Despite our best intentions, we all get caught up in anxiety from time to time.
Recently I wrote a blog post about worshiping worry, which you can find here. Today, though, I want to share more about this popularized topic and how it correlates to the concept of rest in the Bible.
Here’s a newsflash, one that caught my realization one night while praying and preparing to fall asleep:
Anxiety is the opposite of rest!
Why are we warned time and again in Scripture to “fear not!” and to “be anxious for nothing!“? Because…
God loves the world, His Creation. He has presented Himself throughout Scripture as capable and earnest in caring for us and providing for our every need.
After the Fall, God knew we’d be trying to succeed at life on our own strength, honoring and even worshiping our human capacity for knowledge and power. But He also knew that this hopeless effort would consume and defeat us.
In the Old Testament, God gave His people Sabbath to teach them to rest from their work and to train their hearts to focus on Him as their Provider. He showed up miraculously, making ways where there seemed to be no way. He was intentional, faithful, and mighty.
Paul reminds us in Hebrews 4 that the time for Sabbath rest is still “Today,” because Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Love Story with His Creation, and Jesus promises to give us rest (see Matthew 11:28-30).
Anxiety can be defined as excessive worry, unease, nervousness, or fear.
What is at the root, though? I’d like to propose it’s an inability, or most often simply an unwillingness, to rest — to know and trust in God’s love and provision of our every need.
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 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 them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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. – 1 John 4:13-18 NIV
As Christians, we know and rely on the love God has for us. To be anxious, fearful, is to not be made perfect in God’s love.
So shake it off, Friends! Take it to the Cross…
Anxiety has no place in our hearts! We were designed for rest.
To take Jesus’s yoke by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior is to understand that it’s easy and light…because His power is at work in us by His Spirit.
We are no longer slaves to the weary pursuit of self, and the overwhelming fear that charges such efforts.
Be free from anxiety, in Jesus’s Name!
And together, let’s find the rest He’s promised as we take our burdens to Him…