We have covered a lot in the last six weeks, but as we wrap up our study on Fear and Anxiety I want us to focus on the advice that we are given in Proverbs 3:5-8: Trust the Lord!
This definitely sounds easier than it is, but this is key to us overcoming the many fears and worries that entangle us throughout our days.
In verse 5 we are given a positive and a negative command. Let’s look at the negative first.
1. Do not rely on your own understanding
How wise are you? Do you have it all figured out? Do you have all the answers? Do you work hard at being in control of your life?
We live much of our lives believing that we know what is best, and then panic when our days don’t turn out the way we had hoped, dreamed, or planned.
How do we know if we are leaning on our own understanding? Some signs are that we pray little, are angry at God when things don’t go our way and struggle with worry. This is evidence we believe we know what is best, and don’t feel the need for God’s wisdom or guidance. Not welcoming God and His counsel into our lives opens the door for fear and worry to become regular guests in our hearts.
Maybe finances are tight, or illness plagues you, perhaps you are still waiting for the man of our dreams, or you’re trying to conceive a child and yet you remain childless. If you are leaning on your own understanding it will be impossible for you to see how even our dark days can work for our good in God’s plan. Our eyesight is naturally weak. We can’t see but a few seconds of our lives at a time. We don’t know what this afternoon holds, what tomorrow holds, and certainly, what is in store for us next week.
Because of our limited eyesight, we can’t see the big picture and many things look skewed and out of focus. Our understanding is broken and weak which means if we lean on it it will break and we will fall into fear and anxiety.
2. Trust the Lord with all your heart
Our delivery from the fear in our lives comes when we trust the Lord with all of our heart, when we take our eyes off ourselves and our situation and place them on the goodness, power, and grace of God.
Know these things well: what does it mean for God to be good? Is He capable of not being good? What does this mean for everything you go through in life?
What do you know about the power of God? How extensive is His power? How does His power affect your life? How does His power come into your life and what purpose does it serve?
And what about His grace? What does grace mean and how is it manifested in your life?
The deeper you know your God the easier it will be for you to trust Him. The more you trust the Lord the less you will have to fear because your understanding won’t be rooted in your limited understanding of life, but in God’s eternal power, wisdom, and kindness.
What confidence can you have when you are in the midst of fear? Your confidence is that you are held in the hand of God who will not allow anything to enter your life that He will not also bring you through by His strength and wisdom. Your confidence is that through Jesus Christ, the Lord is your God, and you are His child. He loves you and perfectly cares for you.
There is a great peace that comes in trusting the Lord with all your heart. He made you, died for you, saved you, adopted you, will resurrect you, and is preparing a place in His kingdom for you. He will not leave you now. He does not expect you to muddle through life on your own.
Take everything to Him in prayer, from the minute to the mountainous and watch your fears shrink.
“The Lord of life says, ‘Fear not, for I am your God!’
Treasures of knowledge;
fountains of grace;
rivers of comfort;
towers of strength;
countless delights —
are hidden in this precious word, “I am your God!”
Remember it — and be strong; forget it — and you are weak.
Feed upon it — and be joyful; neglect it — and you are faint of heart.
Jehovah-God is yours!
Christian, Fear not!”
George Mylne, 1854
Looking to Jesus,