6 “Seek the L ORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:6-9 (ESV)
We were discussing anxiety at church a couple of weeks ago. As we talked about the causes of fear and the remedies found in Scripture, my wise friend Marsha made a very astute observation: “Don’t you think it’s a matter of perspective?”
She is absolutely right.
Anxiety, fear and worry all grow from the same root of self interest. Think about it: we fear what we think might harm us, or hurt us, or those we love. We worry about the future. We fret over money and health and the general state of world affairs.
But… what if we chose to see things from a more Christ centered perspective? What if we truly, honestly accepted the overarching fact that God is sovereign over all – every situation, every occurrence, every second of our little lives? Would we view our troubles a little differently? Would our cares ease?
Our ways are not God’s ways. We try to avoid discomfort. We kick ourselves when we mess up. Again, all concerns rooted in self interest.
Jesus walked on this earth and endured much. He was the only truly 100% innocent, pure and holy man ever to grace our planet. Yet He willingly gave His life in the cruelest, most humiliating and downgrading manner possible. He took on our sins. He accepted the punishment we sinful humans deserve. He did nothing – absolutely nothing – out of self interest.
He didn’t cringe at the critics and the scoffers.
He didn’t shrink from His enemies.
He didn’t run from pain.
He didn’t fear, didn’t worry about the things of this life.
His purpose was far greater than satisfying any physical or emotional need or desire. This thoughts and ways were higher by far than ours.
You see, Christ operated entirely out of love – the preference of others over self. His motivation was entirely selfless. He was laser focused on doing the will of His Father. Jesus operated from a perspective far higher than any self interests.
Everything Jesus faced, all He went through, was for us.
Maybe that’s a key to rightly framing our anxieties. Perhaps a change of perspective- a refusal to view our life situations and challenges as something to fear but, rather, opportunities to grow and learn so we can help others – is in order. Instead of anxiety over our troubles, maybe we should see that God is sovereign, nothing we mess up is beyond His abilities, and nobody will ever thwart the will of the Lord.
Know this: as a believer in Christ, your life and everything about it is in the hands of our gracious Lord and Savior. I that doesn’t mean everything will be easy. But God can make every situation good. He can bring good results from your pain and trouble.
Rest in the Lord. Focus on Jesus, not your troubles. Let His perfect love cast the fear out of your heart and fill you with peace and joy in Him. Seek first the kingdom of God. Watch Him, with great expectation and faith. Live life with a God informed and Christ led perspective.
Have a blessed week!