Let me start on a pastoral note: It is very hard not to worry if you are faced with losing your job or your business, or if you are faced with the unenviable task of having to lay off valued people or stand down faithful staff members. How do you NOT worry if you wonder where your next dollar is going to come from, or if you are unable to pay your mortgage or your rent? Yet the Bible clearly instructs us NOT to worry, specifically when it comes to these everyday things, such as what you’re going to wear or what you’re going to eat.
Read afresh the following words of Jesus found in Matthew 6:26-28, 31-34 (NKJV):
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin…
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Well, of course, some Bible verses are much easier to read or hear in a sermon than they are to put into action and live out. In a letter to the Philippians, the instruction to not worry is taken a step further,
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God… Philippians 4:6
We are directed straight back to the necessity of taking all these ‘things’ to God – every worry, care, concern and cause for uncertainty. Continue to put God first and cast all your burdens and anxieties on Him. Just imagine Jesus lifting those worries off your shoulders and placing them upon His. He loves you. He cares for you. He is with you.
I am told that in Philippians 4:6, the emphasis in biblical Greek is more than just a simple “don’t be anxious” – the tenor is, “you ARE anxious, and you need to stop being anxious, and continue to stop being anxious.”
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t do that by myself. Rehearsing to oneself, “don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry” will only sharpen your focus even more on your worries. We have no other choice but to bring our cares before the Lord. Practically speaking, perhaps that looks like starting to praise like you’ve never praised before, praying like there is no tomorrow, continuing to speak the language of faith, and of course, filling yourself with God’s amazing promises from His Word. May I encourage you to keep reminding yourself of this wonderful promise about all of His promises:
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20.
Stay in faith my friend, the BEST is yet to come.
Global Senior Pastor