Anxious thoughts about …

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Each morning it my habit to open the Scripture to read and meditate. Some passages are familiar and easy to understand. Others require study and thought. Some comfort, some convict. Today, the passage in my reading was familiar, clear, comforting, and convicting! Jesus is speaking on the subject of God’s provision with an invitation to trust Him. It seems like it should be so simple, but it is not.

Here are His words.  “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 important than food, and the body more important 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies 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, O 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.” (Matthew 6:25-33, NIV)

What causes you to worry? Most of us grow anxious at one time or another, wondering about the future. Will my health fail? Will my children do well in life? Is my job secure? Will I have enough money … for college, for housing, for food, for my future?  The worrying can keep us awake at night, make us physically ill, and rob us of the joy available to us in this day. You know that, I’m sure. I do, too, and still those anxious thoughts come knocking on my door from time to time.

The great wisdom of this passage is found in the last sentence:  “But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  What is Jesus asking of us?  He desires that we get our priorities straight, that we make God and His rule our first concern. Instead of trying to secure our little fiefdoms in this world, He tells us to put the Lord God in charge of it all. “Well,” you say, “He is God and He is in charge whether I ‘put’ Him there or not.”  That is true. But, we cannot know the benefits of being in His care IF we are trying to manage life on our own. Worry effectively cuts us off from the peace of God, keeps us from walking intimately with Him.

Jesus does not ask us to ignore the realities of life. He does not offer us blinders that let us live in denial and/or fantasy. He asks us to make Him LORD of it all. That is a choice we must make today, again tomorrow, and the day after that, too. With the dawn of a new day, new concerns arrive. We have a choice to make – trust God for His wisdom as we actively pursue His rule; OR try to manage it all on our own which will bring on anxiety and worry.

Are you full of care this morning? Is there a situation that resists your solution, that cause you pain, that is not what it ought to be? Trust God with it. Find a quiet place and hand it over. Take those tumbling thoughts and spill them before Him as you consciously make the faith choice to live in His reign. Will it all magically sort itself out? Probably not. Will every problem find a solution by the end of the day? No, that isn’t likely, either. YOU will change and with that change, God will be able to work in you and through you to accomplish His eternal purposes.

Here is a word from Peter, an application of the lessons of seeking God’s kingdom first that he learned from Jesus. Carry these words with you through this day, in full faith expecting to see the hand of God at work.  “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. . . . May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7,10, NKJV)

____________

Rock Of Ages

Rock of Ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee
Let the water and the blood
From thy wounded side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure
Save from wrath and make me pure

 Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law’s demands
Could my zeal no respite know
Could my tears forever flow
All for sin could not atone
Thou must save and thou alone

 Nothing in my hand I bring
Simply to the cross I cling
Naked come to thee for dress
Helpless look to thee for grace
Foul I to the fountain fly
Wash me Savior or I die

 While I draw this fleeting breath
When mine eyes shall close in death
When I soar to worlds unknown
See thee on thy judgment throne
Rock of Ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee

Augustus Montague Toplady | Thomas Hastings

© Words: Public Domain

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