Terry’s Take… May Week 4: Troubled Hearts

In our continuing look at Troubled Hearts, we looked at the first principle Jesus teaches us about anxiety.

This week we look at the Second Principle.

Principle #2: My Anxiety Reflects My View of God

Tim Keller writes, “Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong.” How we respond to life’s trouble reflects how we view God and whether we trust how He has acted towards us. Jesus makes the case that our worry really stems from a heart of unbelief that God is acting in a good way towards us. To those who doubt the provision and power of God to do what’s best, Jesus gives a gentle rebuke, “O you of little faith.”

How often we become distracted when we fear the future and take matters into our own hands. We seek to control our destiny and focus our attention on what WE want most. We don’t trust God to provide or to keep us safe. We start to think 10 steps down the road and bring tomorrow’s problems into today. Jesus reminded us that worry accomplishes very little and distracts us from being present in our lives today. “Do not worry about tomorrow for today has enough troubles of its own.”

In my counseling over the years…I see this all the time. When dealing with death, divorce, dysfunction, and distance in relationships, we can extrapolate all kinds of negative outcomes. Focusing on the possible outcome stems from a heart that ultimately desires to be in control. Rather than trusting a good God, it really is a heart of pride. Tim Keller reminds us, however, “it takes pride to be anxious… I am not wise enough to know how my life should go.” Do we trust God with our future so we can stay present in our today?

Action step:
God calls me to overcome anxiety by keeping my focus on His faithfulness.

Next week we will look at Principle Three. Perhaps you will want to print out these four principles and keep them handy for when anxiety overcomes you.

Today’s Resource:

Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter by Timothy Keller.
Available on Amazon.ca (paperback, e-book), Chapters/Indigo (paperback, e-book), Audible (audio book), The Mississauga Library (e-book).

Hope in Times of Fear is a book that unlocks the meaning of Jesus’s resurrection for readers. Easter is considered the most solemn and important holiday for Christians. It is a time of spiritual rebirth and a time of celebrating the physical rebirth of Jesus after three days in the tomb. For his devoted followers, nothing could prepare them for the moment they met the resurrected Jesus. Each failed to recognize him. All of them physically saw him and yet did not spiritually truly see him. It was only when Jesus reached out and invited them to see who he truly was that their eyes were opened. Here the central message of the Christian faith is revealed in a way only Timothy Keller could do it–filled with unshakable belief, piercing insight, and a profound new way to look at a story you think you know. After reading this book, the true meaning of Easter will no longer be unseen.