We all deal with worry. It is a part of our everyday life. Yet, at some point, worry can start to consume us. Worry and fear can begin to control our lives. Ultimately at the heart of all worry is a desire for us to be in control. We think we know what is best for us as well as for others. It is important for us to plan and prepare, but we must always focus our Eyes on Jesus. He is sovereign, and ultimately in all control. As we trust in our Heavenly Father, we grow in our faith. If we focus on our problems, then they get bigger. When we focus on Jesus, our faith grows stronger. Where are your eyes today? What are you focusing on? Put your Eyes on Jesus.
WHY DO WE WORRY?
Nobody really wants to spend their time and energy worrying. It pulls us away from our families, distracts us from our work, and might even turn our hair gray. Yet for many of us it can become a daily routine, especially in our toughest seasons. Worrying can be our first attempt at processing the problems we experience and imagine in this life. When we perceive a threat to our self-made vision for how our life ought to go, we start a frantic process of devising our own solution. We can spend sleepless hours viewing our problems from all sides, and then the problem seems to grow bigger and bigger. Meanwhile that worry robs us of hope, steals our joy, and obstructs our trust. Maybe what we need is not to relentlessly turn over our worries in our minds, but instead to turn them over to the one who knows all our needs before we even speak a word (Matthew 6:32).
SHIFTING OUR PERSPECTIVE
What if we could change our perspective? Instead of relying on ourselves to make all the right pieces add together, we could ask God to take away all the distractions which take our focus off of him. Imagine if our first reaction to trouble in life was not to look inward for solutions, but instead to look up, trusting our lives first with God. Rather than drawing on our own abilities, we could draw near to our Father, who has overcome this world (John 16:33). The solution to our problems is faithful perseverance. This is how God uses our trials for good: our perseverance produces character from our suffering, and then from character comes hope (Romans 5:3-5a).
CARE WITHOUT WORRY
What is revealed when we notice ourselves beginning to worry is what we care about. There’s nothing wrong with caring when our heart is in the right place. When we care about things like the health of our family members, or the wellbeing of a member of our community, or the state of our children’s schools, it reveals our love for God’s people. It’s how we react to those cares that takes us the rest of the way. And worrying is not the right response to our care – even our care for the right things. After all, what can we do apart from our God? Instead, we should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to us as well (Matthew 6:33). We cannot seek the Kingdom of God with a divided heart, serving both our own will and God. But we can rest assured that our God is good and that if we cast our cares on Him, He will sustain us (Psalm 55:22)! As Jesus said, “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?” (Matthew 6:26)