He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Meditations for Anxiety pt2

clearly I can't sleep....it's 12:25 am and I am anxious about this storm that is headed our way...what in the world, can a sista get some rest..I hear ya LORD
Here is what I read.........

Isaiah 41:1-13

"Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; let us come together for judgment. Who has aroused one from the east whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him, and subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, as the wind-driven chaff with his bow. He pursues them, passing on in safety, by a way he had not been traversing with his feet. Who has performed and accomplished it, calling forth the generations from the beginning? 'I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.'" The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and have come. Each one helps his neighbor, and says to his brother, "Be strong!" So the craftsman encourages the smelter, and he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good"; and he fastens it with nails, that it should not totter. "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham My friend, you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts, and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.' Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing, and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, those who war with you will be as nothing, and non-existent. For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'"

"Let's look at the verse, Isaiah 41:10, and then see how the preceding verses intensify the point of the verse.

There are two commands in the verse not to fear and five pillars of fearlessness. "Fear not" is the first command at the beginning of the verse. And then the second is "do not anxiously look about you" (RSV: "do not be dismayed").

As always in the Bible, there are reasons for the commands. Commands don't hang in the air with no basis in reality. If God commands us to do something, there are good reasons to do it. And power comes from understanding and believing those reasons.

Here there are the five reasons—call them.

The Five Pillars of Fearlessness

"For I am with you"—"Do not fear, for I am with you."
"I am your God"—"Do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God."
"I will strengthen you."
"Surely I will help you."
"Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Restated, the five pillars of fearlessness are:

God is with me;
God is my God;
God will strengthen me;
God will help me;
God will uphold me.
When God calls you to be free from fear as you do evangelism, as you take a test, as you face an interview, as you take a stand against an unjust business practice, as you confront someone with sin in their life, when you leave a secure position and take a risk in a new venture, when you face an operation or a treatment, when you lose a spouse or a friend—when God calls you to be free from fear (to overcome this natural emotion and have peace), he does not leave the command hanging in the air. He puts pillars under it. Five of them. That's the nature of all biblical commands. They come with divine support.

Fear not . . . God is with you;
Fear not . . . God is your God;
Fear not . . . God will strengthen you;
Fear not . . . God will help you;
Fear not . . . God will uphold you.
The Key to Overcoming Fear

The key to overcoming fear is resting on the pillars of the promises of God.

We'll come back to these pillars in a moment. Look with me for a minute at the verses leading up to verse 10 to see how they intensify these promises and strengthen these pillars.

If the key to fearlessness is believing that God is your God and is with you and will strengthen you and help you and uphold you, then knowing the greatness of this God will intensify your faith and your fearlessness."

--John Piper ( of course) :)