Volume: 875 September 12, 2022
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“And he [Jesus] said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” Luke 12:22
We all have been vexed by what we have perceived as problems. Worrying about life’s troubles consumes too much time for many. Sometimes the anxieties are legitimate; sometimes, they are only imagined and never come to fruition.
God has much to say about the sin of worrying in His Word. Matthew 6:34, along with Luke 12:22, compels us not to worry about our needs and to take life’s obstacles on a day-by-day basis.
We have a lot on our plate for today; do not worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow. Besides, what situation has worrying ever improved?
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34
Looking at all the challenges that could happen on another day is very frustrating. I remember the same feeling when told to weed a 40-foot garden when I was younger.
My mother gave me the chore to weed a backyard flower patch. I worked a short time and then looked to where I was to finish. It seemed so far away and impossible.
I worked a little more and then looked to the far end. I felt I would never get finished and that it was almost a hopeless task that would never be completed.
Then I came up with a different strategy. Instead of looking at the whole task, I looked no further than two feet in front of me.
Looking up, I saw my short goal and weeded hard to reach it. When I achieved that mark, I looked up two feet further and made that my next mission.
Never did I look to the end again. I kept making short commitments.
I remember at one point, which did not seem that long after starting, where I permitted myself to look back at where I had started. The beginning point was far, far behind me. I accomplished something. I was realizing that the task was obtainable.
Again, I returned to my two-foot tasks. Before long, my next look at the two-foot objective made me realize it was the end.
Small bites at the task and not fretting over the overall picture made the job seem faster to complete and less agonizing. From that chore, I learned to set shorter goals and to keep plodding at them until the main goal was reached.
Life has many challenges that we will face. God does not give us more than we can handle. Be concerned with what God gives us to do today. When tomorrow comes, he will also give us the grace to meet the challenges we face on that day.
“Worry is a kind of insult to the Lord. It’s like throwing His promises and assurances back into His face and saying they’re no good and you don’t trust Him.” – Fletcher
A French soldier in World War I carried with him this little bit of common sense about worry. It was, “Of two things, one is certain; either you are at the front, or you are behind the lines. If you are at the front, of two things one is certain: either you are exposed to danger, or you are in a safe place. If you are exposed to danger, of two things one is certain: either you are wounded, or you are not wounded. If you are wounded, of two things one is certain: either you recover, or you die. If you recover, there is no need to worry. If you die, you can’t worry; so why worry?
“Blessed is the man who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy at night.” — Riney
“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:23-26
The disciples had witnessed many of the healings and casting out of demons that Jesus had done. They realized that God could have only done such miracles. Yet, with all they had seen and heard, they were still men and had weaknesses.
In Matthew 8:23-26, it is seen that Jesus’ disciples experienced a terrible storm at sea while the Son of God was on board. Still, they feared perishing from the overpowering weather, although the Master of the seas, Earth, and planets was close by. All their spiritual victories and observations of God’s power were washed overboard, along with the storm’s waters because of their lapse in faith.
We cannot blame them for their weakness, as we are as guilty as they are. We may have experienced spiritual victories or have seen mighty things in our lives that only God’s intervention could explain. Never will we forget God’s answering our prayers and the times we saw God’s hand change a hopeless situation into one with a perfect, peaceful ending.
However, like the disciples, amidst all we have seen and been convinced of, we too can be shaken and fearful. Something unexpected and surprising can make us afraid as well.
Jesus was asleep in the Matthew 8 account. Nothing was disturbing Him. He was not pacing the deck and wringing His hands. Jesus was not fretting because He was the answer to their misery. God’s son knew what would happen in the future, and there was nothing that would occur He could not handle.
When we are frightened for our safety, health, or well-being, remember what the Saviour did for His fellow ship passengers in this account. Jesus instantly got involved when the disciples came to Him and changed the circumstances. He can also help us when He is allowed in our “boat.”
Jesus was there at the creation of all that is in this world (Genesis 1:26). He created the waters that were threatening the tiny vessel. The Son of God had total control of the threatening winds He had allowed to howl. Nothing took Him by surprise. Not one thing startled Him then, and nothing is unknown to Him when it happens in our lives today.
Jesus knows about the doctor’s verdict of an “incurable” disease. He knows we lost our job. The possibility of losing the house we live in is not a surprise to Him, nor is the whereabouts and spiritual condition of a wayward child unknown to Him.
He is calm. Jesus is in control. Everything will be all right. The Master is on deck. It will just take a few words from His mighty tongue to dispel all we fear. As long as He is nearby, why should we worry?
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers!”
While we fret and repine at God’s will, do we not think that it is better for us to have our way? Our worrying is saying to God that we are wiser than Him and could contrive things much more to our advantage if we were in control of them. Does not our complaining suggest that we should run our lives, the world, and not Him?
These indeed are things that man may not utter, but whosoever refuses to submit himself to the hand of God speaks them aloud by his behavior. Our doubts and fears are a surer indication of man’s true mind and faith (or lack of it).
God, perhaps, is pleased to visit us with some heavy affliction. Shall we now, out of a due reverence of His all-governing wisdom, patiently endure it, or out of a blind presumption of our own, endeavor by some sinister way or other to rid ourselves of it?
Passengers on a ship always submit to their pilot’s discretion, especially in a storm. Shall we, whose passage lies through a greater and more dangerous deep, pay less deference to that great Pilot, who not only understands but also commands the seas?
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. However, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” — Plato