I hope all of you have had a great start to this new year. Praise God in everything, especially if all is well in your world right now. However, if you happen to be in the midst of a difficult time, you may be facing 2016 with a sense of dread or uncertainty of what this new year holds. If you are, you are not alone. Given my last several months of 2015, I have at times wished time to stand still, so I don’t have to plunge back into the reality of what may lie ahead.
And yet the reality is that life does go on, whether it happens to be pleasant or not…and while I don’t know what 2016 will bring, I knew I had to write to share an insight that God has been bringing to my mind over and over:
Take one day at a time.
Simple, and yet so much easier said than done, at least for me.
Jesus addressed the issue with worry in the Sermon on the Mountain in Matthew 6:25-27, and Matthew 6:34, saying:
“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 than food, and the body more than clothes? Look 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
He goes on to add: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Matthew 6:34)
What does it mean to worry? Well, when we worry, we are essentially saying we don’t trust God, because He already told us not to. While in this context, Jesus was referring to worry about the daily provision of life (worry about having enough food, clothing, and shelter), which was a common concern in that day. However, I believe we can apply the principle to our trials and concerns today.
Worry is like assuming the responsibility of catching all the snowflakes of tomorrow’s blizzard, and never once stopping to consider that the sun may come out and the blizzard may never even materialize.
I’m reminded to reflect on God’s faithfulness as demonstrated in His word. He Himself sustained the children of Israel with manna from heaven, just enough for that day and that day only, (Exodus 16). He is the same God today, yesterday, and forever. Just like they could look back and see how He sustained them on a day-to-day basis, can’t we as His children also look back and see how much He has already brought us through?
I’m not gonna lie. From the beginning looking forward, 2016 looks daunting to me. Yet it is my prayer for myself and anyone reading this that we can look back at this time next year and notice that God has brought us through the good times and the bad. May we see that many things we fret about often have a way of working themselves out, that there is more stress in the “what-ifs” of each tomorrow than the tomorrow itself.
In the next few days I want to focus on Philippians 4:6-7, which tells us how to pray in times of trouble. We can go to the Lord with our needs, but also balance it with a thankful attitude. And the outcome? He will supply us with an unexplainable peace when we do:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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. (Phil. 4:6-7)
May this next year be a year of unwavering trust in Him, that we may grow in faith and finish strong.
It’s good to plan and prepare for tomorrow, but where do you think the line is drawn between planning and worry?
Do you tend to over-think and fret? Do you have a testimony to share about how you have overcome this struggle through prayer and God’s word?
To pray specific scriptures concerning worry, check out this list from “Room to Breathe”.