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Ammunition Against Anxiety

A devotional by John Piper for reading on September 21st

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ( Philippians 4:6 6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. )

When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise of Isaiah 55:11 11 so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. . “So shall my word be which goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 9 And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for `my' power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ).

When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” ( Psalms 32:8 8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will counsel thee with mine eye upon thee. ).

When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us, who is against us!” ( Romans 8:31 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God `is' for us, who `is' against us? ).

When I am anxious about the welfare of those I love, I battle unbelief with the promise that if I, being evil, know how to give good things to my children, how much more will the “Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask him!” ( Matthew 7:11 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? ).

And I fight to maintain my spiritual equilibrium with the reminder that everyone who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for Christ’s sake “shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life” ( Mark 10:29 29 Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel's sake, –30).

When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all” ( Psalms 34:19 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But Jehovah delivereth him out of them all. ).

And I take the promise with trembling: “Tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” ( Romans 5:3 3 And not only so, but we also rejoice in our tribulations: knowing that tribulation worketh stedfastness; –5).



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