The Gospel And Anxiety
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” -Matthew 6:34
Suffering with anxiety can be very discouraging. Constant worry always has a way of making every little situation a struggle. If you struggle with anxiety then I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Living in a state of worry has been one of the most debilitating things that I personally have experienced so far in my life. Anxiety has caused me to fall short in relationships with others and to become very self-centered. I do not know if anxiety will be my “thorn in my flesh”, but I do know that it is only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I can learn to deal with anxiety, or even possibly overcome it.
What Do I Mean?
I’ve always been extremely interested in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The main reason is because Jesus Christ is trying to crush us under the demand. See the Law of Moses crushes you externally (mostly) and then the Sermon on the Mount crushes you internally. You might be wondering what I am talking about at this point, but let me explain a little more. If you read through Matthew 5 you will see Jesus Christ drop the heaviest weight you could possibly imagine on the shoulders of each of us. Understand what Matthew 5:48 is saying:
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” -Jesus Christ
Do you feel the weight? Jesus Christ talks about anger, lust, divorce, and retaliation in Matthew 5. In Matthew 6 He talks about money and anxiety. In Matthew 7 Christ talks about judging others. The point that Christ is making is that we need something outside of our own strength and will-power to be perfect before our Father in Heaven. We cannot meet the requirement. The demand cannot be met. It is only when you feel the weight of your inability to be perfect that the Gospel message shines more beautiful then you could have ever imagined.
The Gospel and (Fill In The Blank)
Whatever it is that crushes you when reading the Sermon on the Mount is meant to point you to the good news that Jesus Christ is the one who completely fulfilled everything talked about during the Sermon. Personally, my struggle is with anxiety. I struggle with striving to “not being anxious”. However, what liberates me is that my standing before God has all to do with Jesus Christ and nothing to do with me.
The Gospel enables me to live in the reality that my anxiety does not make me any less of a man or any less acceptable before God. Your struggle could be different then mine. You might struggle with judging, lust, or anger. However, the point is that at the end of your rope, when the Law crushes you, there Christ Jesus will be. You cannot perfectly live out the commands set forth by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount, but thank God that Jesus Christ did fulfill everyone of the demands. This is why I am able to live in the reality that anxiety could always be a struggle for me, but yet I am still a son of God. I am proclaimed as righteous before God because Jesus Christ met the demand.
It is only by the grace of God that any of us will be able to overcome the struggles and ailments that we deal with daily in our lives. My prayer is that I would continue to live with my anxiety in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We all must deal with our struggles and the Law’s crushing demand in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Sermon on the Mount is meant to lead you to the very end of your rope. We cannot overcome in our own strength. We cannot meet the demand. But the great thing is that God’s office is at the very end of your rope. Living in light of the Gospel is what enables us to be okay with our ailments, struggles, and sicknesses. Live in that reality.