In the last post we looked at exercising faith in relation to dire circumstances. We also established the fact that one of our duties as believers is to be committed to believe God and what He says in His Word regardless of the situation. We will now look at the opposites of faith, which are worry, doubt and fear.
When Jesus walked the earth, Matthew Chapter 6, Verses 25 to 34 give an account of Him rebuking the multitude He was addressing for having little faith. During this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was implying that a lot of time and energy is wasted on what is on the menu and what is the latest in fashion. He began by saying, “…do not worry about your life…” Children of God, take a minute here to think about your life and the worries you weigh yourself down with at every waking minute. Does your worry consist of “what you will eat or what you will drink?” Is it about “the clothes you wear?” Or is about money? Yet Jesus asked the rhetorical question, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” What do you think about that?
He continued to say, “Look at the birds of the air…your Heavenly Father feeds them.” Once again he asks rhetorically, “Are you not of more value than they?” Meditate on this for a while. Let us face it, there are those of us who constantly think about food and drink, to the point of trying to impress others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to eat ‘like a king’ every day. Problems arise when you cannot afford to eat ‘like a king’ every day but your colleagues can. God is also not oblivious to the fact that there are believers out there who are really in need and worry fills their days. Using the birds of the air as an example, Jesus is saying you are more valuable, more precious, more important, more worthy of God’s care, than they; Jesus says, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit (inch) to his stature?” In other words, Jesus is saying, worrying will not change the situation or make it better. “So why do you worry…?” He asks.
Saints, please understand, this is not a call for you to go about looking like ‘what the cat dragged in’ when you present yourselves to the world. The child of God should always put his or her best self forward. Jesus was talking about obsessing over that which is deemed worldly desires or Gentile behavior by God. If you can afford the latest fashion, that is all well and good. If you cannot, do not worry about what your friends will think about you. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin.” Brothers and sisters, have you ever taken the time to consider the lilies of the field or any flower at that matter? The intricate detail that go into fashioning those beautiful natural arrangements and their presentation can only be done by our beautiful Creator. Some of us overwork just so we can afford things to impress others. Thus becoming increasingly stressed out when we cannot. Jesus goes on to say, “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field…will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
What we have covered so far should serve as a reminder of Genesis Ch. 22, v. 14, where Abraham, the father of faith, recognized Almighty God as The Lord Who Provides (Hebrew – YHWH Yireh or Jehovah Jireh).
Jesus says, “…your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” As mentioned before in the previous post, Almighty God is Omniscient, he knows all things. However, nearing the end of the chapter, Jesus makes a conditional statement “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” For the non-believer, this statement would mean, get to know God first and then the things you desire will be added. Eugene H. Peterson’s, The Message says, “People who do not know God and the way He works fuss over these things…” For the believer it would mean, meditate on the Word of God daily, get to know Him better because [“…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” Romans Ch. 10 v. 17] and all the things you desire will be added. Saints, not I but Jesus is commanding that we do not worry for worry is an enemy of faith and to reiterate Hebrews Ch. 11 v. 6, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
Saints, when I find myself in worrisome situations, I say this prayer, Heavenly Father, I know that you saw this situation before it was ever made manifest. I believe Your Word, that you are My Provider and that all things will be added to me. In the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I thank you. Amen!
The final verse in this chapter says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” Saints, before making a declaration to my Heavenly Father to trust Him regardless of what may come, I have had many sleepless nights worrying about tomorrow. My worrying did not change the situation, not even a little bit. Worrying however, negatively affected that relationship based on trust, I was trying to have with God. Worrying about tomorrow proved what little faith I had and I felt ashamed. Ashamed because I would tell other people to trust God and have faith in His Word, knowing I was not doing that myself. James Ch. 1 v. 22 says, “…be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” It is not enough that we just hear God’s Word. We need to put into practice what we hear. It will only serve to nurture our faith to maturity. Remember God saw the trouble before it came and already dealt with the situation before you were even in the womb. Have faith, praise and thank Him for working it out and do not worry.
May Almighty God, bless you all. Our next discussion would focus on doubt.
By Gail Reid