“Trials, And Problems, And Cares, Oh My!” (repeated over and over to the cadence of “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!).
OH NO! Whatever will I do? How am I going to get out of this one? Why me Lord? Please help me!
Thoughts and cries of desperation.
All neatly snuggled in among the “I’s” and “Me’s”.
This is not to say difficulties don’t arise. That’s not the issue. All God’s chillun’ got cares.
Jesus’ counsel was not about getting rid of problems. It was centered on how to handle those problems.
Read this passage carefully and determine if His solution sounds anything remotely like the cries of desperation at the beginning of this devotional.
Matt. 6:25 – “Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?”
Let me shrink that up a bit for you.
That’s it as far as the admonition goes.
Just don’t do it.
Here it comes…
“Oh, but pastor…you don’t know what I am facing! You don’t know the problems I have!”
Sure I do. You have the same problems that virtually everyone else who is anxiety ridden does.
Me too. If I choose to.
You are either worried about your body, about your mind, about your finances, about your stuff, about your relationships, or you’re sick in your faith.
The last one is the worst. If you are sick in your faith than all of the other problems will be magnified.
The reason you are sick in your faith is because you are afraid, and fear displaces faith! They cannot exist together. You will either be faith-FILLED or fear-FILLED!
That said, lets get back to what Jesus says.
In essence Jesus is telling you that you are allowing circumstances and issues dictate to you how you are going to live.
It’s supposed to be the other way around.
He is asking you a question today.
Aren’t you, personally and physically, far more important than what you are designating life to be?
It’s you. Life and living. In your present body. You are what it’s about, not food and clothing and material possessions.
“Yes, but pastor…we need these things for even basic living!”
Granted. Jesus never said you didn’t. Listen to me carefully, but give even more care to the Scripture.
He didn’t say they weren’t important, or that you don’t need them.
Jesus is telling us what is MOST important, and that is YOU!
In fact, you are so important to Him that He has endeavored to be sure that you have all of those necessities of life so that you don’t have to detract from what’s important by worrying about them!
Look! It’s right here…
“(31) Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? (32) For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.”
What does it say? It says the non-believers in Jesus Christ have need to be concerned over these things, BUT NOT YOU!
What a great God!
SO, my question to you today is, IF you are stressed and anxiety ridden…WHY?
Don’t you believe what Jesus is saying to you today?
That’s really it you know. It’s a matter of faith. Back to the fear factor again.
2 Tim. 1:7 – “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
Fear is not from God. If you let fear run your life you will be anxiety ridden and stressed for the rest of your life.
Jesus fought the devil in the desert by telling him that “Man does not live by bread (or the worry of where to get it) alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God”.
Friends, if you came into my office for counseling about anxiety and fear and stress, this is EXACTLY what I would refer to you.
This IS the answer for you, for your friends, for your loved ones, for everyone you know who is struggling with fear and anxiety issues.
Get to Jesus! Trust, rely, and adhere to Him. In Him are the answers to living life to the full joy intended.
Let me leave you with this promise:
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10)
Get this truth deep down into your body, soul and spirit!
Keepin’ it Real,