Trust in God and Do Not Worry

1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Hebrews 4:16: Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

What worries or anxious thoughts are consuming you today? We live in a world that causes us to worry and lose sleep over any number of things. You may be worried that you overspent on Christmas gifts and you are apprehensive about how you will be able to pay off your credit card debt. Many of you are worried about your job and yet another year of waking up to work at a place that makes you feel useless or unappreciated. Lots of people are anxious about finding a job – any job – that will help feed their family and provide a decent place for them to live.  

There are those of you today that are worried about your family, their health, safety and well-being. You may be worried about broken relationships within your family and the best approach to go about repairing or restoring them. I often worry about my children and the kind of world that they are growing up in. I worry about the state of affairs in our country as we seem to put less faith in God and more effort in being politically correct. It seems that we are afraid of offending anyone, except those who believe in and follow God.

This Christmas season I have lost count of the number of advertisements that speak to our worrying and anxious minds. Advertisers want us to believe that their product can make our life easier and worry free. They tell us that if we buy their product it will save us time and money and we can then use that extra time and money indulging ourselves. Marketing in our society today, aims to appeal to our inner human need to take care of and look out for our own self-interests first. Advertisers claim that they can give us peace and security and make our lives easier and stress free if we will just buy their product. And of course we believe them, and we buy more and more stuff and our lives become more stressful and worrisome. The material things that we buy do not make us happy and yet we continue our search for that latest gadget or item that will bring us happiness and will ease our anxious thoughts.

God takes great delight in having you come before Him in prayer. God created us to have an intimate relationship with Him, so that we can come before Him with our praise and our worries. These two New Testament passages from 1 Peter and from Hebrews, remind us that we can be confident of God’s immense grace as we bring before God our worries and our anxious thoughts. God is waiting on you to come before Him in prayer, to confess your sins, and to ask for forgiveness. God wants you to bring before Him your praise and thanksgiving, along with your worries and doubts. Only God can supply what you are searching for as you seek answers and solutions to your worries.

Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

The Earth is Full of His Glory

Psalm 8:3: When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place

Isaiah 6:3: And they were calling to one another:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

A couple of nights ago I was in a bad mood and I just wanted to wallow in self-pity. There was absolutely nothing that anyone could say or do that could help me to shake the mood that I was in. Probably in an effort to get me out of the house my wife said to me, “Did you see the full moon tonight?” I replied, “no” and basically shrugged off her comment. A few minutes later I found myself outside on a cold, crisp and clear December night. I looked up at the heavens and I immediately found myself in complete awe at the beauty of the sky and the amazing December Full Moon and the stars.

I immediately began to worship God and thank him for the beauty of his handiwork. I thought about the passage from Genesis where God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth. “ And it was so. God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:14-18).

When I am outside looking up at the sheer beauty and enormity of the heavens I know deep inside my being that God exists. I feel a close connection to God as I stare into the nighttime sky and wonder what the view from heaven must look like. The Bible tells us that God made the moon and the stars to give light upon the earth and I believe that to be completely true. That must have  been what the Psalmist David was thinking as he wrote “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place (Psalm 8:3).

Fifteen minutes later I found myself still looking up into the peaceful and bright December sky. My bad mood and anxious thoughts were gone and I thanked God for giving me peace and a greater appreciation of this beautiful world that He has created. God is holy and He deserves our complete praise and adoration for all that He has done and continues to do for us. Yes, the whole world is filled with His glory!

Do Not Be Afraid

Luke 2:1-14 KJV

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

“Do not be afraid” or “fear not” are words that are often used in the Bible when a human being encounters an angel. Zechariah, a priest and the father of John the Baptist, was “startled and gripped with fear” when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the temple (Matthew 1:12). When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus, we are told that “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God’” (Luke 1:29-30). An angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in the fields and we read that the shepherds “were terrified.” But the angel said to them “Do not be afraid” Luke 2:9-10).

What are you afraid of today? All of us have our own set of fears, worries and troubles. We often wonder how we will get through another day and we pray for circumstances in our lives to improve. Many of you are dealing with hurt or anger towards another person, maybe even a person in your immediate family or someone that is living under the same roof.  Many of us worry about our children and their future along with the difficult decisions and tough choices that they must make. We live in a world that can make us fearful if we pay any attention at all to what is transpiring on planet Earth.

I constantly need to be reminded of the words of the angel of the Lord, “Fear not, do not be afraid.” If our trust and faith is firmly placed in God then we should not be fearful of anything that comes our way. When we allow fear to enter into or control our lives, we forget God’s promise that He is always with us, even as we journey through dark places and difficult times. Fear then becomes a lack of trust and faith in God.

Prayer: God, help me to not be afraid or worried about things that are out of my control. Grant me the peace of Christ in my heart and in my life and help me to share that peace with others. Help me to be an example to others of the saving grace and abundant peace that Christ longs to offer to those that believe and call upon His holy name. Amen.