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Text Box: High Anxiety = Low Faith


Text Box: (Matthew 6:25-32 NIV)  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
(Isaiah 28:16 NIV)  So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”
(Isaiah 40:31 GWT)  Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won't become weary. They will walk and won't grow tired.

Text Box: Stress is the single most common result of the kind of life many people live.  This fruit of our desire to covet and run after food, clothes, property and power causes serious mental and spiritual disorders (James 4:1-4), not to mention physical disorders as well.  
Stress wreaks havoc on life.  The kind of worry Jesus talks about in the passage on the left is the kind that grows into major anxiety and stress.  It can start out as a small preoccupation (not correcting your tendency to procrastinate), or come into your life as a full-blown anxiety attack (you found out you have lost your job).  Anxiety over things and situations in life is a perennial problem (Matthew 6:31, 32).  Jesus' remedy for anxiety is to make the kingdom of God and His righteousness the center of your priorities.  Only when you let God take care of all your needs in life will you succeed at enjoying the most out of life (Matthew 6:33, 34; John 10:10; Matthew 11:28-30).  
It is ironic that the very things we try to do to get enjoyment out of life are the very things that keep us from experiencing the abundant life (John 10:10).  Whatever brings stress, worry or anxiety undermines the fruit that the Holy Spirit wants to bring into your life (Galatians 5:22, 23).  There is no way that you will have joy, peace and happiness in the midst of stress, anxiety and fear.  It is easy to spot stress factors in your life.  Whenever you see fear in place of trust, you know anxiety is present. 
This whole chapter really tests your faith. Faith = Worry free living.  When you trust in the trustworthy, loving Heavenly Father you will eradicate worry, anxiety, and fear in your life.
(1 John 4:16-18 NIV)  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
When your focus becomes pleasing people, seeking fame or fortune or amassing wealth and property, you are seeking to exalt yourself and you will experience stress in all aspects of your life.  This stress weakens you systematically and demeans your life experience.
(Matthew 10:39 GWT)  The person who tries to preserve his life will lose it, but the person who loses his life for me will preserve it.

In His Footsteps © 1998         




Text Box: High Anxiety = Low Faith






Do you have a tendency to worry?  Read Isaiah 28:16.  What kind of cornerstone has the Lord given to us as a foundation of our relationship with Him?  Is this cornerstone true, tried and tested?  Can you trust this foundation God has laid for you?  What does God promise those who trust His foundation?  Read 1 Peter 2:4-12.  Who is the precious cornerstone chosen by God?  If you are making Christ your foundation, what kind of life should you be living and why?  Should worry or angst dominate you?  If worry or fear dominate you, do you really believe what you are a part of?  What happens if you don’t believe (verses 7 & 8)?  What do you need to believe to know these promises are certain (verse 8)? What are the kinds of things that war against your soul (verse 11)?



Do you tend to focus on food in your life?  It is easy to justify your focus on food, because you know you need it to live.  However, what did Jesus say about the birds of the air in Matthew 6:26?  Do you find yourself thinking too much about what foods you need to stock up as opposed to who needs to hear the Gospel (Romans 14:17)?  Do you get your joy from eating, or do you enjoy food because of the joy you have in the Kingdom?  Do you see the difference?  Often a wrong motive is what causes you to worry.  Do you worry about food when someone asks you to share it?  Does this cause you to be concerned about the need to feed yourself and therefore not having enough to share with those in need?  Read 1 Timothy 6: 17.  Do you trust God will provide you with what you need?  If you really trust that God will provide, wouldn’t you share everything you have, or even give it away if necessary? Read Acts 2:42-47.  Were these Christians focused on their food or property or on the Kingdom of God?



Do you sometimes quarrel or complain about what you need?  Read James 4:1-3.  What is it that causes these fights?   If you believed God meets all your needs would you fight or complain?  Where is your focus when you complain about your situation or covet what you don’t have?  Do you complain about your clothes or what you are eating?  Are you the type who can’t wear the same dress twice?  Do you need a Tommy Hilfiger shirt or Florsheim shoes to feel confident or important?  Should your confidence come from what you wear physically, or spiritually (Galatians 3:26, 27; Romans 13:14; Isaiah 61:10)?  Do you believe that your spiritual clothes have an awesome splendor that you could never get from physical clothes?  Do you believe that what God gives you is all you need? 



Learn to trust God just like the birds and flowers do.  The splendor of this life is dull compared to how God can clothe you and feed you, spiritually and physically.  If you trust God in clothing and feeding you, will you need to run after these things (Matthew 6:27-32)?  What does running after these things get you (Ecclesiastes 2:22-26).  Does God know you need to eat and be clothed?  Only if you please Him will you receive what you need—even enjoyment of things in this life and much more in the life to come!   If Jesus teaches you not to worry about the things you obviously need, should you need to worry or be concerned about the things which you do not need?  What needs to be our priority in life (Matthew 6:33)? 



Worrying is the result of having very little faith.  Read Matthew 8:24-27.  Hadn’t the disciples seen Jesus do many miracles among them?  Why then, were they worried about the storm?  Whenever you become afraid of something, remember Jesus’ words in verse 26.  Are you fearful of what lies ahead for you in the days to come?  Should you worry about the days to come, whatever they may bring (Matthew 6:34)?  Should you worry about what happened in the past, for that matter?  Accept and enjoy what the Lord has given you today (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20)!


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28


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