Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A cure for worry, part II

Last time, we talked about keeping eternal things and earthly things in the right perspective, and that would help us defeat worry. Today, let's talk about learning to trust in God's care.

If you'll recall, much of our study this week and last has been "for the birds"! Remember we talked about the birds gathering on the wire, and we focused on this verse, too:
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? (Matthew 6:26)
Let's think about these feathered creatures . . . you may already be aware of this, but if you say that someone eats "like a bird" you are actually saying that they eat a lot! Some birds eat two or three times their weight in food each day. Think about it -- if a human being did that, they would need to eat several hundred pounds of food in a day; I sure wouldn't want to have to pay that grocery bill, would you? (Grin)
So each day, the birds are in a continual hunt for food. They hop about, listen for worms in the ground (ever watch those robins cock their heads and listen?), seek out those creepy crawly things that are such delicacies for them, and eat and eat.
But you hardly ever hear a bird at night. In the middle of the night, they are sleeping. They are building up their strength, resting up for tomorrow's hunting. They don't pace up and down the branches, worrying about where the next batch of seeds will be found. They don't agonize over whether or not there will be plenty of worms or moths to eat.

You know where we're going with this, right? We have just seen two things that the birds do, that we humans should imitate: first, they trust that their needs will be supplied, and secondly, they work to assist God in supplying their needs. They don't sit in their cozy nests, and expect their needs to be supplied. No one is going to come and drop food into their nests. They start out early in the morning, looking for that food that their instincts say God will provide. Humans should trust in the providence and care of God, too, and then work to assist Him.

We can see that trusting God doesn't mean we can be lazy or indifferent. It does mean realizing that God is taking care of us. Very few of us have had to scramble to find something to eat, or something to wear. We've usually had a roof over our heads, too. And even if we were lacking in one of these things, God helped us through those tough times. We must make a reasonable effort, and then trust in Him to provide for our needs. Here is where the rubber meets the road: we must believe His promises, and then in addition, we must be content with what He supplies.

Ah, so that is what makes worry such a serious matter; it's what makes worry a sin. Not believing in His promises is the same as accusing Him of being a liar. Ouch. Yes, it's true.
This is His promise:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
That is what God says. Worry says, "I'm frightened. I don't think He will really supply all my needs."
God says this, too:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28)
Worry raises its head and says, "I just can't believe that all this hardship will work to my good."
And God tell us this:
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
Worry takes a look around and says, "I feel so alone. I just don't believe He's here with me."

Perhaps, like me, when you read the Old Testament, and you see all the times that God rescued, provided for, and proved Himself to the children of Israel, you are astonished to recall their words when it was time to go in and claim the Promised Land. Eek! The people there are giants! We are like grasshoppers! How will we ever survive? What a bunch of complainers, right? What more evidence did they need?

But don't we do the same things in our own lives? God has supplied our needs and rescued us over and over, for many years. When will we become mature enough, and have enough faith to realize that His Word is true? That His promises are sure?

I don't know about you, but I feel the need for some prayer time right about now.....


Katie Isabella said...

This is perfect. Seriously it is.

Austin Towers said...

I agree with Katie Isabella, this has been perfect! And excellent timing too! Thank you so much for your faithfulness in doing these studies. Always I come away with much to reflect on and also encouraged. x