This morning I spoke at the chapel service a Mckenzie Place, a retirement facility close to our home. This was my third month and it has been good to develop a connection with some of the residents. This afternoon, Christian, Bridget, Riley, Caedmon, Elianna and Sue and Sam came to our house for Caedmon’s seventh birthday celebration. After our cookout, and trip to the swimming pool, he enjoyed decorating the ice cream pie that Debbie made. (with help from dad, under the watchful eye of his sister) She honored his request for a “rocky road” ice cream birthday treat.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Give your worries to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will never let good people down.” Psalm 55:22
Worry, anxiety, concern. However you refer to it the result is the same. It distorts our view of life, it takes our thoughts and emotions captive.
Worry can come from a variety of source. In Psalm 55, David shares about the rejection and betrayal of a friend. Jesus spoke of worry that comes from the cares of life: food, clothing, shelter some basic needs. Peter writes to believers who faced persecution and challenges. As he admonishes them about their focus on the Lord and humbling themselves before the Lords he exhorts them, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
It is interesting to observe the consistent themes throughout scripture. We see key verses that speak to the matter of worry in the Psalms, the gospels and the epistles. If nothing else, we become aware of the fact that the battle with worry is something that has plagued the emotional state of people throughout time.
The way to deal with worry is simple but challenging at the same time. The solution is related to our trust and confidence in the Lord. David said, “the Lord will take care of you.” Peter said, “for [God] cares for you.” Jesus said, “[God] will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matt. 6:30)
The reason we struggle with our faith, is related to our comfort with “walking in the dark.” We know the Lord can provide, but at times we wonder will He provide. We are unsure when the Lord will provide and how the Lord will provide. We like have certainty, we rather “walk by sight than faith.” Perhaps that is why prior to admonishing believers to “cast their worries on the Lord” Peter says, “humble yourselves before the Lord and He will life you up.”
We are also admonished to “give our worries to the Lord.” I’m not sure how that takes place, or what the full meaning of that is; but it does give us a picture of handing our concerns off to the Lord. It is an admission on our part, “I can’t take care of this, I can’t deal with this, will you help me?” We can related to that in a sense as parents get older and feel taxed in their ability to make decisions or to handle their finances and look to family members for help. In the same way, we recognize our limitations and ask the Lord to help us with that which is the source of our worry.
Finally, we must make sure that we have the right focus. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matt. 6:33) We don’t serve or honor the Lord out of the comfort and sense of control over our lives, we do so in all circumstances and conditions.
The right focus also means we do what we can in the present, not giving undue focus on the future. Jesus said, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.“ (Matt. 6:34) That which causes us worry are mostly things that never materialize. If there is something in the present we can do, then we should do what we can today, seeking the Lord for wisdom and help.
Are there worries that assault your life? You are not alone. It has been an “age old” problem. But the solution is to heed the instructions from God’s Word and experience His peace. “Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 GW) We can’t receive God’s solution, if we keeping addressing our worries relying on our own wisdom and strength.