Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isa 41:10, ESV
A classic verse from Isaiah. It is one of my personal favorites. It reminds me that for all the little anxieties I have on any given day Christ is with me. With an existence yielded to him there isn’t much of a rational reason to fear the grand scheme of things.
It is written that he works all things out for the good of those who trust in him — to they who are called according to his purposes. Even though his faithful ones know this deep within — I know it well too — we still worry, and I am no exception. It is so much easier to fill our minds and hearts with the negative things that we know so very well rather than fill them with faithful promises. I feel it is because even though they are terrible, or just plain unsettling — they bring the illusion of knowing. For we certainly love feeling certain. It brings a feeling of power and control when it is present.
It could be said that one of the most certain things is how uncertain things truly are. I cannot tell you how much time I have spent looking for something that could unfold by a script with 100% assurance just to find a little peace and quiet for my restless heart. God makes a bed for the heart by the presence of his sun, and all the while we sit on the cold floor looking at the critters. Feeling better dwelling below instead of dwelling in his warm hands.
I have come to know that to trust in God it requires me to thank Him (or worship Him if you will) very often for things not yet delivered in the present. They are to be delivered as a present in the future, and sometimes he reminds me of the beautiful things he has already given me. It is I who fails to appreciate the magnitude of his kindness and grace.
Worship of God doesn’t have to start out as a song. Sometimes it can start out as a whisper from deep within the heart… rising up to the voice as a sincere “thank you”. It doesn’t have to be rocking out to holy heaven on a guitar. It can start as expressing your gratitude for something he or someone else has given you, even in silent thought. There is no greater music to the ears of God than a mind reverberating with thanks towards his confident grace and mercy.
The angels in heaven rejoice when just one person finds out the happiness and affection that God gives freely to all, and when that one finds it — maybe for the first time, or again — that can be all the worship Christ would ever desire to receive. A little lost sheep coming home after being lost — first found by the Grand Shepherd of the Soul.
He is zealous for the hearts of his children. He desires them to be at peace, and to feel the joy that leads them to thanksgiving. Not for egotistical reasons or because he thinks he is high and mighty (even though he is enthroned above all the heavens); rather, he lives and breaths to see his children happy. That is his delight. For one who has existed before time, and for all time after — what could bring more interest and felicity to his face than to hear the inner symphonies of love within the hearts of his children?
His faithful love drives out fear. When his love is known and accepted… it drives away worry, and doubt. As John so perfectly says,
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected (made complete) in love.1 John 4:18, ESV
A great weakness of mine is I often keep my emotions so low, or restrained, that I forget to feel the happiness around me. Whether it is from the smiles of people, or the goofiness of dogs and the antics of children. I have realized in doing this that I only set my emotional pendulum so far back that I go too far in the positive when I do so. Setting it more towards rest and peace is a better way for me going forward.
I feel the way Christ would deal with worry is to first deal with what you think about love, affection, and care. The greatest promises able to be given by God, or even a man — make little precious difference when the love of the giver — even if it is true — is doubted, or by the heart discredited by distrust.
Fight worry by love, through love, with love, and for love — even if it is the smallest silliest and sincere expression of it you remember receiving being the sole reason for doing so.