Our freedom as Christians comes from placing our faith in the work of God through Jesus Christ on the Cross that paid for our redemption. It was all done for us as a work of God’s grace. Man-made religions are the work of men offering up to God some religious work they do for His acceptance but Christianity is a Divine work, a work of God done for us (grace) and handed down to us for our acceptance (by faith). It was the total, complete, and finished work of God which was not conditioned on anything we could do to merit it by good deeds or even disqualify ourselves from it through bad deeds. We can only believe and receive it or respond by faith to His finished work. Our freedom has been purchased from sin’s penalty, power, and presence (in our future).
Our understanding of grace changes and affects how we approach and respond to God with our faith. Our faith is always in grace or in the finished work of God. Every believer needs their heart established in the truths of grace (Hebrews 13:9) and when you know them it will set you free, multiply peace to you, and give you rest from stress and anxiety.
When we know what God has done, the anxieties of life can be destroyed by faith in God, or faith in the finished work of God. This may sound very blunt but it is true that where anxiety begins, faith ends; but this is also true that where faith begins, anxiety ends. We cannot have faith alone but faith has to be based upon something or in something. Real faith is faith in the grace of God and it is a rest (anxiety free). There is no rest outside of faith in the grace and finished work of God. When we understand grace, it is the end of anxiety, trying hard, and struggling.
Jesus addressed anxiety and worry in Matthew 6:25, 27, 28, and 31, but specifically in verse 34 with the phrase, “Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Worry and anxiety is taking thoughts from tomorrow in our today. Anxiety and worry is always future or puts our mind out of the present and into the future. It may be a future good thing we want to be sure happens. It may be a future bad thing we want to be sure does not happen. We worry about what we do want and what we don’t want.
When we worry, though, we are not acting like the work to take care of it is finished. We are acting like a work still needs to be done. What we need is a greater revelation of the finished work of God on the Cross, which was a total work of grace. Yes, we need something done in our natural condition or circumstances to change, but the provision to change it has already been provided by God. We put faith in that finished work or grace to give us rest about the future we may be tempted to worry about.
Think for a moment on Hebrews 4:16 which says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” That means that grace has to be there already if we are to find it to help us in our time of need. It is there because of the finished work of God, what He has already done, and already provided. How does this affect our approach to God?
- It means that no matter what we may be facing, there is grace already available to help us face it. We don’t have to worry because we can find grace to help.
- It means God cares for us because He already cared for us in looking ahead and making the provision of grace for what we would need. (I can never in self pity accuse Him of not caring).
- It means we can boldly (confidently) approach Him because we know God is for us so who can be against us. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things Romans 8:32.”