help us to stand firmly upon the rock.
Far too often we make plans, devise schemes, and arrive at conclusive certainty about future events apart from Your counsel, and we land squarely in the slough of despond because we have trusted in ourselves, rather than in the Great I AM.
Please forgive us for our arrogant pride, and help us to be lowly and humble in spirit as is Your Son Jesus. Father, please help us to set our hearts and minds upon You, to remember Your sovereignty over all things, to remember that all Glory, honor, and power belong to You, and that we are but mere men.
In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
Please stand and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Hebrews 4: 14 -16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From thee 1/26/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)