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Monday, November 26, 2012 | Comments (5)

by John MacArthur

God’s Word is clear—believers are not to be given over to anxiety. But it’s not simply a cold, abrupt command to stop worrying. Scripture is clear that we shouldn’t focus on the plans, needs, and uncertainties of tomorrow, but it’s also clear about where our focus should be instead.

This is what Jesus said to His followers, and the same instructions hold true for us today: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

In other words, focus your thoughts and your energy on the Lord’s plans and purposes, and He will take care of your physical needs. God wants to free His children from being preoccupied with the mundane. Colossians 3:2 says as directly as possible, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” A worldly, materialistic Christian is a contradiction in terms.

Seeking God’s kingdom is to be our first priority. It means doing what you can to promote God’s rule over His creation. That includes manifesting His rule in your life through “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). When the world sees those virtues in your life instead of worry, it is evidence of the Lord’s work in you, and it testifies to the priorities of your heart. You can tell people about the gospel all you want, but if your life is marked by anxiety and fear, they will not believe you have anything they need. They will question the power and love of the Lord.

It’s not easy to cast your cares on the Lord and trust Him to supply all your needs. But it’s what He’s commanded us to do through His Word. And in a world consumed with worry and fear, an anxiety-free life adorns the gospel and magnifies the Lord.

Look at your life objectively—where do you spend most of your time? What consumes your thoughts? Where do you put your energy and resources? The daily pattern of your life says a lot about what matters to you, what you hope for, what you put your trust in, and what you truly love.

One way or another, your life is a testimony to those around you. What does yours say about your faith, your fears, and your priorities?

(Adapted fromAnxious for Nothing.)


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#1  Posted by Robert Tempas  |  Monday, November 26, 2012at 10:33 AM

I would like to thank John and Grace To You for these blogs, and especially this series. I purchased the book "Anxious for Nothing" two years ago- it is a great book.

However, I wonder if John could post a blog concerning something not specifically covered in the book, or in this blog series so far: those of us who are- literally, unfortunately, and unbiblically- "anxious for nothing". That is, those of us who are afflicted with seemingly unprovoked or irrational anxiety attacks, panic attacks, or maybe worse. These attacks seem to have little to do with "what to eat" or "what to wear"- for some people, they come out of nowhere. They can be quite paralyzing, and can suck all the joy out of life.

Whatever Biblical advice and thoughts John might have on this would probably be appreciated by many.

-Bob

#2  Posted by Brad Kennedy  |  Monday, November 26, 2012at 3:00 PM

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#3  Posted by Daniel Wilson  |  Monday, November 26, 2012at 5:49 PM

Be contend of what we have are what we are... defeats worry.. Amen.. Thank you, Lord.

#4  Posted by Jerry Bruno  |  Wednesday, November 28, 2012at 6:40 AM

Robert - Thanks for your honest sharing about this important matter. I got JM's book about 16 years ago when it was called Anxiety Attacked. It served as a blessing and it guided me in the right direction away from panic attacks (and it continues to do so as I re-read it as necessary). I'd also suggest you search the GTY website as there are a number of JM sermons/messages about anxiety attacks that expound on this matter to a deeper level. Lastly, but most importantly, go to trusted brothers at your fellowship, seek counsel, and go forward knowing our Lord is there for you. Regards, Jerry

#5  Posted by Brad Kennedy  |  Wednesday, November 28, 2012at 3:54 PM

A sermon delivered by Pastor MacArthur on 6.18.2000, "How to Be a Man of Courage" can also be downloaded from the GTY site. 2Cor2:1