The audio recording of C.J.'s first message delivered at the New Attitude conference is now online.
The Troubled Soul: God's Word and Our Feelings
Sunday, May 25, 2008
February 27, 2008 by C.J. Mahaney
Previously, I mentioned a number of helpful quotes on the topic of fear
from Edward T. Welch’s recent book, Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest
(Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2007).
But as you read in the title, this book not only addresses fear
as well. Being all too familiar with both, I am grateful Ed Welch addresses both. So for those who “specialize in worry” this book is for you.
The following quotes on this topic you will find underlined, checked, and bracketed in my copy of the book.
Worry is dangerous. It is not to be trifled with. When you find worries, anxieties, and fears, pay attention. (p. 95)
At this point, we know that worry and fear are more about us than about the things outside us. They reveal what is valuable to us, and what is valuable to us in turn reveals our kingdom allegiances. We also know that God is patient and compassionate with us, and he gives grace upon grace. Though alert to our divided allegiances, he persists in calling us away from fear and worry, persuades us of the beauty of the kingdom, and gives more than we can imagine.
With this in mind, his words should sound attractive, and we should be more and more inclined to listen. We should still like to abolish anxieties quickly, but we are learning that God values strong foundations and gradual growth, and such foundations are established as we feed on him and his words. As we meditate on Scripture and make it our own, we should anticipate slow but steady change. Worriers should be experts in a handful of passages. (p. 147)
For me, knowing that there is grace for tomorrow has made the most noticeable difference on my own anxieties and fears. The hurdle that was always in front of me was that I couldn’t imagine that grace, which is another way of saying that I limited God to the size of my own imagination. Now I know that I could never imagine that grace because I have yet to receive it. As a result, I am beginning to look forward to days of final exams rather than dread them.…This makes me think about all the times when I have received grace, didn’t take notice, and didn’t thank God for being faithful once again. (p. 145)
On Psalm 27:4 Welch writes,
Worry scans the universe looking for more worries to accumulate; it needs to be directed to what is most important.…Beauty is just what worry needs. Worry’s magnetic attraction can only be broken by a stronger attraction, and David is saying we can only find that attraction in God himself (pp. 152, 154)
Pastors, whether you are preparing to teach a series on fear or worry or preparing to counsel those for whom fear and worry is a besetting sin, this book
will make a difference in your soul, your preaching, and your counseling for the glory of God.