Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Do not be anxious

Right now the country is mired deep in an economic recession. The hearts of many are anxious about the future. Christians ought to know better, yet we also occasionally fall victim to worry and fear concerning our futures. I want to encourage you, as I encourage myself, by directing you to the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 6:25-34. What the Master says here has helped and sustained me many times when my wife and I were facing economic uncertainty:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, 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 of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

There are two crucial questions you must ask yourself.

First: Do you truly trust God? You can’t control the future. You don’t know what crisis might be headed your way. God is in control, and your life is in His hands. He takes care of His own. Let unbelievers (“the Gentiles”) worry about how they will make ends meet. Your heavenly Father knows about your needs. Trust Him. Truly trust Him.

Secondly: Are you sure you belong to God? Is He your Father? “To all who did receive [Jesus Christ], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). I can’t find a single comforting promise for those who are not born of God, whose hope is not in the Lord Jesus Christ. If your hope is not “built on…Jesus’ blood and righteousness”, then you ought to be worried. Worried not only for the economy, but for your soul as well. Make certain you belong to God.

Our heavenly Father knows the needs of His children, and He will take care of His own.

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