What? Me Worry? – Part 2

{Parts of this series may have been inspired from two sources:  God’s Miraculous Plan of Economy by Jack R. Taylor.  Broadman Press, 1975.  And some presentations by Rev. Cecil C. Sims, Executive Director/Treasurer of the Pacific Northwest Baptist Convention, 1980-1995.  Also, some of the scripture passages have been copied and pasted from the New International Version as “printed” at BibleGateway.com. Otherwise, I just type it out. I decided to print out the scriptures in my blogs so you can see the scriptures even though you may be on a tablet or on your cellphone, and not have a Bible nearby.}

Worry leaves us in turmoil.

II.  Summary of Worry

Worry negates faith.  To worry is to decrease your faith and increase your self-reliance.  True faith stretches a person.  True faith puts everything on the line when a person can’t tell what will happen next.  Faith depends on a God who knows your needs BEFORE you do, and will take care of your needs AS YOU NEED THEM and not before. 

Do you remember the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” [1989] in which Indiana Jones is searching for the Holy Grail?  Toward the last of his quest (and the movie), he is in a cave with the object of his quest on the other side of a bottomless chasm.  The ancient writings he is following tells him that there is a bridge across the chasm, but he doesn’t see anything there.  Well, the writings have been correct to this point.  So now what?  He stepped out onto empty air.  Once he did that, he didn’t fall screaming down the depths of the chasm.  Instead, a bridge appeared that was there all along.  However, it couldn’t be seen until – in faith – Indiana Jones stepped out onto nothingness. And when he did, the outcome of his faith was realized.

Let’s look for a moment at II Peter 1: 3-4 (NIV):

3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 

    Latch on to those promises and name them before God.  In Greek (the original written language of the New Testament), the meaning of “his very great and precious promises” is that they are numerous – a huge number of them – and they are valuable and special (precious).

Now, where is your area of worry?  Look back at Matthew 6: 25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry . . . .”  Do you see the “Therefore”?  That means that what follows is a result of what was said before.  And I don’t think it’s any accident that Jesus had been talking about money just before.  Then he went into a discussion on worry.

I’m about to share something personal:  My wife Judy and I prayed one time for God to increase our faith as a part of our spiritual growth.  Oh, we had faith.  But we felt that we should step it up, so we asked God for greater faith.  The promise we used was, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” [James 1: 5, NIV]

It’s not an accident that Jesus just finished talking about money before he launched into encouragement about worry.  Well, for us, the desire for greater faith hit us in our finances.  We prayed to God about next steps, and we felt he wanted us to zero out our savings account of $700 and give that to the church.  So we did.  We then had to depend on God at a time I was pastoring a church “full-time” for $360/month and a parsonage – with three children in the household.   We had to depend on God.  To clarify, the church did not know about this except whoever was the treasurer at the time.  For an example of how this works, one time we came home and found five bags of groceries on our porch.  We kept three bags and gave away two bags to those we knew needed it.  The key is that we did so with God’s leadership.

[I’m going to meddle a bit:  If you are not giving to the church, why not?  Could it be a lack of faith?  Could it be that you have difficulty in trusting God to provide?  Could it be that you are over-extended and have bills resulting from purchases that you didn’t ask God about first?  Just some thoughts to ponder . . . .]

Now let’s wrap up this section by looking at Matthew 6: 33-34:

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.

Seek God first along with everything God is about, and your needs will be taken care of.

How do I know?

Because God has promised it in his Word.

Because my family and I – along with many, many others – have experienced it.

{The next blog will address how to deal with worry.  Stay tuned!}

Published by John M

I think differently. Every once in a while, I have an insight or a thought that could be useful to others. My background is over 30 years in church leadership & 30 years in social work with M.Div. and M.S.W. degrees - and yes, I do enjoy retirement. My heart is in teaching. And I try to teach in a way that you don't have to have a degree to understand it. So, join me on this journey we call Life as we explore God, the Bible, the Church and the world around us together. I've been married to my wife for 48 years. We have three grown and married children of whom we are very proud. And they have blessed us with seven grandchildren. We both grew up in Washington State, but we now live in North Carolina with a lot of experience between those two points.

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