Anxiety can derail our faith. What can you do?
[Steve Myers] This is our second edition as we consider, what do we do when we’re anxious about our salvation? Are you worried that God won’t save you? Well, here’s some powerful passages that are so positive, that remind us of God’s greatness and His intent for each of us to be a part of His family – and not just for now, but forever. So in our last BT Daily we talked about the fact that God loves mercy and wants to extend mercy to us. And not only that, He promises to save us. When we strive to follow His ways, that’s God’s very intent. And in fact, it doesn’t stop there. When we’re anxious, when we’re stressed out, when we’re worried about our relationship with God, God gives us another promise.
You know what that promise is? It’s His Holy Spirit. God gives the promise of His Holy Spirit, and that is a powerful antidote to anxiety and worry. He told the Ephesians this as the apostle Paul wrote in chapter 1, verse 13. Here’s what Paul said: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” – that’s important, as well, the gospel of your saving. Not the gospel of your worries, not the gospel of your fears or anxieties or destruction. The gospel of your saving. It says, “In whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Don’t you like the way that’s worded? God’s spirit is a promise. It’s a promise of salvation. It’s a promise of, here’s the antidote to anxiety and fear and worry. Then he goes on to say this about God’s spirit – verse 14. “That spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). So God gets the glory for giving us His spirit, which is a guarantee. That’s a promise. A promise to do what? He says, “to the point of the redemption of the purchased possession” – kind of a jumble of words there, but what that means – until ultimately, being born into the family of God, we have a guarantee. The guarantee of being born in the family of God, being rescued out of this world, is God’s Holy Spirit.
And so when we get anxious and worried, look to God. Recognize He’s given us His spirit so that we don’t have to be worried. It’s a guarantee. So think about that. If I get worried, I get anxious, think, wait a second. God’s given me a guarantee by His Holy Spirit. That should be a powerful prescription for overcoming the worry and the fear that sometimes comes upon us.
Of course, it also points to another aspect of how to battle anxiety and fear about our salvation. One of the things that we notice of course – God gives His spirit. Well, God loves to give. He loves to give. He’s a giver, right? God ultimately is a giver. That’s His nature, that’s His attitude, that’s His character. You probably know John 3:16 by heart – that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”. That’s a gift. It’s a gift to you. And God gives so many gifts to us. The ultimate perfect gift is His Son, our Savior – and of course, He’s called the Savior not just as a title, but that’s what He does. He saves us, He rescues us, He brings salvation. And so, just think of that. Think of John 3:16 when that worry and doubt comes into your mind – that God gave me, He gave you, a Savior, He gave you His very Son so that we have that promise of eternal life.
And so, He wants none to perish, but all to come to eternal life. That’s God’s point, that’s His purpose. And He wants to see that work completed in you. So that should help us to battle the concerns and the fears that we may have when it comes to our salvation, because it also points to an important aspect of God’s purpose and His love for us, and that’s the fact that God is on our side.
You know, sometimes it can feel like the world’s against us. It could feel like our coworkers are against us. It could feel like everything in life is opposing us, and battling us at each turn. And it can fill us with those concerns and worries. Don’t ever feel that that’s the way God is. God is with us. He is for us. He is on our side. He wants the best for us. And there is no doubt that He wants you to know He’s with you. He’s with you.
Paul certainly wanted the Philippians to know that very thing, and so he wrote something, I think, that is pretty amazing. If you look to Philippians chapter – let’s see, what chapter is it? It’s chapter 3. Philippians 3:14 brings this point home for all of us, not just the Philippians of that day, but also to the point that it affects each of us. So, Philippians 3:14. Here’s what Paul wrote: “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Then he says, “Therefore let us, as many are mature, have this mind; and if anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”
So it’s telling us that even when there are deficiencies, even when we have shortcomings, does God say, well, we’re in trouble? Is He standing there with a bolt of lightning to hit us? No. Paul’s saying God’s going to reveal that to us. God’s going to help us. God’s on our side. God wants us to become mature Christians. He wants us to grow. And so we press on, understanding that very fact that God has given us the guarantee of His Holy Spirit. God has given us the wonderful, positive encouragement recognizing He is the ultimate of givers, and of course that He’s always on our side. God is always there for us.
So keep those things in mind and we’ll continue this next time on BT Daily. We’ll see you then.