Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Matthew 6:25-34 "Why Worry?"

Read Matthew 6:25-34.

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" NIV
I think this passage is very relevant to today. I've had concern for many people, myself included, that we are just becoming worry addicts. We worry about the economy, the war, gas prices, the presidential election, global warming. And these are all important things to be looking at, but do they call for worry? Then there are the daily worries that never seem to change -- about our position at work, our marriage, our children and their education or if we are giving them enough or about their behavior and how we can fix it. Then there is if we have the right car, if we have the right friends, if our clothes are good enough, if we look good enough, if our house is nice enough, if our bodies are healthy enough, if we will die young and miss out on life or if we will die old, poor, and lonely. The sources of worry are unending, and we are too easily ensnared by its grasp.

I think it all comes down to trust. Do we trust that God is who He says He is and nothing more or nothing less, and that He will do what He says He will do? He has said that He knows every hair on our head and loves every part of us. He has said that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He said that He desires that none should perish but all have eternal life with Him through Jesus Christ. He has said He will meet my every need as long as I ask. He did not say I would have mansions and riches. He did not promise me power and prestige. He did not say I would live forever on this earth without illness or pain. In fact, He promised that I would have hardships for being His follower. He promised that worrying will not add a single day to my life. He promised me the Holy Spirit as my Guide and Counselor. He promised that I would never have to endure more than I could handle. He promised that these are only temporary trials, and He promised me eternal life with Him.

He said if I will surrender to him and trust Him, He will guide me -- show me how to navigate this life according to His will and for His glory. So I must take up my cross daily and follow Him. Author Henry Nouwen said in Making All Things New, "A spiritual life requires human effort. The forces that keep pulling us back into a worry-filled life are far from easy to overcome." If I can't see Him, it's not because He left me; it's because I chose to leave Him. And when I do, the enemy will take the opportunity to place doubts and worries into my mind. They become like a worm edging through every aspect of my psyche, drowning and paralyzing me in lies, until I can do nothing else but wallow in self-pity or cry out for help to my God to rescue me once again. I don't want to keep drowning -- it's too painful.

Lord, I trust you. Do not let me sink to worrying, but only rely on Your promises. I may live in this world, but I am not of it. Raise my thinking above those things that make me worry and help me to trust in Your purposes. I love You.

Further Thoughts:
  1. All the promises above are taken from Scripture. Find the passages, spend some time meditating on them, and commit some to memory to help when you are tempted to fall into the worry trap.
  2. All throughout the exodus, the Israelite children were worriers, and it got them into trouble so many times because they would try to take matters into their own hands by doing the opposite of what God commanded. Read through their story starting at Exodus 16 and remember that this is just after they've experienced the miracles of the plagues on the Egyptians and their dramatic escape from Pharaoh. See if you tend to follow their pattern. What will you do to change that?
  3. Does not worrying about our needs mean we don't need to work hard to provide for our family? Sounds like a stupid question, but some people fall into this thinking. Find Scripture to support a strong work ethic. Look up both "work" and "labor."
  4. Read in this post how God has things planned out way in advance. He is never surprised by what we encounter.
  5. Read through the words of this old hymn, "Trust and Obey." The verses completely take us through the process of surrendering our trust to the Lord and His promises to the end.

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