“A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo
Week of September 10-16, 2018: “The Cure for the Anxious Heart” … Isaiah 35:4
Although we live in a world filled with advanced technology and modern conveniences, it is a place which is, nonetheless, filled with stress and anxiety. Such anxiety catches up to us, wears us down, and even “eats us alive”. Is there a cure for the anxious heart? What does God have to say about this?
At first, the Lord would say to us, “Do not be anxious; Do not let your hearts be troubled; Do not be afraid;” and then, in Isaiah’s words, “Be strong, fear not.” (Isaiah 35:4) While all these things are true, does it not seem as if the Lord is scolding us and even kicking when we’re down? But with these “harsh words”, the Lord is looking to convict us, humble us, and, yes, chastise us. He knows that our anxious hearts are but a symptom of an anxious and sin-sick soul.
Yes, to one degree or another, we have anxious hearts because of our failure to trust in Him for our futures (Jeremiah 29:11) or because of unconfessed sin that we have yet to confess and deal with (Psalm 38). We may well see our anxious hearts as being related to our jobs, finances, relationships, health difficulties, loss of a loved one, and the angst of living in this present world. But God sees the real issues underlying all these things as being sin and lack of trust in Him. To this, Jesus must say to us, as He often did to His first disciples, “O you of little faith!”
But thankfully, this is not our Lord’s last words to our anxious hearts. While He tells us, “Be strong, fear not”, this is because He will “come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:4). He will calm our fears just as He once calmed the anxious hearts of His disciples on the evening of His resurrection (John 20:19-21). He will comfort us as His people (Isaiah 40:1-2).
Yes, in Jesus Christ, we have the cure for the anxious heart. 1 John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.” May His perfect love, which once led Him to the cross bearing all our sins, be the continual cure for all our hearts’ fear and anxiety.
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