Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tri-Rx for Fear or Worry – Part 1 of 3

3-Legged Stool of Stability for Difficult Times – Introduction

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28 NIV)

During a difficult period in my life that lasted about a year and a half, the Lord impressed upon me three attributes of His nature. Together these three attributes helped me keep things in perspective—and without all three, the stability that I needed would not have been complete. It is for this reason that I have come to think of these three aspects of the uniqueness of God as a tri-Rx for anxiety, worry, or fear. I also think of it as a three-legged stool of stability.

Following the tragic events of 9/11 when international terrorism reached within our borders, these three divine attributes returned to my thinking, bringing peace and calm in a turbulent environment. I am confident that they will have a calming effect on any Christian who reflects upon them. When we focus on what the Word of God teaches about each of these divine attributes, we see things with a long-term perspective and are therefore able to handle any crisis that comes our way. Remember, we have the promise from God that if we know Him, He will not tempt or try us beyond that which we are able to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13). Understanding this divine tri-Rx for fear has enabled me to work through difficult circumstances without losing confidence in my Creator, Sustainer, and Provider.

Consider the analogy of a three-legged stool. First the importance of three legs to a stool. With two legs a stool would fall over without constant effort to balance it. With four legs each leg must be precise in length and angle or the stool rocks back and forth as the weight shifts on the stool—and of course on uneven ground it is unstable. Only a three-legged stool remains steadfast regardless of circumstances or the setting where it is placed.

Certainly we know that God has many more than three important attributes. But the Spirit of God has repeatedly impressed upon me the importance of three particular sustaining attributes—and as He has, my thinking has been clarified about these attributes. Over the years as these three attributes have become precious to me, I have found writings of others who discovered a similar strength from three attributes—and the similarity, yet differences, of thought has been remarkable. I will mention those later. Finding some common threads from others has also helped me sharpen my explanation of the three.

The subject of this blog will be broken into a 3-part series.
The Three Antidotes for Fear and Worry
Summary & Conclusions

Please note that I deliberately do not number or imply rank to the three attributes. In a three-legged stool each leg is as critically important as the other two and each is absolutely essential. In this compound Rx each ingredient is equally vital.

CONTEMPLATE: Suppose a brand new Christian, who knows very little about the Bible, came to you with the following question: “I read that God will keep me in perfect peace if my mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3), but I have a lot of worries. What should I dwell on to help settle my anxiety?”

Next time we will identify and describe three vital antidotes for fear and worry.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Introduction to “Abundant Life Now”

The Purpose

The passion underlying this blog is to create a forum for discussion centered around (1) basic Christian living, (2) foundational Christian truth, and (3) how to be salt and light in a desperately needy world. By contrast, this is not a blog for minor doctrinal arguments, denominational critiques, or for heavy theological arguments.

By way of background I will mention that since the release of the first book in the “Christian Concepts Series” entitled “Thy Will Be Done On Earth: Understanding God’s Will for You” I have had the opportunity to meet with many pastors, and when I mention my concern about the lack of doctrine in the pews of most North American churches I always connect. In fact, I’ve had a number of pastors become tearful as we discuss this common concern.

Since our intent is to create a forum of two-way discussion of the fundamentals of the Christian life and Christian living, we need readers and contributors. If you subscribe to this forum and recommend it to others, the discussion and content will be greatly enhanced!

Our intent is to add new content at least weekly and to respond to others’ input more frequently. Please contribute input, ask questions, discuss, and let’s grow in our Christian faith together.

The Blogger

The column to the right provides basic career background.

I have been fortunate to be married to a Proverbs 31 kind of wife since 1968 and we are now empty-nesters. Together we have two fantastic daughters who married two Godly husbands. We are blessed with two wonderful grandkids and two special grand-pets. God has been so very good to us—far beyond what we deserve. All we have and all we have become or accomplished is entirely the result of God’s grace!