This week, the horrors of Las Vegas have struck us all. The unbelievable tragedy has shaken the core of our nation and has challenged our sense of security once again. And of course, this act of senseless violence follows upon the heels of multiple natural disasters. “Tough times” is an understatement. For many, we are in the midst of perilous days . . . days fraught with anxiety and fearfulness.
For those of us who grew up in the ‘80s, we can’t help but remember the simple but soothing song by Bobby McFerrin entitled, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Even now, that tune has entered your mind and has begun what seems to be a never-ending repetition. (I apologize now for placing it there!) Aside from its rhythmic appeal, the song also offers the listener the hope that he/she can escape the burdens of life and experience contentment. Unfortunately, that reprieve is often short-lived and fades as the song ends. Worry then returns to dominate life.
I would be the first to admit that I frequently struggle with worry. I worry about my kids. I worry about my finances. I worry about my health. I worry about friends. I worry about my church. I worry about my future. I worry about my family. I worry about our safety. I worry about my country. I worry about worrying too much! And may I tell you that all of that worry does not make me happy! Nor does it make God happy!
In fact, Jesus emphatically commanded his disciples not to worry and reminded them of how the Father cared for nature itself. Through God’s providence, the birds are fed, and the flowers are clothed. Christ reasoned that the Father’s love (and subsequent care) for His children was much greater than His concern for birds and flowers. God loves His family! And He will provide for them!
When we worry, we actually deny the truth of His love and demonstrate our faithlessness in Him. We basically refuse to believe what Jesus Himself said. Isn’t it ironic that we believers seem more willing to trust Him for the eternal things (e.g. salvation) than we do for our earthly needs? And yet if He can save your soul, He has the concern and power to pay your utility bill. He can take care of your financial and physical security.
So, what do we do when worry robs us of our faith and joy? Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these things will be added to you.” We are to focus our minds on the most important element of our lives: the kingdom of God. When we turn our attention to our relationship with God and our responsibility to His Kingdom, our perspectives change. No longer are we consumed with worry for temporal resources; rather, we are concentrated on the thing(s) that matters most. And what is more? In pursuing God’s Kingdom, we receive all of the things we need (e.g. food, clothes). Jehovah Jireh shows up again and drives away all worry! My prayer is that He will demonstrate His continued faithfulness even now as we so desperately need reassurance of His love and care! May His provision encourage us through these days of tribulation!