Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Pandemic Perspective – Part 33 Navigating an Uncertain Future – Part 1

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Matthew 6:24-34

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This pandemic has caused many to worry about an uncertain future and what is going to happen. Unfortunately this can lead to a fear of the future resulting in worry. Interestingly three times Jesus tells us, Do not worry. The word worry comes from the Old English verb “to strangle.” Later its Middle English descendant, kept this sense and developed the new sense “to grasp by the throat with the teeth and lacerate” or “to kill or injure by biting and shaking.” The way wolves attack sheep. That is exactly what worry does; it is a kind of mental and emotional strangulation, which often causes more mental and physical afflictions than any other single cause. Worry is a wolf that wants to win, we are the prey and it is the predator that pounces and pulls us down.  Worry traps us in the prison of pointless panic, a mouse living in a cage with a wheel will travel 9,000 miles in his lifetime, and you know what? He is still in the cage! Worry is the same way we spend lots of energy going nowhere and worry might be the sin that Christians commit more frequently than any other. So what is the 

Prescription to worry:

  1. Proper Perspective – Vs 24-25

Many people as they look to the future instead of experiencing peace have panic because they don’t have a proper perspective. As Christians we can look to the future with longing, because of our faith we don’t have to fear the future. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ you are heading to a home in heaven not the horrors of hell. So, let me ask you, are you facing the future through faith or fear? Unfortunately, today many Christians spend more time listening to world news than the good news, no wonder they are fearful of the future. In order to gain a proper perspective we need to do two things that at first seem contradictory. First, we need to pay attention to the big picture while participation in the present. We need to come to grips with the truth of time. You see where our earthly life is limited, our eternal is endless. We need to live life energized by eternity while being engaged in the everyday. Worry warps this perspective to where we become short sighted and forget about living for eternity. A proper perspective will help you to see the:

  1. Price of Worry

Worry wastes precious time and energy by trying to get us to live in the tomorrows, today. What is interesting is that research suggests that:

•          40% Of the things we worry about will never happen.

•          30% of the things we worry about we cannot change 

•          12% of our worries are made on the basis of misinformation, or not having all the details 

•          10% is related to health, and the more we worry about health the sicker we become

•          8% is legitimate, showing that life does have some things to worry about but not nearly as much as we think

Worry wars against us, it has been proven to increase our risk for poor physical health. That is why our enemy wants us to be consumed by crippling fear. He wants us worrying. He wants us filled with and frozen by fear instead of free in our faith. He wants us to experience the axe of anxiety that chops at the tree of truth, toppling our trust. You can worry yourself to death, but not to life.

  • Path of Worry

Worry leads us to have an earthy prospective instead of an Eternal one. When the Bible says that God is our Lord, it means that He controls our lives, not us. When you worry, you stop trusting God and start trying to take control of your own life. It leads us down the road of human reasoning and relying instead of resting in the Redeemer. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” What are you trusting in, is it the Lord? And are you trusting Him with all your heart or just part of it? What consumes your life? What is it that controls your life? There is a somewhat humorous story about a newly ordained pastor that reveals this. A newly ordained pastor was asked to speak at a revival. As hundreds of people began to gather on the grounds, the young pastor panicked and ran into the bishop’s cabin. “I am supposed to preach in a few minutes, but I don’t know what to say.” “Trust the Lord, young man,” the bishop advised with great dignity. “Just trust the Lord.” Then the bishop left the room. Frustrated, the young pastor picked up the bishop’s Bible in the hope of finding an inspiring verse. Instead, he found some typewritten sermon notes he liked very much. So, he took the bishop’s Bible and notes and went to the service. The young pastor amazed everyone with his sermon, and the people crowded about him after the service. Suddenly, the bishop pushed his way through the crowd. “Young man,” the bishop thundered, “you preached the sermon I was going to preach tonight! Now what am I going to do?” “Trust the Lord, bishop,” the young man replied, “just trust the Lord!” The starting point in dealing with our worries is to stop living in denial and be honest about what our worries are and what is causing them and then turn our worries over to the Lord. 

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