Jesus teaches truth to build up our trust.
25 For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
29 yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.
30 But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?
(Matthew 6:25-30, NASB).
Trust and its companion hope are so important. Jesus taught the truth about God so that we could trust Him more.
Have you ever worried about not having enough money for living? Have you ever been in such a situation? How did you respond? In this case when Jesus noticed the disciples' worries, He immediately gave them four truths of the word to both destroy the basis of their worries and build up their trust in God.
(1) Our souls are more important than our possessions. (6:25)
Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?
The integrity of our soul, the invisible part of our lives, is more important than the welfare of our bodies. What we have is not more important than our souls. Things are not more important than people. People are always more important than things. In order for us to keep a right perspective, we will need to emphasize the welfare of our souls over our bodies. A well attended body without a soul is a monster. When God values the integrity of our inner soul-being, then we should. (The body is not to be despised; only the soul needs to be more highly esteemed.)
(2) God really cares for our bodies (6:26)
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
Jesus obviously does not mean by His prior statement that the body is not important. God shows that He cares for animals which do not have a soul or who cannot think for themselves. If this is the case, surely He will care for the needs of those who are aware of our basic physical needs.
(3) Senselessness of worrying (6:27) Accept life's unchangeables.
And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his lifes span?
Worry never can solve the problem especially if it has to do with one of the body's unchangeables like ones height. When all the energy, time and money is spent, did worry ever help? Absolutely not!
(4) God's designto care for our lives is simply awesome. (6:28-30)
And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. 30 "But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?
God's design to care for our needs goes far beyond the bare basics. The flower is attractively made, but it is not for itself. Our needs and supply of those needs are designed to bring great glory to God and blessing to our lives. For example, when we gobble down food without appreciating the different flavors, textures, etc., we insult God. Design brings glory into our lives. In the end we will find that the design of His care is more intriguing than the provisions.
|This one true story in Taiwan beautiful shares this story. This older and still single missionary lady worked with students and had arranged for a conference. God had finally provided all the money for that conference and she told them about it.
The problem was that she came back one day and discovered that all the money along with her food was gone. She was robbed of that $1,000. What was she going to do? How was she going to tell the students they couldn't have a camp any more? Besides, didn't God just give them that money? Sounds strange to tell them He just took it back!
So Han PwoPwo, went to her room and knelt in prayer desperately crying out to God to care for their needs. She had a secondary problem, of course. She also didn't have any food. Oo Lan, her maid, was asking what to prepare for breakfast. Somehow, though, God gave faith to Han PwoPwo that the steamed bread would come. She told her to prepare the rest. Would you believe a nearby friend comes by bringing steamed bread?! But then, she didn't have anything to drink. No eggs were there to make a drink (soup). But again some person had too many eggs and they thought she might like it.
The maid, was rather incredulous at what was happening. She mockingly said, "Well your God can't supply coffee, can He?" Han PwoPwo went back up to her bedroom to pray. She didn't care for the coffee herself, but she wanted her maid to see how great God was. Then they heard the bell. It was a wife crying out, "Han PwoPwo." Do you drink coffee?" She hedged about in typical Chinese fashion, but he wife said again, "Don't you drink coffee?" She finally admitted that she drank coffee but then asked her why she asked. The wife explained that her husband had just come back from overseas and brought some coffee. It was very expensive there in Taiwan, rare too. But she didn't like it. So Han PwoPwo came in with the coffee and her maid literally stunned.
The story doesn't stop there. They still had the retreat money of $1,000. Where was that going to come from? She soon received a telegram telling her this family was coming to visit her and whether they could eat with her. She loved to have the company, but she had no money or food. What was she going to do? Then another telegram soon came telling her that they forgot that they would take her out to a nice restaurant.
During the meal, they asked her if she had any special needs. She didn't mention anything in particular, trying only to have God know her need. But they sensed she was holding back. So she told them the whole story about the conference and the thief. They asked how much money it was. She said, "US $1,000." They then said that they were returning home from the field and had been prompted to give her a gift. They slid out an envelope at the table and told her that they had prepared it beforehand. They wanted her to open it. Inside was a thousand dollars. Just what she was fervently praying for. God took care of all the needs.
-adapted from Granny Han's Breakfast by Sheila Groves
God knows about all of our needs. There is nothing that He can't provide. We just need to trust Him as He designed us to do in the first place. Han PwoPwo knew God cared for the students, her maid and her own food. She chose not to worry but to affirm God's glorious ways and then to trust in Him.
Let's now look more carefully at the second step in the process of overcoming anxieties. Next page