Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Here is the better way of getting free from care..."

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

We tell Thee of our care,
Of the sore burden, pressing day by day,
And in the light and pity of Thy face,
The burden melts away.

We breathe our secret wish,
The importunate longing which no man may see;
We ask it humbly, or, more restful still,
We leave it all to Thee.

The thorns are turned to flowers;
All dark perplexities seem light and fair;
A mist is lifted from the heavy hours,
And Thou art everywhere.

         In nothing be anxious.”  How exacting is the ideal! Harassing care is to play no part in the believer’s life. Worry is an alloy which always debases the fine metal of the Christian character. It mars and spoils it. And so the counsel is unconditional, and covers every period and sphere in human life. Anxiety is to be banished from everything. It is not to be permitted the smallest foothold in the Kingdom of our Lord.
         The root idea of the Greek word, which is here translated “anxious,” is a divided mind. The mind is looking two ways, is vibrating between two attractions; and it has found no place as yet where it can settle down and be at rest. Hence the sense of weariness caused by anxiety. The root idea of the English word “anxious,” like that of “anger,” is choking. Under the pressure of this anxiety one becomes apprehensive, solicitous, confused; and every cloud becomes a darker cloud, and every weight becomes a heavier weight, and every outlook more ominous and dreadful. It is to be a prophet of night rather than sunshine, of tears rather than songs.
         Certain it is that life is not so plain and simple as it used to be. The burdens of existence and duty seem to grow heavier and heavier; and at the same time the men and women of today seem to be getting more nervous and highly strung than those of other generations, and less able to bear their burdens calmly and silently and patiently. Thus, on every hand, we are told that nervousness and worry are amongst the chief banes of modern life; and that it is worry, and not work, that wears out so many people before their time.
         The folly of anxiety —It accomplishes nothing and it weakens us and wears us out. There would be some justification for anxiety were there any good in it, but there is not. Nothing is accomplished by it. Under a habit of anxiety the body loses its vigor, the mind loses its tone, the will loses its force, and the heart loses its resiliency and sweetness.
         The cause of anxiety is distrust of God. Faith in God and a soul overwhelmed with misgivings come pretty near being mutually exclusive. At any rate a heart filled with the worry which narrows our spiritual horizons, and turns the sweet light of the stars into horrible darkness, has small place in it for any living and sustaining confidence in Him who notes the fall of a sparrow, and who has assured us that He is ready to take upon His own heart all our burdens of care. He has promised that all things shall work together for good to them that love Him. Our necessities, our wants, our natural burdens, are not surprises to God. He understands them all, feels them all. But in the midst of them all —He wishes us to trust Him.
         Relief can never be obtained, and the Divine command of the text obeyed, but a mere effort of will. No man can shake off care simply by trying to do so. Neither can it be done by arguing with ourselves as to its uselessness and hurtfulness; nor yet can it be done, nor should it be attempted, by hardening ourselves into an unfeeling stoical indifference. Here is the better way of getting free from care. It is to cast our care on Him who cares for us. It is to bring the burden, which we can neither bear nor shake off and leave it at the Lord’s feet in prayer. Prayer is the only real and thorough cure for care. To flee with it within the veil, and to fall with it at the feet of God, is the only mode of being truly eased of the burden of anxiety and gloom. So “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know unto God.”



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