For the past few weeks, the Lord has strongly impressed on me the importance of trusting in Him for all things. Through two Sunday sermons and the circumstances of raising a new baby, the message reverberates clearly: depend on God.
Throughout this learning experience, God has showed me how much of a sin it is to worry about our circumstances. This passage from the Book of Matthew comes to mind first:
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! (6:25-30, NASB)
I highlighted the last sentence in order to show that it takes a person lacking in faith to worry and fret about their circumstances, especially when they are beyond that person’s control. Not having faith in God is one of the most dreadful insults we can level towards our Creator. Not trusting in Him, not placing our faith in Him with regard to any difficulty, maligns God’s character by implying He is either unwilling or unable to help those He cares about. I doubt most Christians would verbally confess to such an offensive claim, but what they do instead is show their lack of faith through the nursing of silent worryings and ever-increasing doubts.
To prevent our anxieties from overtaking us, we first need to be mindful of God’s total sovereignty over Creation. Through Him, all of Creation was brought into existence, which He formed from nothing. As such, what God has made also obeys His directives. In the Book of Job, God describes to Job the extent of His control:
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who enclosed the sea with doors when, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; when I made a cloud its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and I placed boundaries on it and set a bolt and doors, and I said, “Thus far you shall come, but no farther; and here shall your proud waves stop”? (38:4-11, NASB)
As the Disciples said of Jesus in Mark 4, even the seas obey Him! From the tiniest and most humble ant to the largest and brightest sun, our Lord controls all things. This includes the troubling circumstances plaguing our lives. That storm you’re being battered by right now – God is either allowing it to be in your life or has decreed that it should be. This truth may be hard to accept, but if God sovereignly controls the rest of Creation, then He has to control your life as well.
Before anyone blames God for their problems, the Lord’s supreme goodness needs to be understood. He doesn’t just determine what is good or bad, He is the embodiment of total moral perfection. We need to take refuge in the fact that God is good and cares for those who love Him. Romans 8:28 speaks so well of the way God does this: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” An eternal good is in view here, not just a temporal one. The good that God has in mind is designed to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ (v. 29), not merely fulfill our smallish and petty desires. Because of this, our concept of what is beneficial may clash with what God considers to be good. The God of Scripture is a loving Father who gives His children what they need, not just what they want.
Becoming more like Jesus is the solution to any anxiety problem. In Matthew 6, Jesus continues:
Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (vv. 31-34, NASB)
Jesus is saying that anyone who comes after Him, eagerly and without pretension, will be provided for. Seek the Father’s ways and endeavor to be conformed to His Son’s image, and you will be taken care of.
Do you want to not worry about whatever problems you may be facing? Be made into the likeness of Jesus and trust in the Father, as He did. Your future cannot be anything but secure, no matter what comes your way.