Contentment vs. Anxiety

Why has it taken so long for me to write this post?

It is not because I have been at my task of caring for Jerry. It is not because there are not enough hours in the day to witness of the Lord’s goodness ~ this is the reason I write.

Titles come so very easily, but the meat is not always simple to come by. We long to publish the truths of the Father’s kingdom, but it must come by experience. And so this is true of the subject matter of contentment and anxiety.

Growing up in an environment of anxiety stamps a person for life, until we encounter Christ and learn of Him.

Then, we are born and sealed with His Spirit of promise, sanctified, and set apart for His use.

But even as Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord, so we wrestle for the promises that are ours in Him. This wrestling is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, bringing us to know the promises through God’s Word, claiming them, and working through life with the two-edged sword to destroy the strongholds that have have been set up in our lives.

There is as much difference between contentment and anxiety as between day and night. The difference is as light and darkness; as good and evil. And each has its ownership and connotations.  Books have been written, messages spoken and songs sung, and we could say more, but we post very simply today of how the Lord brings us from the anxiety of this life to contentment in Him.

The Source and the Fruit
Anxiety is the abnormal attitude of human beings; the seed thought of every man; flowing from the spring of unbelief.

“O, ye of little faith.”

“Yes, Lord, I hear you. I recognize your voice. I acknowledge my lack of faith.”

“Why do you doubt?”

“I have no excuse. My thoughts carry me where I do not want to go. They seem to have a power of their own.”

“Have I not proven that I love you and am able to provide all that you need?”

“Yes, Lord, I am guilty of forgetting you and your goodness when my thoughts wonder away from you. When times are difficult I am carried away by the moment. I am still learning to be content in every circumstance. I confess my sin, and ask that your Spirit keep me in your Word, to always remember your promises. Let me not dwell on the things of the world, and the power of the enemy. But let your Word be the source of my thoughts, to do its work. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and the contentment that is ours in you. Bear in and through me the fruit of your Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance; the fruit of holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, and humility. Fill me with your fullness, so there is no room for doubt or fear, but only thoughts of you, your grace and your glory.”
Fran

image: Google

Obligated And Eager (Romans 1:1-15)

imagesSo as not to lose the main thoughts of the study begun by our pastor yesterday in the Book of Romans I wanted to note and save these ~ not all, but those that we come away with; that apply to here and now, for us.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans described himself as “called” and “set apart.”

He had “received grace and apostleship” for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
His purpose for this grace and apostleship; his calling and being set apart for the gospel of God concerning His Son, was to bring about “obedience of faith” in others who were called. (See The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans)

This book was written by one “called to be an apostle.” Vs. 1
It was written to those “called to belong to Jesus Christ.” Vs. 6
It was written to those in Rome “loved by God and called to be saints.” Vs. 7

Though not all are called to be an apostle, all who are called, then and now, belong to Jesus Christ; all are loved by God and called to be saints. None are called to be nominal Christians, then to go their own way.

It is a holy, high, and heavenly calling, as noted in Paul’s other letters and in the Book of Hebrews. All are called to live out our faith in obedience to Christ wherever He has placed us.

Paul describes his obligation to those he ministers to as an apostle. He has “received grace” and in his calling as an apostle administers this grace to Greeks and barbarians, to the wise and foolish.

And here with the obligation is the proof of his “calling and receiving.” He is “eager to preach the gospel to those in Rome.” Why was he still preaching the gospel to those whose faith was proclaimed to all the world? It was the gospel that had been preached that brought them to believe the gospel. It is the gospel that keeps us receiving and believing. It is the gospel that keeps us encouraged, obligated, eager and obedient to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 We can easily forget the debt we owe for the mercy and grace that has saved us through Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
To keep us in obedience of faith we need, as Jerry Bridges in his book Discipline of Grace, to preach the gospel to ourselves every day.

It is in hearing the gospel that we receive our calling, and know where our obligations and eagerness are directed. As our pastor spoke of this I was reminded again of where my calling is at this time. My obligation is to my husband as his wife and caregiver. As I am writing this he is still sleeping. I am eager to spend the day with him, realizing that the Lord has planned our time together; and all will be to His glory, and our joy.