"Do Not Worry: Trust In God!"
The title of today’s message, “Do Not Worry: Trust In God” may seem simplistic when it feels like the sky is falling. But, when we draw near to God, we begin to look at things through His perspective, and suddenly what looked very dark begins to shine with light, and we are reminded that God made the sky, and God sustains it. I have been studying the birds in our neighborhood, listening to their different tones and songs. In the last month, besides the Robins, I have seen owls, cardinals, Canadian geese (and the business they leave behind), and woodpeckers, just to name a few. When you get out and take a walk in your neighborhood, look at some of the beauty that God has created, and let the birds in your neighborhood remind you of the words of today’s text:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
26 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?
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Those are the words of Jesus. Consider that prior to Jesus coming to earth, we can see the tender compassion and mercy of God expressed towards His people even under the Law.
The prophet Nehemiah wrote about the wilderness wonderings of the Israelites. Nehemiah 9:19-21:
19“Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take.
20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.
21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.
God has always watched over His people—He cared for them in the Old Testament times, in the New Testament times, and now He cares for us in the last times.
Norman Vincent Peale, in his book Positive Imaging, wrote the following about worry:
“The final and best antidote for worry is simply this: Image Jesus Christ as actually your personal friend. Don’t regard Him as some remote, historical, stained-glass kind of figure. Image Him as your constant companion throughout the day. Paint a portrait in your mind of what you think He looks like. Fill in the details: His compassionate eyes, those strong carpenter’s hands. How did His voice sound when He talked to people, when He told the story of the Prodigal Son, for example? He must have had a wonderful laugh; can you picture yourself sitting on a hillside in Galilee, hearing it? If you can picture that, why not picture Him sitting alongside of you right now?
The more vivid that image in your mind, the freer from worry you will be. Some years ago a professor of physics from a famous university came to see me. He was a very intelligent man, but haunted by irrational fears and worries that were interfering with his work and making his life miserable. After some discussion, it became evident that the trouble lay in certain immoralities he had committed years earlier. He had asked for forgiveness of those sins, and I was sure it had been granted. But, like many of us, he had not forgiven himself, and his worries and his sense of inferiority and inadequacy came from these deep guilt feelings.
I decided to suggest something that I had used successfully with people of less formidable education. I didn’t know how he would react, but my suggestion was that every night, upon going to bed, he place a chair beside his bed and tell himself that Jesus was sitting in that chair all night, watching over him and lifting the burden of worry from his shoulders.
As I expected, he looked uncomfortable. ‘But that sort of fantasy is for children,’ he protested.
‘The Bible tells us to become like little children, ‘ I reminded him. ‘Maybe that is because they are less likely to be doubters. All you need is a grain of faith—one about the size of a mustard seed will do.’
Finally he agreed to try it. At the end of two weeks he called me. ‘I was about ready to give up on that idea of yours,’ he said. ‘But two nights ago—well, I can’t exactly explain it, but suddenly I knew in some way much deeper than reason that the Lord actually was there beside me. I’m sure of it. And I believe the grip that guilt and fear and worry and all that depressing stuff had on me is broke. For the first time in years, I actually feel set free.’
And subsequently he found that he was, for a fact, free! That was why Christ came into the world, so we are told—to free captives like my physicist friend. And anyone, including you, can be free of worry if you will fill your mind with the factual idea that God is with you and is giving you a normal, steady, intelligent attitude toward the problems of life. When you image yourself as living close to God, you will have the ability to get your mind above the confusion and heat of worry into a place of clarity and calm. Many have found this practice the best way to outwit worry.
Imagining outwits worry. Try it. You’ll see” (PP. 151-152).
What do you see or imagine when you consider that Jesus is with you right now and every moment of every day? Right now, you can receive a fresh download, for free, of the “anti-coronavirus” software known as the Holy Spirit. As You draw near to God in prayer, worship, and the study of God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will cause the truth and reality of Christ with you and in you to saturate your heart and your mind, and fill you with His beautiful perfect peace. Just receive it.
And, for a bonus spiritual boost of peace to combat worry, I recommend two songs for worship today (or pick some of your own). Links are below:
“I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary:
“Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus”
Blessings and peace to you, through Christ Jesus,
Pastor Jeff Conrad
12/25/2022 09:59:18 pm
Thanks for sharingg
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