Neither Anxious Nor Disappointed
By Fred Pruitt
Merry Christmas, 2018! In a few hours we’ll be flying out in the middle of the night to go see those precious ones we love for Christmas celebrations. It has been the lot of our lives that the song, “Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go,” has not been true for us. It was, when we were young and children. Since then, not so much! Rather, for us, it has always seemed to be, “Over the river and through the woods to other relatives’ houses we go.”
We have spent far more Christmases out of town than we have in our own home. I’m not complaining. It’s always been wonderful – though – also often physically hard and emotionally stressful. After nearly seven decades of hanging around here, I’ve learned those two things go together – i.e., “wonderful,” and “physically hard and emotionally stressful.”
Here’s the thing. Life has lots of stuff that goes on, all the time – it seems there’s always something (imaginary or “real” – same difference) on the other side of the curtain from us that remains undone or incomplete or looming large with a shadowy shape.
The Spirit has underlined two very appropriate things for me in the recent weeks.
One, I’ve mentioned before – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil 4:6).
Isn’t that something? You have permission from the Lord to not be “anxious,” (worrying, fretting the future, tense about what might or might not happen) about ANYTHING! NOTHING!
Do you come from a family that one proved his love by how much he “worried?” Lots of us do.
Cut it out. It doesn’t help, we only make ourselves miserable along with everyone else we share our anxiousness with.
If we are in Christ – do you believe you are? – then we have access to the faith that created the heavens and the earth and all that is contained within them. “Tapping that faith” is no more than, “Oh yeah, why in the world am I worried about anything? I am cared for and provided and held dear in the hand of the Living God, enveloped in the loving arms of Him Who gave His Live for me and then promised NEVER to leave me and NEVER to forsake me. It’s all in His hands and His thoughts and works toward me are only to keep me safe and bring me into His everlasting habitations!”
The answer to anxiety is faith. How many times did He say in the Gospels, “Be not afraid, only believe!” “O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?” Doubt that has us immobile only means we are looking to ourselves (as apart from the Lord) and something in ourselves to bring about the results of faith. Faith says the Lord does it, not we. There is our release and our rest. And the fruit of the faith will come on down the road when it’s good and ready.
And the other thing the Spirit has underlined for me is from this verse:
“To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.” (Psalm 22:5)
That sort of self-explanatory, isn’t it?
When we trust in Him we are not disappointed. I had not noticed that verse before because I had always read it in KJV and it didn’t seem to say the same thing. The KJV rendering is this:
“They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.”
I don’t use the word confounded. Thinking about it I can’t say I remember ever using it. So it never touched me. But in reading something else, the writer quoted that verse, using “disappointed” rather than “confounded.”
THAT got my attention. Trusting in Him, we are never disappointed! That’s what it says.
That is a real change in my understanding and consciousness. I mean, I guess it’s covered in “give thanks for all things” and other verses of the sort, but that word, “disappointed” has a much more personal meaning.
Whatever we get, trusting in Him, we have the option of not being disappointed. No matter what it is!
What, are we crazy? Are we masochistic? No, we have simply come to the point where we see that whatever the Spirit runs us through, whatever course of action, whatever mind-frame, whatever season, you name it, whatever result – good or bad – is our opportunity in the Spirit to say, “Lord, all of this is to bring Life in the world you’ve put me in, and this is your Light shining in the world, to “save much people alive.” (Gen 50:20)
The Star of Bethlehem has arisen in you all, brothers and sisters; it shines brightly from the stable of your divine birth. The Holy One of Israel has birthed Himself within you! Do you know that, do you see it?
It’s the Truth. It’s the Truth about YOU!
(I’ll be back in a few days.)