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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look 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? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If 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, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.–Matthew 6:25-34
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”26He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.27The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”–Matthew 8:23-27
Last Sunday our pastor started a sermon series on faith. I must admit that last Sunday I was a little too crabby to retain most of what he said, but I got the gist.
Drawing from Matthew 6 and Matthew 8 the overall message was don’t worry because Jesus says not to. It isn’t a suggestion. It’s a commandment.
I honestly don’t tend to worry until I realize that I’m not worrying, then I think I should be worried because any normal person would be. I choose not to worry because worry is uncomfortable. Our pastor presented worry, fear, and anxiety as an absence of faith.
I do have great faith for things that are in the distant future or for things that seem large and impossible. However, my faith for small daily provision can be low at times. I appreciated the challenge of assessing my faith level and the challenge/reminder to cry out to Jesus when worry is evident.
It seems that worry and anxiety are natural human responses. True. When is it too much? Because these things are natural someone might argue that they are responses we cannot control. I disagree. We might not be able to control the onset, but I believe we can control the continuation. It isn’t always easy, but it is possible. However, is the presence of worry, anxiety and fear truly the absence of faith? Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Believing God is who he says he is. Can we control and measure how much faith we have? Should we? Is it up to us to increase our faith or is it our responsibility to simply remove the hindrances (worry, fear and anxiety) to seeing faith in action?
What are your thoughts?