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  • Wanda Davidson

I Choose Not To Be Anxious

By Wanda Davidson

I can think of no better example of a "drowning" Christian than Peter, one of the Lord's disciples. Peter thought he was going to drown! He was in the water in a serious storm. But drowning, while doing the Lord's bidding and in the very presence of Jesus himself?

Do you ever feel as if you are about to drown? Overwhelmed? Inadequate? Exhausted in the fight? Our world is definitely rocking and reeling with storms. Financial woes, health concerns (heard of Covid?), political chaos, and moral depravity threatening our family structures.

There are plenty of reasons we should feel like we are drowning. Right? Or are they our excuses?

Looking back to our example, Peter cries, "Lord, save me," and immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, caught him, took him to the ship, and calmed the storm. While walking back to the ship, Jesus asked Peter a question, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Peter had become so overwhelmed by the boisterous winds in his storm that he forgot who Jesus was. But God, in His faithfulness, heard the cry of His doubting child, and rescued him once again.

Oh, what a wonderful God we serve.

He loves us! He wants the best for us. He understands what we are going through. Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." It is not His intent for us to be "drowning" in our storms. A dear pastor friend who died from cancer would frequently say, "God gives a little heaven to go to heaven in!" This "heaven" can be ours when we rest in God's promises. We must choose to believe that we have a capable God that is faithful to His Word.

What does God's Word say about peace in the storm? John 14:1 commands, "Let not your heart be troubled. . . ." Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This command basically says that we should not worry, just pray. God knows that worry is the greatest thief of joy. God provides stability wherever we are! Need more assurance? Isaiah 26:3 promises, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.”

God has given His children clear directions in His Word, but it is our responsibility and choice to obey. Philippians 4: 8-9 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."

We must train our minds to praise instead of pout.

Have you ever had a good mental pity party? This fleshly practice produces depression and anxiety rather than peace. Have you ever indulged the flesh in a complaining, woe-is-me party? A complaining attitude torments the mind of the owner and dishonors God. Indulging the flesh will cause us to lose sight of how great God is! This is the downward spiral that the devil wants us in because a depressed, anxious, despondent Christian is unable to serve God.

The Bible gives us many examples of godly attitudes during life's storms. Job suffered the loss of his family, material goods, and his own health, but could still say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. . . ." David ran for his life, lived in caves and was surrounded by outcasts, yet gave us some of the most encouraging verses in God's Word! Psalm 55:22 commands us, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

Psalms 55:3, " What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."

David had committed himself to God and repeats the phrase "I will trust in thee" over and over Psalms 146:5 "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God!” David found happiness in his God, not his great riches! The Apostle Paul said that he had learned in whatsoever state he was in, therewith to be content. He later advised Timothy that godliness with contentment is great gain. Each of these men had settled in their own heart and mind that God was all they needed to weather the storms of life. The grace of God was so sufficient that they were happy, contented and at peace in any situation that they encountered.

Every church service, we sing hymns of faith without realizing that they were birthed out of great storms in the author's life. For example Eugene Bartlett a singer, songwriter, and music publisher was serving the Lord and holding singing schools to teach others to sing. But at age 53, he suffered a paralyzing stroke that left him unable to talk, walk, and almost completely bedridden. As he lay in this condition, he thought about his life and the day that he gave his heart to Jesus. From those musings came the words,"I heard an old, old story, How a Saviour came from glory, How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me." It was the story of the redeeming power of God. In the darkest days of his life, Mr. Bartlett proclaimed "Victory in Jesus" with happiness and enthusiasm.

Charles Weigle, an evangelist, came home from a crusade to find that his wife had taken their daughter and left him. In the midst of his brokenness, he realized that Jesus had not forsaken Him and penned the words "No One ever Cared for Me like Jesus."

Horatio Spafford lost much of his wealth, one son, and four daughters in a span of three years. In his grief, he penned "It is Well with My Soul" choosing to focus on God his hope rather than his loss.

Only God could measure the value of these three songs. How many saints received strength to continue their journey with God because these men chose to honor God with their storm.

If we are going to serve God, we will encounter storms.

Storms are good for us; they prepare us for the greater work that is ahead of us.

They bring glory to our heavenly Father. Choose God's vision for your life. Become passionate about the things of God. Moms, keep your eyes on Jesus and make a straight path for those little ones following your example. Wives, be the resilient help meet that would prevent your husband from falling. Christian, don't quit! Trim your lamp and shine a little brighter in this dark world. Peter learned to trust God, and God allowed him to preach the Gospel at Jerusalem. Three thousand souls were saved! Choose to be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work (II Timothy 2:21.)

Someone's salvation or survival may depend on it!

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