In God we trust
What if, in this calendar year of 2015, you could say that you quit worrying? Does that even seem possible? What if we framed that question another way, since the urge or opportunity to worry is so often out of our control. What if, when the urge or opportunity to worry presented itself, you responded with trust in God rather than worrying about the circumstances or outcome? That is the real question. Jesus himself confirms you will have trouble (John 16:33 NIV) in this life. What is your response when that trouble comes? So often it’s worry and fear, but the peace of God, which transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7 NIV), is absolutely available to us if our response is complete trust.
A true and genuine study of the Bible should lead anyone to question why Christian’s worry. If we truly believe what we believe, God is in control of everything and has the power over everything, so there is no reason to fear or worry … yet we do! Although it might sound a bit harsh, the only logical conclusion is we don’t really believe those things about God and we’re guilty of a practical form of atheism when we worry. There are three fundamental reasons I would suggest as to why people of faith worry.
- We know His plan is different than ours
- We are unsure He is paying attention
- We are unsure He is willing to help to the degree we would like Him to help
Because of sin and the separation it creates from the person and heart of God, we think some CRAZY things about Him. We are also selfish at the core of that sin nature. We have a plan for our lives. We have goals and an idea of what would be best, and if we were completely honest, we’re pretty sure those things are different from what God wants for us. We also fail to grasp His ability to be intimately involved in our lives while caring for the billions of other people in the world. We perceive an attention gap that just doesn’t exist from His perspective. In fact, the truth is, it is us that’s not paying attention most of the time. We are also many times convinced of exactly what needs to happen in our lives, and experience God seeming absent in accomplishing it … even though WE’RE PRAYING REALLY HARD for it.
So what this all boils down to, the reason why we have faith but still worry and fear, is we don’t put our full trust in Him. We settle for unsettled rather than experiencing perfect peace.
So, if all this sounds like it’s for the birds, I’d like to suggest that IT IS.
For the birds
Jesus cuts to the heart of this battle with worry and all our CRAZY ideas about God. Listen carefully as you read (yes, I said “listen” while you read) this passage from Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount recorded in the book of Matthew…
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
These ten verses are the most direct and truthful challenge to the worrying Christian. If you battle with worry, print these verses out and tape them on your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, the window above your kitchen sink, or any place where you have the habit or occasion to look every single day. Fill your heart, mind and ears with this scripture. Allow it to become as familiar as your reflection. Meditate on it, to the point that it’s what comes to mind when seeds of worry or fear begin to sprout.
Hear the words of Jesus …
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
That trouble is the same that He spoke of in that passage from John mentioned above. Trust him, seek first His kingdom, and find His peace … the peace that is not of this world and that transcends all understanding.