Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't Worry, Parts 3 & 4

Here's the last two parts of a series on worry and anxiety from David Powlison:

Part 3

Part 4

I really appreciate the last section of part 4. Under the heading "How do you get a grip when the barbarians are rioting in the streets of your mind?" Powlison personalizes the daily battle of thoughts and emotions and faith. This is fantastic stuff?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where is my mind today on Good Friday?

A quote by Paul David Tripp from page 104 in his book "A Quest For More":

"You cannot be Christ-centered with out becoming cross-centered. The crucified Christ is to be the center of everything I know about myself and my world. You cannot have any real hope for flawed people in a fallen world unless there is a Redeemer to rescue us from the evil that resides both inside and outside of us. Real restoration to God's created design requires the cross. It is the cross of Christ that alone will restore my allegiance to Christ and his rightful place at the center of everything in my life."

If Jesus wasn't crucified, if Jesus did not choose death on a cross, if Jesus instead chose pride instead of humility, there would be no ultimate meaning and purpose to life. But, because of His work on the cross, everything has meaning. Everything! There is not one square inch of human existence that can not be fully redeemed. But its only because of His death on a cross. The necessity of the cross is that it restored the ability to be back in relationship with God our creator. The veil has been torn in two (Matthew 27:51). Man can now approach the loving God. This may be an oversimplification but its what I am thinking about this Good Friday.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Don't Worry, Part 2

The second part of David Powlison's article series "What Good Is "Don't Worry' in Time Like These?" is available at the CCEF blog. This series has been very helpful to me so far because I am personally dealing with a lot physical effects related to high levels of anxiety. This is something new to me.

Of course there is the question: What do you worry about? But then a second penetrating question is: Why do you worry. Here's why I consider Powlison to be a master at biblical counseling, he writes about Jesus in Luke 12:
The easy answer is to point your finger back towards what you are worrying about, and to think that explains it. “I’m worried because I don’t know if I’m going to get a job. I’m worried because I don’t have enough saved for retirement. I’m worried because I have a family history of cancer.” But Jesus doesn’t do that. He explains our worries not by pointing to how uncertain life is, but by pointing to something in us. Throughout this whole passage He says, “You worry because of something about you, not because of the things you worry about.” That’s what He threw on the table in the interchange just before the passage we’re focusing on: “Guard yourself from every form of greed.”

I bolded that line in the above quote because it gets to the heart of the matter - the heart, my heart, your heart, everyone's heart. Quotes like this are equalizers in that the truth in them places everyone on common ground.

Then Powlison shows us where Jesus is taking the crowd:

Jesus has no interest in simply talking about what’s wrong with us. He’s always going somewhere good. He does make reference to the temptations you face during anxiety, and to some of the ways you go off the rails, and to how your faith dims when you fall into greed. But the passage is largely about giving you lots of solid reasons not to worry. Sure, you have good reasons to worry, because lots of things are uncertain. But you have many, much better reasons not to worry!

This is great stuff! It's the gospel message in very practical terms. I find it helpful in showing me how to live out what the gospel really means in my own life. I hope you read the article.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Don't Worry

One of my favorites in biblical counseling is David Powlison.  I amazed at his wisdom.  I am also a big fan of CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation).  Powlison is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF.

On CCEFs blog there is an article from 2003 by Powlison, What Good is Don't Worry" In Times Likes These?.  It's actually the first part in a series on Worry and Luke 12.  I highly recommend it.