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Seeds of the Kingdom

Anxiety, Worry, Fear

by Ron Scurfield

In every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6, NIV

‘Do not be anxious about anything ...’ (Philippians 4:6). ‘Don’t worry about your life ...’ (Matthew 6:25). I’m told there are 365 references in the Bible telling us not to worry. So why do we continue to have fears and anxieties in our life? Jesus clearly says, “Don’t.”

Worry and fear stem from our emotions, which we don’t seem to have a lot of control over. Beginning in the pit of the stomach, a feeling of anxiety leads to hopelessness and gradually tightens like a knot. Our emotions are triggered by circumstances, causing involuntary reactions.

‘The word of God is alive and powerful ... It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires’ (Hebrews 4:12, NLT). It brings into the light everything that comes from the darkness. Fear is not of God. But the word of God is fully dependable. We can question it or deny it, but truth is truth. The enemy would tell us otherwise. He would try to raise all kinds of questions and doubts. Let’s not be swayed by doubts but stand on the truth of the word of God. ‘The Lord is near to all who call on him ... in truth’(Psalm 145:18). Once we have a rock to stand on, we have a firm foundation. God’s truth is flawless, whether we believe it or not. We’ve got to start somewhere. Let’s start with the truth.

To get rid of our fears or doubts, we can’t just make them vanish. We have to replace them with something else, something stronger, something we can depend upon, or someone we can rely on. We put our trust in many things that we don’t understand in the belief that they will work. They’ve been tried and tested. So has the word of God. So has the Holy Spirit. So has Jesus. So has God.

What do we do when we’re floundering in a raging torrent? We’re being swept down the river by a powerful current, splashing about frantically looking for something to hold on to. There’s a thundering waterfall downstream and we’re approaching it rapidly. Someone on the bank throws us a rope, a lifeline. We don’t know who it is. We don’t know if we can trust him or not. But we reach out and manage to grab hold of it and cling on tight. The person on the bank begins to pull us in. Who is this stranger pulling us to safety? This is the Jesus we may have doubted in the past, but now there’s no time to doubt. We hold on determinedly. He pulls us ashore. We must never let go of that lifeline. Cling to it and He will draw us in to safety.

The knot in our stomach gradually loosens its grip and our confidence returns. Confidence and trust. He’ll never let go of His end of the lifeline. Let’s hold tightly to ours, as our fears are swept away and disappear over the edge of the waterfall.

Prayer: Lord, why do I worry? Please forgive me and help me to put all my trust in You when circumstances overwhelm me. You are bigger than my problems, and higher than my understanding. You can make a way where there is no way. Please help me to walk in it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.


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