Last week I had the most beautiful thought. Imagine if the church was known as the go-to place when you felt overwhelmed with worry! I know this sounds grand, but Jesus really does offer us the key. Our time together at church on Friday night was spent thinking and talking and praying for this in our lives. We’re currently discussing our way through Jesus’ sermon on the mount, and this week we read Matthew 6:25-34.
It went like this: First we asked ourselves these questions –
- Why do you think we entertain worry? Why do we let ourselves keep worrying?
- Does worry helps us control our circumstances?
- What do you think of this statement: “Jesus tells us not to worry because he wants us to give up our feelings of control.” ?
Our answer to #1 was agreed – we live with an illusion of control.
To #2 we had to distinguish between care and concern, and worry. Care and concern help motivate us to come up with ideas to influence our circumstances for good.
Worry is excessive concern, and is another word for anxiety. It achieves nothing in our lives but stress. It’s bad for our health and it stops us from being creative, and looking for God’s solution.
To #3 we basically agreed. The more we worry, the more we focus on ourselves and our problems. When we choose to give up that focus, we are free to look for Jesus’ way through the trials of life.
Jesus key for tackling worry is this: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.”
I take this to mean –
- Make trusting the King of Kings the highest priority in our lives.
- Make the principles of the Kingdom of God our first concern (God is the all-knowing all-seeing, all-powerful creator and Father of all. He loves us and knows our needs. While he doesn’t promise ease and comfort for all, he does promises to save all who call on his name.)
- Make the question “What is Father God doing in this situation?” our first question.
- Look at all our troubles and trials through the lens that – God can and will work in them for good!
Seeking the Kingdom is the key to many of life’s struggles – to the whole sermon on the mount. Worry is not an expression of care. Nor does worry prevent pain, it makes us anxious and stops us from seeking God and trusting him.
I offer one more piece of biblical nourishment that I’m personally practicing now as I wrestle with my own temptations to worry. From the book of Lamentations (3:21-24)
This I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, The LORD is my portion; Therefore I will wait for him.”
To seek the Kingdom of God is to “call to mind” God’s love, unfailing compassions and great faithfulness. To “say to myself” God is great enough for me and my life. I will trust him. This is good self-talk, and it’s great conversation. This is seeking the Kingdom first. Wherever we are – this will help us in our worries and in life.
Feel free to post your comments and questions..