Light of the anxious heart, Jesus, Thou dost appear
To bid the gloom of guilt depart and shed Thy sweetness here.
—Bernard of Clairvaux
Just as Paul warns his readers in 1 Corinthians 7 to be “free from anxieties,” the hymns we sing this morning develop themes of setting aside worldly fears in favor of the rest we have in Jesus’ finished work. My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less and My Trust Is In The Lord—Psalm 11 contrast a world filled with stormy gales, in which even the foundations are destroyed, with the solid rock of Christ, the Lord in whom we put our trust. O Put Your Trust In God and O Lord Teach Me To Follow You—Psalm 27 encourage us to “rest on His unchanging Word,” to “give to the winds your fears,” and to patiently “wait upon the Lord.” Be Still, My Soul and My Shepherd Will Supply My Need—Psalm 23 instruct us to “leave to Thy God to order and provide” because He is faithful to lead us to a “settled rest.” We close the service with a prayer, Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah: because we are weak and He is mighty, we implore our Lord to hold us, to lead us, feed us, deliver us, and to bid our “anxious fears subside.” —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Present Distress, Betrothed, Short, Anxieties, Divided, Passions
Keystone Verse: I want you to be free from anxieties. (1 Corinthians 7:32)
1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.