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Article Notes: The Secret to Dealing with Fear and Anxiety, by Ed Welch

Over at CCEF.org, Ed Welch posted recently on handling fear and anxiety. The secret, he says, is humbling ourselves before we “cast all [our] anxiety on him” (1 Peter 5:7). In the verse before 1 Peter 5:7, Peter writes, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he might lift you up in due time.” Welch says that we often simply come to God expecting him to take away our cares when we cast them on him–and certainly, we know he can change our circumstances and take away our suffering–but that this approach isn’t always one of humility. Essentially, we can often say in this approach, “Well God, here are my cares–now take care of them.”

For more on this, check out the post.

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Kevin DeYoung on King David

In a blog post today, Kevin DeYoung discusses what made David great. DeYoung hones in on two traits: David’s graciousness towards his enemies and his honesty towards himself. My hat is off to DeYoung here, because I think he highlights two ways that all Christians can grow to become more like Christ.

First, because of how secure we are in Christ, we can look at our enemies with compassion. More than once, David goes against the counsel of his friends and decides to spare his enemies. David even weeps at the death of Saul–this is where we get the famous line, “How the mighty have fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19). To me, this is one of the most poignant verses in Scripture. I thank Pastor DeYoung for helping me to understand why. When David laments Saul’s death, he foreshadows Christ weeping for Jerusalem and Christ interceding for His enemies even while he hangs on their cross. May we find the richness in the gospel that allows us to have such self-abandoning love for our enemies.

And second, because of how loved we are in Christ, we can look at ourselves with utter honesty. We do not need to defend ourselves against the rebuke of others. DeYoung writes that he can’t find a place in Scripture where David does not heed the rebuke of godly people. This evidences the lack of self-idolatry that can only come from being wholly loved by the God who came to rescue us.

Thank you, Pastor DeYoung, for this message!

Sheldon Vanauken on post-conversion letdown

Most people who have been Christian for long have experienced peaks and valleys of excitement. In his memoir A Severe Mercy, which is probably my favorite memoir of all time, Sheldon describes how his wife, Davy, and he were growing apart some time after their conversions:

I spoke on an earlier page of our love as like a fine watch that could be thrown off by a grain of dust. But this was not a grain of dust or even a mustard seed: it was the eternal God. After all, as C. S. Lewis had said, I was not finding the existence of a Master and a Judge ‘simply pleasant’. My intellectual commitment to that Master was perfectly clear, as was Davy’s. And at Oxford it had all been challenging and beautiful and exciting. But now it seemed different. Duller. Davy was simply living up to her commitment, wherever it led. For me, that was the trouble: where it led. I was ready to play in a match, Christians v. Atheists. I was ready to level my lance and charge under the Cross of Gold. I was ready to follow the King into battle. But–Sunday school? Where was the glory? Poring over the Bible–when we could be reading poetry? Where was the army of the King with banners? Where was the cathedral, beautiful and holy?

–Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy, p. 138