When life takes over and we have quite a bit on our plate we can become very overwhelmed. I’ve been there many times myself. In some ways I’m there right now so what I’m saying here I’m also prescribing to myself regularly.
The unknown future can be scary especially when we know trials are inevitable. The anxiety and worry that we can experience when we feel a lack of control in our life can become debilitating both mentally and physically. Nothing worthy comes from our worry, as it does nothing to change our situations, in fact sometimes it can make things worse. When we try to control the circumstances that we feel are an unwanted intrusion into our daily life we then are telling God that he is not enough for us and that he does not care enough about us to take care of us. When we spend our time with our stomach in knots and our heart racing with worry for tomorrow we end up wasting today (Matthew 6:34).
While it is important that we fulfill our responsibilities to the situations as best we can (Proverbs 21:5) ultimately though we need to accept that we cannot change everything we’d like to. We need to take the focus off of the areas that we cannot change or control and put our eyes where they belong, on Christ and what he has done for us. God has given us life! Not only has he given us life we can see his love for us when we fix our eyes on him and what was accomplished for us on the cross. The grace that God pours out on us is immeasurable. It is that grace and that love that is constant and never changing and envelops us in comfort and peace. Even when we are at our worst and we doubt him and we doubt his love for us he is still there, waiting for us to look up from our problems and remember the promises that he has made to us.
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:22-31
In Luke 12:22-31 and Matthew 6:25-34 those promises are poured out for us to see and to bring us those sweet reminders of his love for us when we are struggling. While we are told to not be anxious or to worry there is grace and love for us in our struggle. We need to seek him and his strength through our misplaced worry. You are more precious to God than the lesser creations to which he takes quite good care of. As stated in scripture if he takes such excellent care of the lesser creations why then would he not take care of you? Hebrews 13:5 tells us that we are to not love money and to be content with what we have, that God will never leave us or forsake us. It goes on to encourage us in Hebrews 13:6 that; The Lord is my helper; I will not fear, what can man do to me?
Prayer is a really good place to start when we feel worry and anxiety approaching (Colossians 4:2, Ephesians 6:18). We are to seek God first and his kingdom. We are not to look to the world to fulfill our needs. God knows our needs and he promises to meet them (Matthew 6:32). Though that promise to accomplish our needs should not be confused with our wants. It is okay to make our requests known to God but we need accept that God will move within his will and not our own (1 John 5:15). We need to proceed with thanksgiving for all that God has provided for us (Colossians 4:2).
Questions for Consideration:
- Is worry/anxiety something that you deal with often?
- What is it you are afraid of?
- Who is in control of the future?
- Has God ever abandon you in the past when you have walked through trials?
- Who or what are you putting your trust in?
- What steps are you taking to work through your worry and fears?
- What part of your worry is your responsibility?
- Do you believe that God cares about you and your needs?
- Pray. Also keep a prayer journal and indicate your worries and fears but also show how you see God working. Ask people to pray with you.
- Make a written list of everything that you are worried about. Determine what things are your responsibilities and what things are simply areas of concern.
- For every area that is one of your responsibilities make a list of what you can begin to do to solve that problem. Write steps to be taken.
- Make a list of verses that you have memorized and choose one each day that you want to spend time meditating on. Select verses that speak of God’s sovereign control, His abundant provision, His protection, etc. Also make an additional list that you can carry with you.
- Desire and seek first God’s kingdom, Matthew 6:19-24. Focus on fulfilling your calling in life. Don’t follow your feelings.
- Look at Matthew 6:25-34 and list out where or how you find hope and comfort from this scripture.