In her 2002 article, “The Science of Anxiety,” Christine Gorman writes,
It’s 4 a.m., and you’re wide awake–palms sweaty, heart racing. You’re worried about your kids. Your aging parents. Your 401(k). Your health. Your sex life. Breathing evenly beside you, your spouse is oblivious. Doesn’t he–or she–see the dangers that lurk in every shadow? He must not. Otherwise, how could he, with all that’s going on in the world, have talked so calmly at dinner last night about flying to Florida for a vacation? (http://ti.me/OzO59A )
This experience sounds all too familiar for many of us!
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who served as a minister in the famous Westminster Chapel in London, wrote a book titled Spiritual Depression. In the book, Lloyd-Jones makes the suggestion that our Christians struggles are often rooted in the fact that we listen to our hearts rather than inform them of the truth.
I say that we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing “ourselves” to talk to us! Do you realize what that means? I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?
What a simple, yet, profound truth!
Over the next few weeks, the members of SRBC will be putting these good words into practice. I will be preaching a series titled Confessions for the Anxious Heart. The objective is to give several propositional truths about God, self, and anxiety that a Christian can confess and pray in times of stress. The hope of this series is that we will preach the truth to ourselves rather than allow our hearts to dictate how we feel.
Here are the first three confessions for the anxious heart.
- Anxiety may very well subtract from my life, but it will not in any way add a single second to it.
Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (Matthew 6:27/Luke 12:25)
- Anxiety is a sign that I am not trusting God, and acting like one who does not know God.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (Mat 6:31-32)
- Because of Christ, God is always present with me and His favor ever shines upon me.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deu 31:6)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb 13:5)