February 23, 2019 at 10:22 pm #6312ToWalkWorthyModerator
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:76-79, NKJV)
These are the closing words of Zacharias’ prophecy following the birth of his son, John. While the bulk of his prophecy – the first words he had spoken since being struck mute by the angel in the temple before John was conceived – were praise to God regarding the coming Messiah, these final words were directed to his little baby boy. John was the one who prepare the way of the Lord, and what an awesome responsibility that would be!
But I would like to consider the rest of what Zacharias says to his infant son here, especially in the context of dealing with anxiety. In this prophecy, Zacharias not only shed light on what John’s role in God’s plan would be but also on what the fulfillment of that plan would mean for all of us. Taking it bit by bit, let’s take a look at how God’s plan of redemption for man gives us exactly what we need to daily enter into battle against the anxieties that threaten to enslave us.
“to give knowledge of salvation to His people”
Anxiety continuously reminds us of how much we don’t know.
God’s plan reveals to us all we really NEED to know (2 Peter 1:2-4).
“by the remission of their sins”
Anxiety shines a light on all we have done wrong.
God’s plan offers a means of washing away every spot and stain (Isaiah 1:18).
“through the tender mercy of our God”
Anxiety tries to convince us that we are alone in the world.
God’s plan shows a Father who is always there, always loves, always desires our best (Matthew 7:7-11).
“with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us”
Anxiety dwells on the failures of yesterday and the perils of tomorrow.
God’s plan teaches us that, in Christ, there is promise of new and better life (John 10:9-10).
“to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death”
Anxiety keeps us in the darkness of fear and worry.
God’s plan shines light into the darkness to give hope and faith (John 1:1-13)
“to guide our feet into the way of peace”
Anxiety leads only to more days of anxiety.
God’s plan leads to true peace of heart and mind and, ultimately, eternal peace in heaven (John 4:27).
Making Practical Application:
Negative self-talk is a common companion to anxiety issues. These words we think and/or say to ourselves tear us down from within and are one of the reasons that anxiety is so good at keeping us in the darkness. So how can we combat the negative self-talk we face day-to-day? Confront and combat it with thought-stopping and positive self-talk!
The next time you’re plagued by the kind of thoughts listed above, confront and combat them with the promises given by God in Luke 1. For example…
If you find yourself anxious over what could happen and obsessing over what you would need to know and do in each and every scenario, stop those thoughts by telling yourself that Christ’s doctrine “give(s) knowledge of salvation to His people.” Then say a prayer of thanksgiving for the assurance we can have through simply walking in obedient faith.
If you are feeling weighed down by the state of the world around you, stop those thoughts by telling yourself that Christ came to “give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.” Then look around you for examples of lights in the darkness. Maybe it’s witnessing an act of simple courtesy between two strangers. Maybe it’s the simple beauty of God’s creation. Maybe it’s opening your Bible and seeing God’s love and care expressed on every page. Find at least 5 examples. Then choose at least 1 way that you can shine light into someone else’s darkness, and do it.
If you are caught up in thoughts of all the bad things that can happen to you, stop those thoughts by telling yourself that Christ came to “guide our feet into the way of peace.” Then make a list of the things God has blessed you with that bring you peace.
- This topic was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by ToWalkWorthy.
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