This week, thanks to a computer crash and a glorious vacation in Ireland [more on that later], I want to share some wisdom from Justin Taylor. A couple of times every month, I read through these morning reminders to encourage myself. Unlike Taylor, I’m an early bird, but I still need to preach to myself as I start the day. My favorite one might be, “Anxiety is meant to be cast not carried.” What’s yours?
Taylor writes, “I am not a morning person. I don’t like early mornings, and early mornings don’t like me. But here are a few things that have encouraged my heart lately, and perhaps will do the same to you. Remember that a good part of the Christian life, as Lloyd-Jones said, is learning how to preach to yourself more than listen to yourself.
1. Salvation draws near. This morning I am one day closer to seeing the Lord face-to-face, and closer to the day when all that is wrong and broken and rebellious will be made right and submissive. (“For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed”—Rom. 13:11).
2. God gives me new mercy. Every day I need God’s mercy, and when I awoke today there was a fresh supply of such necessary grace awaiting me. (“[God’s] mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning”—Lam. 3:22-23).
3. God gives us all kindness. God has already shown and modeled kindness this morning to his people and to his enemies by causing the sun to rise and shine. (“For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good”—Matt. 5:45).
4. My to-do list has only two things on it. My to-do list can feel overwhelming, but Jesus was able to summarize all 613 stipulations of the Sinai Covenant unto the size of a Post-It Note: “Love God with all that you are; love your neighbor as yourself.” Love fulfills the law (Rom. 13:8, 10; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8). As Augustine put it, “Love, and do what you will.”
5. Anxiety is meant to be cast not carried. Any anxiety I feel about today is useless (to me) and offensive (to God). God knows that I awake with anxieties, needs, and burdens. But instead of being anxious God wants me to tell him what I need (Phil. 4:6). Because God cares for me he wants me to cast all those anxieties—those burdens—on him (1 Pet. 5:7; Ps. 55:22). God is happy to “supply every need [I have] according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:33). Anxiety, at the end of the day, is a pointless waste of time that costs me a lot and gains me nothing (Matt. 6:27).
6. Rejoicing in weakness. If I feel too weak today, that’s a very good place to be. That way the joy of the Lord can be my strength (Neh. 8:10). That way I can “serve by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 4:11). “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:16). God’s grace is sufficient for me, since his power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong ” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
Ready for another day.”