This week, I want to talk to the moms out there. May is Mother’s Day month, so I think it’s fitting to encourage you and build you up a bit. No doubt there are numerous joys with motherhood! My granddaughter did a pre-school activity where she had to answer some questions about her grandmas. One of the questions was “How old is your grandma?” My sweet little angel said 26! I want to be 26 for the rest of my life!!! These fun stories keep moms going during the tougher times. We all know that tough times are a part of motherhood. Do you ever cry out, “Lord, comfort my anxious heart?”
Mary Had Her Moments
It might surprise you to learn that Mary, the mother of Jesus, experienced some anxiety as a mom. One account of her life tells us that she lost track of her 12-year-old son for about 3 days. Luke records the moment that she found Jesus, “When Joseph and Mary saw Him, they were bewildered; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You!” (Luke 2:48). I expect every mom can identify with the anxious feeling. You may not have lost track of your child, but I guarantee you have felt anxiety at something you’ve encountered in motherhood. Where do we turn for comfort when our heart is anxious?
It might be helpful to first define anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of deep concern with respect to a future event or uncertainty over the outcome of an event. Anxiety keeps us in a state of painful uneasiness. It typically erupts from a fear or serious apprehension. Anxiety leaves us in suspense, perplexed, and with a sense of not knowing what to do next. Have you ever been there before? I certainly have! Before we move further, you need to understand that we are approaching anxiety not from a medical or psychological standpoint, but from a spiritual standpoint. That needs to be clear, because I’m neither a physician or a counselor. But there is another place to turn when we are anxious. Let’s see what the Bible teaches us about anxiety.
What the Bible Says About Anxiety
Our go-to verse on anxiety is found in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Paul says this in his concluding remarks to the people of Philippi. The primary topic of his letter has been about trusting in God, no matter what the circumstance. Trusting in God in our circumstances is the spiritual remedy for anxiety. But that’s hard to do unless you know God. We trust in a person, so we need to understand His character. When we understand the character of God, we CAN cry out, “Comfort my anxious heart!”
Abundance In Spite of Anxiety
I’ve been studying the book of John this year. John quotes Jesus in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus came so that we might have abundant life. Anxiety is certainly the opposite of an abundant life. What kind of abundant life does Jesus offer for us? Is it financial? Is it being abundantly happy, fulfilled, always shielded from hurt? That’s what the world would have us believe. But money won’t buy back your loved one. Happiness is fleeting when relationships are strained. And we all know that we can never be entirely shielded from hurt. The abundant life must be something else. In 2 Corinthians 1:5 Paul shows us the answer, “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”
More Than Imaginable
The word abundant means exceedingly, beyond measure, a quantity so lavish that it’s considerably more than anticipated. In short, Jesus promises us a life far better than we could ever imagine. We see this in Ephesians 3:20, which teaches us that God is the source of unimaginable abundance. The abundance is not rooted in stuff, a feeling or even a changed circumstance. It’s rooted in the very character of God. Let’s look at just a few of the ways God is abundant in his very character:
- God is abundant in Mercy and Forgiveness: Numbers 14:18
- God is abundant in Faithfulness and Truth: Exodus 34:6
- God is abundant in Redemption: Psalm 130:7
- God is abundant in Goodness: Psalm 145:7
- God is abundant in Strength and Understanding – Psalm 147:5
God is abundant in mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness, truth, redemption, goodness, strength and understanding. THIS is why we can cry out to Him, “Lord, Comfort my anxious heart.”
So How Does God’s Character Help My Anxiety?
God’s character is our anchor when we face suffering of any kind. Let’s turn to the Bible.
- Because God is abundant in mercy, He helps us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
- Because God is abundant in forgiveness, our sins are forgiven. (1 John 2:12)
- Because God is abundant in faithfulness, He offers help when we are tempted. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- Because God is abundant in truth, He sets us apart for His use. (John 17:17)
- Because God is abundant in redemption, He removes our guilt. (Psalm 34:22)
- Because God is abundant in goodness, He offers refuge. (Psalm 34:8)
- Because God is abundant in strength, he gives us strength in our weariness. (Isaiah 40:29)
- Because God is abundant in understanding, he gives us wisdom. (James 1:5)
We have a powerful and dependable ally during times of struggle. God generously gives the spiritual help we need when we are anxious.
When Anxiety Comes
When anxiety comes, think about the fact that God, through the abundance of his character, has given us what we need to carry us through the circumstance. He gives us strength and help in times of need, provides a refuge for us, forgives us and takes away our guilt, provides a limitation and way of escape when we are tempted, strengthens us, sets us apart, and gives us wisdom. We need to remember these things when we face suffering of any kind. We are not alone in our suffering. Our comfort is abundant in Christ.
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