“Do not be anxious.” Several verses in the Bible say this over and over. Yet, somehow I still manage to fret over things all the time. As a recovering legalist, I still fail to view the law mostly as something Christ accomplished on my behalf, compared to something I must live out as a follower of Christ. My point is, only Christ was faithful to these verses on anxiety. And yet still he understood what it meant to worry. I seem to remember him sweating drops of blood. I think of this as some kind of holy anxiety. The reality that was before him caused him such mourning that he sweat drops of blood. Maybe we should all envision that for a moment of meditation….Want to grow in your understanding of Christ being fully man? This is a place to ponder.I am Anxious. Finding Christ in our anxieties. #whereisthegospel Click To Tweet
When I realize that I cannot necessarily fulfill this command to not be anxious just by mustering up the strength, but that Christ fulfilled it for me, (and understands my troubles) this results in calm assurance and trust in the moments of stress and anxiety for me. So, where is the Gospel in our anxiety? Christ is so present. He knows your worries. He has been there. Christ is present as well because your current wandering away from him in this anxiety is covered in his accomplished work on the cross. His past work is applied at conversion and continues on through our sanctification and for all eternity. This is how deep and wide his love covers us.
Christ is our brother.
When we realize that Christ walked through anxiety he becomes our fellow brother and friend, instead of the rule master holding yet another sin against us. So throw out the notion that Christians must be strong and law abiding citizens in order to glorify God and be a strong witness of him. The lost world around us need to see broken, humble, and honest saints who profess Christ saves them in their present sins. This is the good news that they need. They need a savior from their troubles and Christ is here for them and for us. The contrary perspective says that anxious people need to see Christians who are effectively and routinely are experiencing no anxiety because they have been saved and changed. This slight nuance changes a lot. The fact that Christians can and do still sin, doesn’t discount the work of Christ, it proves our need of it even more. Yes, we grow and change but until Christ returns to give us the new heavens and earth free of the effects of sin, then we will still live in the midst of the curse and our own remaining sin. Put another way, our remaining sin isn’t proof that Christ isn’t real or effective, but just the opposite. Our remaining sin reveals everything about the good news of Christ.
So should we not care about being anxious?
We should not be anxious, but applying the law to this sin isn’t the answer. Applying the work of Christ’s accomplished work on the cross will move you to humble trust and reliance upon God and put off your anxieties. Running to Jesus, our great high priest who sympathizes with our troubles will calm your fears and worries and his Spirit will bring to remembrance truth and grace for your time of need.
Do you avoid or fix your troubles?
Final word. Don’t run from your anxieties or just try not to be anxious. Run to Christ. Don't run from your anxieties or just try not to be anxious. Run to Christ. #whereisthegospel Click To Tweet
Be washed in his blood once again for your weakness. Be comforted in his presence and fellowship in his sufferings. Psalm 42 speaks of God being present in our times of trouble. I have found that when applying the law to my anxiety, I actually run FROM the Lord. Law commands me to accomplish something myself, or to try and change my circumstance or even my knowledge in order to fix my anxiety. Or I might try and avoid whatever brings me anxiety. Whichever route I chose, fixing or avoiding, inevitably leads me to one consistent thing: I miss God. If God is an ever present help in times of trouble, and I am fixing my trouble myself or avoiding the trouble in order to not be anxious, then I actually miss God.
I have found that God is a sweet refuge, when I take my anxiety to him not when I have no anxiety.