Tell of All He’s Done

Remembering God’s work in our life strengthens faith—both ours and others’.

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All of us at some time or other experience anxiety … It hits us, once in a while, for a short period of time—that’s natural with life; but God does not want us living with anxiety. For example, when you get blindsided by something—[say,] you hear that your son or your daughter was in an accident or something had happened—suddenly [you] feel anxious because [you’re] uncertain about what happened and how it happened and what the consequences are. So all anxiety is not bad. But the issue is, what do we do with it and how long does that anxiety live within us and carry the kind of consequences that it does? … It’s a faith battle … In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul is saying, “Here’s the plan: Bring it to God.

—Charles F. Stanley, “Victory Over Anxiety

I’ll start with the end of the story and let you know it all turned out fine. But that was only after my family was caught off guard by a scary medical finding and spent 48 anxious hours contending with what-ifs. And so we all prayed—not only for a good outcome but also for a specialist’s appointment sooner than the one-month wait roadblocking us.

God’s graciousness was palpable: The second specialist we called had an opening that very day and quickly set our minds at ease. He reassured us that despite the report’s dire-sounding terminology, this particular finding was common, non-life-threatening, and easy to address, even if it ever proved to be the unlikely “worst-case scenario.”

And so, just two days after we received hard news, life resumed and looked a lot like life before. Only, it was different. And while our situation cannot compare with the magnitude of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’s miracle (John 11:1-44), I do see this similarity: Believers are permanently changed by the Lord’s loving, personal touch—a touch often experienced through times of adversity. Once Lazarus was called forth from the tomb, would he or his sisters ever face ominous situations with pre-resurrection anxiety?

For my family, receiving God’s specific answers to prayer reinforced what Isaiah 64:4 tells us—that He hears, cares, and acts on our behalf. But how we weather frightening challenges is affected by our confidence in that truth.

Believers are permanently changed by the Lord’s loving, personal touch—a touch often experienced through times of adversity.

One key is to somehow stay mindful of God’s track record in our life and not let panic distract from what we’ve experienced of Him—the faithfulness He has shown and wants to manifest again. And since staying aware requires continually rehearsing the Lord’s goodness, it’s no wonder we find a recurrent scriptural theme of remembering and proclaiming the Lord’s mighty deeds. (See Deut. 5:15; Deut. 6:12; Deut. 7:18; Deut. 24:18; Isa. 12:5; Psalm 9:11; Psalm 78:4; Psalm 105:1.) I find that each retelling of how God has shown up in my life not only advertises Him to others but also solidifies my certainty that He cares about the details.

So whenever you see the Lord at work, journal it! Tell your kids! Text your friends! And let your own words bolster your conviction that He’s up to something good, even in the hard things. If you’re like me, I suspect that will strengthen your reflex to turn to Him quickly when the next crisis arises. And if your life is like mine, it won’t be long before you have opportunity to test my theory.

 

Illustration by Adam Cruft

Related Topics:  Anxiety

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6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.

2 It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick."

4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it."

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.

7 Then after this He said to the disciples, Let us go to Judea again."

8 The disciples said to Him, Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?"

9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.

10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."

11 This He said, and after that He said to them, Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep."

12 The disciples then said to Him, Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."

13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.

14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead,

15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him."

16 Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, so that we may die with Him."

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.

18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off;

19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.

20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house.

21 Martha then said to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.

22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."

23 Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again."

24 Martha said to Him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."

25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,

26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"

27 She said to Him, Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world."

28 When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, The Teacher is here and is calling for you."

29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him.

30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.

31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

32 Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."

33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,

34 and said, Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, Lord, come and see."

35 Jesus wept.

36 So the Jews were saying, See how He loved him!"

37 But some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?"

38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.

39 Jesus said, Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days."

40 Jesus said to her, Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"

41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

42 I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."

43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth."

44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Unbind him, and let him go."

4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

12 then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

18 you shall not be afraid of them; you shall well remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt:

18 But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.

5 Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth.

11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds.

4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.

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