Live Without Anxiety and Fear
Most of us don’t trust people. We’ve been hurt, wounded, lied to, stabbed, betrayed, ignored, inflicted with pain and guilt, mocked, laughed at, left out, and left all alone in the rain. Since we don’t trust people, it’s difficult for us to trust Jesus. The same walls that we use to protect ourselves from people with we use to protect ourselves from Jesus. Ultimately, we want control of what pains us and what we allow in.
Deep down we think that if we get too close to Jesus, He will make us do something that will hurt us, wound us, or cause others to laugh at our pain. We think that if we get alone and have a conversation with Him in prayer, He will tell us to move to some country of poverty or a remote jungle where we will no longer be able to DVR our favorite show, access Netflix, or follow our favorite teams. So we build up walls and look over them from time to time at the great architect Jesus to get a glimpse and see if He still sees us and still loves us.
It’s a sad, lonely, frustrating life to live behind walls. In a real sense, the majority of society walks around as imprisoned as those in San Quentin. Is this the life that Jesus wants for us? A life of hiding from Him, steering clear of others, and living like a recluse until we can get to heaven and lock the doors in our mansion? It’s the furthest thing from what He wants for us. The life we lead behind the bars of our own making is a life riddled with anxiety and fear. It’s certainly not a life of perfect peace.
My journey with Jesus has taught me to trust Him, bulldoze the bricks I build around me, and trust that He is good. At times, I find myself with brick and mortar working hard to restructure my walls. He comes to me on those days and reminds me that He loves me. I can see Him smile and I can hear Him gently whisper, “You can trust Me.” Most of the time He starts taking the bricks down one-by-one as He warms my heart with His love for me.
I’ve learned, and I’m learning, that the second step in how to follow Jesus is to live with unrestrained trust in Him. It’s impossible to follow Him if I don’t trust Him. When I refuse to restrict myself from opening up completely to Him and I surrender all of me to His loving guidance, I am overwhelmed with a peace that is priceless and a feeling that words fail to describe.
The Bible says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:3-4).
When I fix my mind on Jesus and my thoughts on who He really is, I begin to trust Him. He is sovereign over everything in life. He is in control. I can trust Him. He is good. I can trust Him. He is love. I can trust Him. He knows everything and sees everything. I can trust Him. He is God. I can trust Him. When I begin to trust Him, I’m consumed with the reality of His existence and sovereign goodness, and He floods me with perfect peace. I remain in a constant state of quiet tranquility.
The Hebrew word translated keep in Isaiah 26:3 means “to guard or be blockaded.” The Hebrew word translated perfect peace in Isaiah 26:3 means “quiet, tranquility, friendship, peace (from war), and health.” Put these together and you will see that when a person trusts God, God blockades that person in a quiet, tranquil friendship with Himself, free from the war of life, and gives that person peace-producing health. Stress, fear, and anxiety kill our bodies. The peace of Jesus heals.
Who wouldn’t want what Isaiah 26:3 describes? The truth is that it is available to everyone. While most intellectually believe that Jesus can be trusted, their daily lives and practices and thoughts betray that intellectual belief.
They say they trust Jesus will provide for them, but they spend their days and nights worrying about money. They say they trust their children in the hands of Jesus, but they are riddled with anxiety about the safety of their kids. They say they trust Jesus that He forgives, but most days they meditate on not feeling forgiven. They say they trust Jesus sees them and knows them, but they embrace the emotion that Jesus is a million miles away and is aloof to their pain. They say they trust Jesus’ plan for their lives, but they rarely ask Him what it is and question Him when it doesn’t go the way they’ve laid it out. They say they trust Jesus will bring them to heaven, but deep down they worry about crossing over into eternity. They say they trust Jesus loves them, but they fear His judgment is right around the corner. Do you see what I mean? Most Christians don’t really trust Jesus.
They have affairs with doubt, sleep with fear, marry anxiety, and date worry. All the while, Jesus whispers, “I love you. You can trust Me. Let Me give you peace. My friend, do not be afraid. I will never leave you or forsake you. Let Me take you by the hand. When you let go, I never will. The holes in My hands that you feel are there to make you whole. Trust My love for you!”
You can trust Jesus. You can trust Him. The second step in how to follow Jesus is to follow Him with unrestrained trust! Breathe deeply and rest in His hands. Fix your mind on Him and experience His peace. Trust Him completely. The greatest gift you can give Jesus is to trust Him! Go to Jesus and trade your anxieties, worries, and fears for peace. The price is trust!