In moments of anxiety, who do we turn to? When we are persecuted or threatened in anger, where do we go? Where did Jesus go, before He is crowned with thorns and crucified? And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” Mark 14:32.
How did Jesus pray? And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36. Even his prayer teaches us: “Yet not what I will, but what You will.”
Before Jesus came to earth, the Children of Israel were commanded to sacrifice peace offerings. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the Lord shall bring his offering to the Lord from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. His own hands shall bring the Lord’s food offerings. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be waved as a wave offering before the Lord. The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be for Aaron and his sons. And the right thigh you shall give to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifice of your peace offerings.” Leviticus 7:29:32.
God required sacrifices for various reasons, and these were pleasing to God. Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins in the new covenant with God. How do we know how to please God? Knowing Who God is, if we follow Him, we will know our lives are to be lived according to what God wills, not what we want. God is the Ruler of His Kingdom. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him, and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17.
God gave The Ten Commandments to the Israelites, and in the New Testament Jesus taught just two commandments we are to obey. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-38. What is love?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. I Corinthians 13:4-8a.
Jesus taught on the sermon on the Mountain. Beginning with ‘Blessed’. He pronounced the various conditions of followers of God and their promises in Matthew 5:2-11. Poor in Spirit, Mourn, Meek, Hunger for righteousness, Merciful, Pure in Heart, Peacemakers, those persecuted for Righteousness’s sake, and being Persecuted for the sake of Jesus.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” John 14:15-16. This Helper is the Holy Spirit, who brings the fruit in our lives against which there is no law. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23a.
When anxiety threatens to grip me with unknown terrors, I turn to His Word, and know that The Lord God who created Heaven and Earth, placed the stars in the heavens, and sent Jesus to be my sacrifice and read verses like these:
“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Matthew 6:25-27.
And this chapter ends with these two verses – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6: 33-34.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:7-8.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. John 14:25-28.
Love and Joy and
Peace is God’s blessing to us.
And we show faithfulness, patience, kindness,
goodness, gentleness, and self-control when we revel
in God’s blessings to us.