Anxious Thoughts   Part  2  Trusting Beyond Ourselves

By Elder Thomas McDonald

Many years ago, the Prophet Isaiah was faced by his own fellow Israelites who had forsaken God, and were even going about to take his life. And in the midst of all of this the Lord God, whom he worshiped gave him these words of comfort, “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Worries and anxious thoughts often come into our hearts. Joshua also knew about the Lord’s ever present care for His elect, because He said to him, “there shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

To live in this world we need to have the timely graces of God that help us to be like these two brothers to be able to trust beyond ourselves. Looking at Jesus teachings on His mountain sermon He gave us the antidote for our anxious worrying thoughts (Matthew 6:25-34). I think that it would be a good idea to go there every time that we feel like we are being over run by the trials and troubles that cause us to have worry.

He was speaking to those who had come to Him and were by all accounts religious people looking for the Messiah, but refused to believe when he arrived. He mentions anxious worry 6 times in 10 verses. He told those who were following Him how to cope with their fast paced, stressed filled, materialistic society.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is telling us, “You are filled with anxious worry because you refuse to live by faith. You’re too concerned about food and clothing and things.” We worry about the things that God gives us because He loves us, and will provide our needs.

Jesus is telling His disciples, the one’s who follow after Him, to make choices to lay up their blessings and treasures in heaven, and not on this earth. (Matt. 6:19-24). And it seems like most of the time when we read these words, we said to ourselves, “Oh, sure. If I lived like He says, and only think about heavenly things, I’d starve to death. After all a person’s gotta eat, you know.” And Jesus knows how we are, that’s the reason He starts out by saying, “take no (anxious) thought” (verse 25).

The Lord knows that unless we stop anxiously worrying about the cares and troubles of the world, we will never be free to store up treasures in the kingdom of heaven. He tells us that to set around worrying about the essential needs of life is completely unnecessary. He says, “take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” And really when you stop and think about it isn’t our body more important than what we put on it?

And “behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” and “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” If God takes care of the birds of the air and even the flowers in the fields, He certainly will take care of His children.

Jesus is not saying that we don’t have a responsibility to work and provide for ourselves and our families needs. The Apostle Paul said, in 2 Thess. 3:10, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” So our Lord was not teaching us to become passive recipients, but that we are not to fret, and worry, or become anxious about our needs.

But often we worry about more than the simply essentials of life. We like to go and be “seen” in the restaurants, have the best looking cars, live a little better than our neighbors, have bigger house, dress in the latest fashions, and many other things that the world finds to be of importance. The world has become so ingrained in us that we worry about what will happen if we fail to keep up these things.

Jesus is saying to us that all of this worrying is unnecessary. He knows that it is a real problem for us, but He also knows that it is a needless one. Your see birds also have to eat, but He says take a look at them, they don’t gather anything into a barn so that they will be able to eat tomorrow. He says take a look at the flowers, they don’t wear any cloths, but they don’t have to worry about that because your heavenly Father takes care of them. And He says that “That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

The real reason that we worry is identified in Jesus’ words, “O ye of little faith.” Why do the cares and troubles of the world burden us down? The answer is that we simply do not trust God. In our heart we really don’t believe that He is running our world efficiently. Oh yeah, we can easily say that He is running everything else ok. He controls the sun, moon and stars in heaven by His power. But maybe He might not be able to care for us? We’re trusting in ourselves instead of trusting in God. We’ve take on the responsibility of our future or tried to put it on our feeble shoulders. Why we can’t possibly trust God in such important matters.

Jesus says that it is a matter of priorities in our lives. We worry about food and clothing, instead of the things that are the most important. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,” and He says that of all “these things shall be added unto you” (verse 33). We are to give all of our priority to God, and living in His Kingdom Church then we’ll be laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven “where moth and rust doth not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal” (verse 19).

Jesus is telling us that when we put Him and His kingdom as priority in our lives we are making a choice, not a choice that will give us life in heaven’s realm, but to trust in God rather than ourselves, and our worries will begin to fade away. Jesus Christ is the only way to peace in life.

Beloved are you obsessed and overcome with worry about the necessities of life? “Do I have enough to eat?” “What will I wear?” Do I have a good enough car?” Is my retirement secure?” Is the world about to end?” Little Child of God let me assure you that these things aren’t nearly as important as we think. God will keep His promise to provide for you. Put your sight on Christ and He’ll take you through the real tough issues of life, and strengthen your faith when you need it the most.

The Apostle Paul has given us an alternative to anxious worry in Philippians 4: 6-7, he says that we are to “be careful” or anxious “for nothing. This is exactly what Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25. Jesus tells us why is it worthless for to us to worry, but Paul says that instead of worrying we are to in “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

There are three words used by Paul to describe what we are to be doing instead of worrying.

1) Prayer. The first word Paul uses is the most common word for talking to God. If refers to our prayer and worship of God. When we pray, we are saying that God’s greatness is where we have our trust. And we give Him all of our adoration, devotion, and respect. Saying that He alone is the sovereign Lord, and we are bringing Him all of our worries.
2) Supplication. The next word Paul uses to tell us the alternative to worry is supplication. This word refers to our earnest request, our desperate cries for help to God, for ourselves and for others.
3) Thanksgiving. The third word describes our prayers that are to replace our anxious worry is thanksgiving. How many times have we became so caught up in our worrying that we forgot just how gracious God is to us? How many times that He has delivered us when we could not see any way of escape? We fail to see how many times that He has dealt with us in His grace and mercy and met all of our needs. So when we pray instead of worry we are removing our burdens from our shoulders and placing them on His shoulders, after all He is Almighty God. And when we trust Him with our worries and cares, we can then thank Him who has the power to do something about them. We can thank Him for being so kind to us, and for being interested in our problems, and because He answers our prayers.

Bring all of your vulnerabilities to Him. When you wake up at night with feelings of worry about things that are out of your controlpray. And by his grace teach your heart and mind to stop and redirect all of the energy from worry, which is destructive, to prayer, which is constructive. Ask Him for His help, to intercede, to convict, and to open a door and work out for you what you could never work out for yourself, because He delights in giving you His grace.

When you feel overwhelmed by what may happen in the futurepray. Tell Him about those things that are troubling you. Leave them to His providence. Ask God to provide then move on. Remember God hears and answers you prayer.

The apostle Peter gives us another alternative to worry in 1 Peter 5:6-7, he says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

There are two steps involved in this process.
1) Accepting the things that we can’t change. Instead of fussing and worrying about the things that come our way that we have no control over, we need to accept that these circumstances are a part of our lives. And don’t try to dictate to God the terms of our happiness. But humbly accept what we receive from God’s hands.

2) Give all of our worries to God. We should put all of our helpless feelings of worry into the same all-powerful and capable hands. We need to trust Him for all of our future needs, because He loved us so much that He sent His Son to suffer, bleed, and die.

In closing let me say that when we have our minds focused on Jesus, Satan cannot have a foothold on us in our lives, but when we fail to do these things then we in effect allow him to rob us of our joy in the kingdom of God. To do these things and to make them a part of our lives we will experience the reality of timely salvation. Then we will not have to drag around a big load of worries, worries that we are too proud or ashamed to tell anyone else about. Give them to God.

May God bless us to trust in Him and to place all of our trust and worries on Him in prayer.