Your daily dose of true beauty advice… Jesus firmly and tenderly emphasized this promise: “Your father knows what you need. . . . Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father has chosen gladly to give. . . .” [Matt. 6:25-34] … Continue reading
Your daily dose of true beauty advice…
Worry is a failure to understand God’s priority, [Luke 12] verses 22 and 23. “He said to His disciples, ‘For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life as to what you shall eat nor for your body as to what you shall put on, for life is more than food and the body more than clothing.’”
Now here’s the point: God didn’t create you just to survive. God didn’t create you just to have you eat and wear clothes so that you can make it. God did not create you to fulfill some physical goal, or objective, or purpose or design.
Your life is far more than eating. Your life is far more than clothing. You must understand the divine priority…if you belong to God and you are in His Kingdom, He has a plan and a purpose for your life. That’s the reason you live. And as long as God has a plan for your life, He will feed you and clothe you until the plan is complete. So what is there to worry about?
There is really no place for worry and no place for fear, and no place for anxiety if you understand that the priority with God is far more than just surviving, it’s far more than making it through the winter, it’s far more than getting at least one or two meals a day, far more than that.
God’s purpose in giving you life, God’s purpose in giving you a body is not material, it’s not physical, and it’s not earthly, it is immaterial, spiritual and heavenly. We were made for His glory.
We were made to serve His glory, to serve His purpose, to honor Him, to bring attention to Him, to proclaim the gospel, to live out Christ and the power of the Spirit in the world. And as long as that’s the divine priority…for us, He will sustain us to the end of His purpose.
~John MacArthur in “Anxiety-Free Living, Part 2“
“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust,
O LORD, from my youth.”
Comforting and convicting words from J.I. Packer…
“Do not worry about your life,” says the Lord, “what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (Mt 6:25). But, says someone, this is not realistic; how can I help worrying, when I face this, and this, and this? To which Jesus’ reply is: Your faith is too small. Have you forgotten that God is your Father? “Look at the birds of the air; …your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (v. 26). If God cares for the birds, whose Father he is not, is it not plain that he will certainly care for you, whose Father he is?
The point is put positively in verses 31-33: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ …Your heavenly Father knows that you need [these things]. But seek first his [your Father's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
“We might have a crash,” said the small girl anxiously, as the family car threaded its way through traffic. “Trust Daddy; he’s a good driver,” said Mommy. The young lady was reassured, and she relaxed at once. Do you trust your heavenly Father like that? If not, why not?
Such trust is vital; it is in truth the mainspring of the life of faith, which without it becomes a life of at least partial belief.
[Knowing God, p. 213; emphasis added]
Although we may not know what’s ahead, we do know our Father, and
that is enough.
Photo: Denise Docherty
Your daily dose of true beauty advice…
We all have to admit that worry is a common temptation in life–for many it is a favorite pastime. America, the most affluent society in the world is also the most worry-filled society in the world—that is, if spending on security, mental illnesses, and intoxicants are any indication. Americans worry, and worry is a sin. It is neither insignificant, nor inconsequential. And for the Christian, it is absolutely contrary to faith Christ…
If you worry, what kind of faith do you manifest? “Little faith,” according to Jesus (Matt. 6:30). Now if you are a child of God, by definition you have a Heavenly Father. To act like you don’t—nervously asking, “What shall I eat? What shall I drink? With what shall I clothe myself?”—is to act like an unbeliever in God’s eyes (vv. 31-32).
Think about it this way: Christians who worry believe God can redeem them, break the shackles of Satan, take them from hell to heaven, put them into His kingdom, and give them eternal life, but just don’t think He can get them through the next couple of days. That is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it? That we can believe God for the greater gift and then stumble and not believe Him for the lesser one reveals an embarrassing lack of faith.
~John MacArthur in “A Worried Christian“
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”
When we’re suffering under the weight of trials, it’s difficult to think of little else besides escaping from the pressure. In this excerpt from the series Battling Unbelief, John Piper explains how God enables believers to stop running from their trials and begin rejoicing in the midst of them instead.
Photo: Ana Labate
Your daily dose of true beauty advice…
We need to remind ourselves that seasons of adversity, financial, physical, relational, otherwise, they don’t catch God off guard. They may catch us off guard, but God knows it all. He’s known it all from eternity past. He knows everything that is going on in our world. He also knows what lies ahead, and He is orchestrating all things in heaven and on earth to fulfill His eternal redemptive purposes and to glorify Himself. Count on it when you’re in the midst of troubling circumstances.
Your circumstances may be intense or fearful or painful at times, but they don’t have to overwhelm us or steal our peace.
In fact, and you’ve heard me say this many times, but I want to repeat it today, in the ultimate sense, anything that makes me need God is a blessing—anything. You think of the things in your life right now that make you need God. I’ve got my list; you’ve got your list. I want you to look at that list, and remind yourself that everything on that list is, in fact, a blessing because it’s a good thing to need God, to recognize our need for Him.
I love that quote of Oswald Chambers’ in My Utmost for His Highest where he says, “Our circumstances are the means of manifesting how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure the Son of God is.”
Your circumstances, difficult as they may be, those very circumstances are not only a blessing to you, but they are means of demonstrating to those who are watching how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure the Son of God is. The Son of God who will come to you there even in the midst of that fiery furnace—the fourth one like a Son of Man—and will join you in that furnace. People will see Christ as you walk through that fire, and they will be drawn to worship Him. You can manifest to the world what He is like.
Crises provide opportunities for us as God’s women to flourish spiritually and to point people to Christ who is our only rock and hope, not only in this present time but for all eternity.
“God alone is my rock and my salvation,” the psalmist said, “my strong hold; I shall not be greatly shaken” (62:2).
~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “How to Show Strength and Dignity“
“The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?”
If you’ve ever read one of Patsy Clairmont’s books or heard one of her conference messages, you may find it difficult to believe that such a vivacious, outgoing woman would ever have cowered in fear merely at the thought of leaving her home. Yet as she explains in this video for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, there was a difficult season in Patsy’s life when she allowed her heart to become nearly paralyzed with fear and anxiety.
Patsy’s testimony of overcoming worry by relinquishing control of her life to Christ, memorizing Scripture, replacing unbiblical thinking with biblical thinking, and investing in Christian fellowship provides a biblical model that each of us can follow as we seek victory in our own struggles with sin…
Photo: Fernando Audibert
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Do you ever catch yourself grieving over loved ones you’ve not yet lost? On countless occasions in my life, I’ve allowed my thoughts to wander distressing paths as I wonder how I’ll ever bear the burden of grief that is sure to overwhelm me with the loss of those I cherish. Sometimes I get so caught up in my dreary imaginings that I’ve had to consciously shake myself out of my dark thoughts just before tears began to flow. How silly to spend time weeping over tragedies that haven’t even occurred!
In moments like these, I would do well to remember the wise words spoken to Corrie ten Boom by her father in this story from The Hiding Place…
I was following Mama and Nollie up a dark straight flight of stairs where cobwebs clutched at our hair and mice scuttled away ahead of us…We were going to see one of the many poor families in the neighborhood whom Mama had adopted. It never occurred to any of us children that we ourselves were poor; “the poor” were people you took baskets to. Mama was always cooking up nourishing broths and porridges for forgotten old men and pale young mothers–on days, that is, when she herself was strong enough to stand at the stove.
The night before, a baby had died, and with a basket of her own fresh bread Mama was making the prescribed call on the family. She toiled painfully up the railless stairs, stopping often for breath. At the top a door opened into a single room that was obviously cooking, eating, and sleeping quarters all at once. There were already many visitors, most of them standing for lack of chairs. Mama went at once to the young mother, but I stood frozen on the threshold. Just to the right of the door, so still in the homemade crib, was the baby.
It was strange that a society which hid the facts of sex from children made no effort to shield them from death. I stood staring at the tiny unmoving form with my heart thudding strangely against my ribs. Nollie, always braver than I, stretched out her hand and touched the ivory-white cheek. I longed to do it too, but hung back, afraid. For a while curiosity and terror struggled in me. At last I put one finger on the small curled hand.
It was cold.
Cold as we walked back to the Beje, cold as I washed for supper, cold even in the snug gas-lit dining room. Between me and each familiar face around the table crept those small icy fingers. For all Tante Jan’s talk about it, death had been only a word. Now I knew that it could really happen–if to the baby, then to Mama, to Father, to Betsie!
Still shivering with that cold, I followed Nollie up to our room and crept into bed beside her. At last we heard Father’s footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment in every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he had arranged the blankets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe.
But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. “I need you!” I sobbed. “You can’t die! You can’t!”
…Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam—when do I give you your ticket?”
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need–just in time.”
[The Hiding Place, pp. 27-29]
Photo: Karina Faiani
“…do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”
Encouraging thoughts from John MacArthur on our Heavenly Father’s loving care for us:
In Matthew 6:26 Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” I can imagine the Lord standing on a hillside up in Galilee looking over the beautiful north end of the sea, the breeze rippling across the water, the sun bright in the sky. Since that part of the Sea of Galilee was known as a crossroads of bird migration, perhaps Jesus saw a flock fly by as He spoke.
He wants us to think about birds. Here’s one observation: Birds don’t get together and say, “We’ve got to come up with a strategy to keep ourselves alive.” They have no self-consciousness or ability to reason. But God has planted within them the instinct or divine capacity to find what is necessary to live. God doesn’t just create life; He also sustains life…
Birds don’t worry about where they are going to find food; they just go about their business until they find it, and they always do because God is looking out for them. Birds have no reason to worry, and if they don’t, what are you worrying for? Jesus put it this way: “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31).
Are you not much better than a bird? No bird was ever created in the image of God, no bird was ever designed to be a joint-heir with Jesus Christ, no bird was ever prepared a place in heaven in the Father’s house. If God sustains the life of a bird, don’t you think He will take care of you? Life is a gift from God. If God gives you the greater gift of life itself, don’t you think He will give you the lesser gift of sustaining that life? Of course He will, so don’t worry about it.
[Anxiety Attacked, pp.19-20]
Photo: Juha Soininen
“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
The most relaxing way to travel is with your eyes closed. Whether I’m riding in a car or a plane, I find that I do my best traveling while asleep. My husband and I enjoy making a little road trip together every once in a while, and we have agreed upon the perfect traveling arrangement—he does the driving; I do the sleeping. He’s a good driver, so I have little problem drifting off into dreamland when he’s behind the wheel…most of the time anyway.
You see, sometimes I rouse from my slumber to find that I’m not the only one who’s sleepy. Somehow, the sight of my husband driving with half-closed eyes does wonders for my energy levels. Suddenly, I’m alert, awake, and jumping into action. I turn up the air. I massage his neck. I pinch his arm. I offer to drive. I suggest stopping at Starbucks (ok, maybe I do that regardless of my husband’s condition). I scramble to think of things to talk about. In short, I do whatever it takes to keep our car on the road and headed in the right direction. Of course, I’d rather be resting, but I’ve found that when faced with the options of losing sleep or losing my life; I’ll take Option A every time.
I think there are many times when we as Christians handle our lives in much the same way as I react when I discover that my husband needs help staying awake in the car. Instead of resting in our Lord’s ability to skillfully guide us to our destination in this journey we call life, we view our circumstances as though He were actually half-asleep at the wheel. We feel a little bump in the road and warn, “Lord, did you see that? You need to watch out for those!” A slight sway catches us off guard and we gasp, “God, are you awake?” In response to an unexpected turn, we shout, “This is the wrong way! Here, let me show you how to get there.” Our fear of being taken to places we’d never want to go keeps us wide awake, watching, checking, calculating, and scheming of ways to ensure that our journey goes exactly as we had planned.
Although such actions may be entirely appropriate and necessary when traveling with another human being, they are completely out of place in our journey with the Lord. We seem either to forget or ignore the fact that we serve a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps. 121:4). He doesn’t look away from the road, take wrong turns, or lose sight of the destination. He is never at any moment in our lives anything less than perfectly good and absolutely sovereign. Not only does He drive our vehicle, but He also designs the roads and decides who we’ll meet along the way. There is no pothole, speedbump, or traffic jam that does not serve a purpose in His ultimate plan for us.
Some people believe they pay tribute to the Lord by attaching a sticker to their car which reads, “God is my co-pilot.” Let’s just set things straight here, shall we? God has revealed His character through many different names, and co-pilot isn’t one of them. He is the only One behind the wheel, and the only One worth trusting in the driver’s seat. We are the passengers, not co-pilots, not navigators, not travel consultants, but passengers—the safe, loved, and privileged passengers. So why in the world are we wasting time worrying when we could be resting?
Trust in God; it’s the only way to travel.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.”
Photo: Andrew Beierle
“I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”
Praise the Lord for answered prayer! Yesterday, Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Texas, provided an update about his battle against brain cancer which contained truly good news. He also shared some excellent thoughts on the issue of anxiety. Hmm…two posts in one day on the topic of trusting God..does somebody out there need this message? :)
Related Post: Dropping the Weight of Worry
Photo: Cheryl Empey