During our COVID-19 shutdown, Pastor Zekveld plans to provide a personal reflection each weekday.
Do Not Worry
“Do not worry.” Jesus said. (Matthew 6:25) Really?! Telling me not to worry is not going to do anything to stop my worrying!
Worry and anxiety seem so inescapable. Worry is such a deeply ingrained exercise of the human mind. It’s the fixation of the mind on the problems or potential problems relating to our needs and goals.
Jesus described worry as a preoccupation with earthly issues of life like food, drink, and clothing. He said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will wear.“
Worry focuses on the things that could go wrong, the things that we might miss out on, the problems and pains that might come our way. Worry is tormenting yourself with disturbing thoughts about what might happen, and then stresses overtime how to prevent anything bad.
We worry about whether we’re going to be able to keep our jobs and pay our mortgage. We worry about whether we’ll ever get that renovated kitchen we’ve wanted for a long time. We worry that we might get that disease that runs in the family.
We worry that our children might miss out on some of the pleasures of life our culture says they should have. We worry about what others might say if we drive around in a second-rate vehicle. We worry about whether there’s going to be enough rain and sunshine for the crops this year.
The global shake-up caused by the virus and our response to it gives us plenty of reason to rev up our worrying several notches.
Worry, worry, worry. We worry about everything. You worry. I worry. So it does no good to tell me not to worry. Unless…
Unless you give me a good reason not to worry. Unless you have an alternative for me. That’s exactly what Jesus does in Matthew 6. He came to give us a reason not to worthy: God. He came to bring us into a relationship with God as our heavenly Father who cares for His children perfectly.
Jesus taught us that knowing and having God as our heavenly Father is the cure to every worry. He not only knows all our needs, but He also has the power to control what we need, and the love to provide what we need. Trusting Him to care for you replaces the need to worry.
Jesus reminded us that our heavenly Father feeds even worthless little sparrows, though they don’t plant, harvest or store food. He dresses up even worthless field lilies with beautifully designed clothing, though the lilies don’t shop, spin or use a sewing machine.
Since God values you so much more than birds and lilies – and you do work hard to make a living and put food on the table – can you not give all your needs and plans and goals to the heavenly Father and leave them with Him? With Him your life is in excellent hands. Trust Him to do a good job of caring for you! If He gave up His best for you – His own Son to die on a cross – you can surely trust Him to take care of the rest for you. (see Romans 8:32)
Then, said Jesus, instead of putting all that energy into worrying about earthly things, you’ll have so much extra energy to put into what’s most important: seeking God’s kingdom, investing in heaven.
Worry is a secular way of life. It’s the belief that all there is in life is just me and that need for food and clothing, and God is out of the picture. It’s up to me to pursue them and guarantee my own physical security. We may not be officially secular in our beliefs, but too often we’re functionally secular!
We can run around like unbelievers fretting about having our earthly needs and goals met.
But faith is entrusting your fragile life in an unpredictable world to a trustworthy heavenly Father. Every time you have a worry, put it There! Put it in His hand. So you can plan and work without the added stress of worry (and all the misery that brings to other people!), and stay preoccupied with kingdom matters like loving, serving and sharing Jesus Christ.
Let’s live with our focus on God, not on the difficulties. Let’s set our minds on knowing God, not on controlling our future.
Corrie Ten Boom said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”
She added:“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” (Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook)
If you don’t believe in Jesus, then you don’t have a relationship with God as your heavenly Father. And then you don’t have a place to put your worries. You are alone. God calls you to give up on yourself and on every earthly power. He calls you to trust in Jesus as Your Saviour so that God becomes your heavenly Father.
And with Him, there’s no need to worry. Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)