No Worries: The Gospel’s Power Over Anxiety [Part 1]
By Alan Wright — February 05, 2019
Are you ready for some good news?
The Gospel is the cure for anxiety. Jesus is our peace.
Today’s text: “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14–16, ESV)
Worry is a sin. Jesus commanded us not to worry, so, when we do, we’re disobedient.
Other sins at least offer some fleshly appeal. Lust has its pleasures. Thievery brings material gain. Lying covers wrongdoing, Gossip puffs up. But what does worry do?
Nothing. Worry brings no gratification to the flesh and no hope to the soul. Worry is so worthless that you’d think we’d avoid it at all costs.
But we don’t. We are inclined to worry. The word comes from the word for “strangle.” That’s what worry does. It strangles out joy and peace. The angst the soul feels when we worry is so uncomfortable that we want to get rid of it, but when we don’t know how, we mask it. So worry opens a Pandora’s box of other sins.
Researchers have learned a lot in recent years about the physiological toxicity of worry. It creates a stress response in the body’s sympathetic nervous system that releases hormones like cortisol that may boost blood sugar levels and triglycerides but also may cause fatigue, irritability, muscle aches, headaches and nausea. Chronic worry suppresses the immune system.
So why would anyone want to worry?
It gives the illusion of control.
With so much uncertainty in the world, we want to do something. Anything. Worry gives us the illusion that we are doing something about our otherwise unmanageable problems. Worry, with its anxious brooding over all the negative possibilities ahead, strangely serves as a substitute for an even more frightening admission: we aren’t in control of the world!
God came in the person of Jesus Christ to do what we could never do- restore us to God. He’s in charge. So He’s our peace. And that’s the Gospel!