Do Not Be Anxious

Due to human frailty and imperfection, the audio of the last few messages have not gotten recorded. Oops. I do apologize and promise to try to figure out the best way to remind someone to push the button on the recorder! 🙂

But, I suppose I shouldn’t worry about it too much, because Pastor Steve has been giving us messages on the cure for anxiety, found in Matthew 6:25-34.

Do Not Worry
25 “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? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single
hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his
splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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? 31 So do not worry, saying,
‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For
the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that
you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all
these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about
tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough
trouble of its own.

Last Sunday, Pastor Steve reminded us that when our priorities are messed up, we tend to worry. We choose what he calls “Careful Infidelity” — choosing to abide by something, to put our faith in something, other than God. That is when Jesus says to us, “O, ye of little faith” (Matthew 6:30). Worry is infidelity because we are not trusting that God is in all the details, and that He is taking care of it all. Our Heavenly Father knows what we need (Matthew 6:31-32); it is but for us to be faithful, to increase our faith through time in the Word, in prayer, and in meditation (Psalm 1:1-2).

There will always be sorrow, there will always be hardship, but God is in control. The antidote to worry and anxiety is increasing our faith, with prayer and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:4-7).

It is with the cares of this world that faith gets choked (Matthew 13:22), so don’t have too tight a grip on worldly things. Hold tightly to Christ Jesus. And remember that in Him, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

This Sunday, Pastor Steve told us that we need to choose this day, and every day, how we will live — will we seek the things of this world first or will we seek God first? Matthew 6:33 tells us that if we seek Him first, above all else, He’ll give us everything we need. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Worry is failure of faith. When we worry, we are putting our time and devotion into the things of this world, instead of heavenly things (Matthew 6:19-20). When we worry about the future, we are borrowing trouble (Matthew 6:34), we are wasting today (John 11:9).

Instead of worrying, we need to hold fast to Christ, for He is always faithful (Hebrews 10:23, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Pastor Steve read a poem which ended with “I’ll bear the sorrow that comes tomorrow, but I’ll borrow none today.” There will always be trouble, trials, hardship, and struggle, but the Lord tells us that worrying will get us nowhere but further from Him. Instead of being anxious about what the future holds, remember Who holds the future.

Have a blessed, worry-free week!

Comfort in the Chaos

I’m going to confess something: I’m a bit of a worrier. I worry about my parents getting older and needing more specialized care, about my brother traveling for his photography business, about the lack of moisture and the consequent fire danger, about answering the phone because my introvert nature makes it a scary proposition, about all sorts of things! And absolutely none of them are actually within my control.

Last fall my mom had complications with a back operation that put her at serious risk and in the hospital and a physical rehab unit for nearly two months. I found myself spending way more time worrying and crying than I did reading the Word and praying. Driving to the hospital one day, I remember God pressing on me that if I have enough time to worry about the situation, then I also have enough time to pray about it. If I can devote time to being concerned, I can devote time to reading His Word.

The Bible never says that we should worry more or stress out or try to do everything on our own. It actually says the exact opposite: Philippians 4:6 tells us not to be anxious about anything, but to pray and give thanks about everything. Worrying will not change anything, but trusting in God can change everything!

And Jesus Himself told us not to worry. His words remind us that since we see God cares for even the birds and the grass, we should know that He will take care of us. And after all, worrying will not add a single hour to your life or make anything better in the long run (Matthew 6:25-34). These reminders, among so many others in the Word, are the only thing that can keep me from spending too much time worrying.

When we worry, it is an attempt to take control over situations that can never be in our control. We turn from faith in God to fear of the unknown. We worship the problem instead of the Problem-Solver.

But every time we pick up the Word or turn to the Lord in prayer, He takes our burdens upon Himself. His words can give us peace in the midst of the chaos, comfort in our trials. What a tremendous blessing He gives us, when we turn to Him!