This post is part of a series. Check out Part 1
and Part 2
if you missed them!
WHAT WAS JESUS’ EXAMPLE ABOUT HANDLING DIFFICULTY WITHOUT WORRY?
I think about Jesus’ life and the example He gave for us of living by faith in God. He knew for years (well, literally, He knew for all eternity) that He had come to die on the cross. He knew exactly when it would happen. He knew exactly what would happen. He actually planned the details before time began. He knew how awful it would be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I think it is amazing that He only began to seem to really experience the psychological/spiritual weight of what was coming the night before His crucifixion. He didn’t worry the whole 33 years of his life. He didn’t freak out. He didn’t obsess. He didn’t try to bargain with God. He didn’t choose the most comfortable route. He didn’t shrink from total sacrifice. He asked God to allow the cup to pass Him, but said, “Not my will, but Yours be done” – the essence of biblical submission!
He had talked about how His death would happen many times during those 3 years of ministry – not that the disciples understood Him. But it was not until that night, several hours before He was arrested, that He began to pray so intensely that He actually was sweating blood (which has happened to other people, by the way, under extreme stress).
It’s easy to think that, “Oh, well, Jesus was perfect, He is God – so it wasn’t a big deal for Him to go through all of that suffering.” But He was human! And He was holy and sinless. He was God. And He was willing to experience death and endure His own great wrath for our sin so that we could be spared from His wrath. What kind of insane love is that!?!? It is unfathomable that anyone could love us that much – but the sovereign, holy God of the universe?!?!?! That is mind blowing crazy!
I think the most horrifying thing for Him was bearing all of our sin on Himself and losing that precious connection with His Father for a time. He became sin, Who knew no sin. Jesus and God were One – they had NEVER been separated before. I don’t think we can truly appreciate the scale of the weight of the sin He had to carry for us. To go from complete holy perfection to ” bearing the awesome weight of sin. Every bitter thought, every evil deed crowning His blood stained brow” to “take the blame, bear the cost” so that “we stand forgiven at the cross.” ( One of my favorite songs, The Power of the Cross
– by the Gettys).
He did that for us. He bore the weight and strain of the sin of every person and swallowed the grave and death in victory on our behalf.
And to think, He didn’t worry about all that was to come. He KNEW what was coming. We don’t know. We sometimes think we know – but we don’t know what is ahead. Only God knows that.
IN MARRIAGE – I MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN CONTROL AND INTIMACY
Laura Doyle describes in “The Surrendered Wife” that
A woman can either try to have control in her marriage or she can have intimacy. They are opposites.
If you choose one, you can’t have the other.
If I place myself as being in charge of the marriage and try to control my husband – I repel him and lose intimacy. The price I pay for trying to control him is emotional/spiritual and maybe even physical intimacy. God designed him to be the head, the authority, the leader (I Corinthians 11:3) So, unless he is Spirit-filled, he will either unplug and go passive or he will become angry if I try to control him or usurp his authority. A wife does not gain intimacy with her man by attempting to be an authority over him.
The parallels with our relationship with Christ are so amazing.
For me to experience real intimacy and relationship in my marriage, my husband MUST see my faith in him as a man, my trust in him, my genuine respect for the good that is in him right now (even if he never changed), and he must hear my praises for him.
THAT is how a woman draws a man to herself.
By God’s design, the wife represents the church and the husband represents Christ in marriage. (Ephesians 5:22-33
WITH CHRIST, I MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN FAITH OR WORRY (Worry is something I do when I think I am in control!)
It’s a similar scenario in our relationship with Christ. I either choose to try to have control over God and my relationship with God (placing myself in the place of God – saying I am god. I’m in charge. This is all my responsibility. So I need to worry and fret about it, using all my wisdom, strength and power to try to make it all work out) or I can have faith and trust in Him.
I must decide, will I place my trust in myself, or in other things or people on earth – or will I place my trust squarely in Christ Jesus as my LORD?
Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
The only time a believer in Christ would seriously need to be afraid – is if God was not with him/her. That is what worry really is – I am picturing the future without God and without His power. I am trying to figure out how I will handle things and what I will do in my own power without God being there at all. Worry means I am trusting myself and that I don’t believe God will be there with me. Jesus had to face the terrifying reality on the cross of being separated from His Father, God. But we do NOT have to face life apart from God’s presence, help, power, wisdom, guidance, direction and comfort. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!!!?!?!
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?…
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…
NO, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31,43,35,37-39
We have God’s promise that:
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5
OTHER GREAT VERSES ON WORRY/ANXIETY:
I John 4:18
I Peter 5:7
I Peter 3:3-6 – godly femininity is about having a gentle, peaceful, still spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear. We can be like that because all of our trust and faith is 100% in Christ! Then His Spirit fills us and we have His supernatural peace so we don’t have to freak out or try to frantically make sure things all work out “right” as we see it. We trust that our holy, loving, sovereign God is working out all things for our ultimate good (to conform us to the image of Christ) and for His ultimate glory. (Romans 8:28)