(Sunday, February 26, 2012 as part of our “Follow” series at Riverside Community Church)
Bill Ellis, our lead pastor and speaker for the day said that “worry about tomorrow keeps us from the will of God today.” This is such a deep struggle for most Christians, wouldn’t you agree?
Jesus didn’t tell us to reduce our stress, anxiety or worry solely for the sake of our health (although it’s important that we honor God with our bodies); He told us to focus on serving and carrying out the will of God today. It’s difficult to carry out God’s will today when we fret about tomorrow.
God’s presence is here now – in the present. And He will show up again tomorrow. He has been faithful to us in the past. He is faithful to us now. And He guarantees us that He will be faithful… always…
Do not worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of Godt above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
(Matthew 6:24-34 – New Living Translation)
What do you worry about? What keeps you up at night? Do you have any irrational fears? Are you decreasing your joy, peace, productivity or potential today because of something that may not even take place tomorrow?
The Prayer of Serenity by Reinhold Niebuhr:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
And the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.