As humans, we generally worry way too much. We plan too much about things we cannot control, as though if we think enough about them, everything will turn out OK! Right? How many of you will prevent yourself from getting a full night’s of sleep tonight by worrying about tomorrow’s events, no matter how important they are in the grand scheme of things? Or you may even replay conversations that you’ve had with people, wishing you would have said something different. Then your imagination jumps off the diving board and into the pool of what-ifs. You’ve all done this, just admit it. I am taking these example from my own life, so don’t worry, we’re in the same boat. Jesus tells us that this is useless and futile, as God is the one actually in control.
“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?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If 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—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
That’s pretty straightforward, right? So why do we do it? Why do we worry like our life depends on it? (Which, in fact, it doesn’t.) Because as humans influenced by and being children of the Devil, by nature we try not to accept that God is in control, and even when we do concede to that fact, we worry because we think he isn’t doing a good enough job or he’s not doing it quick enough for our tastes. But over and over again God tells us in his word that he will take care of us.
And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
Luke 21:13-15 NIV
Did you catch that? Worrying is a choice! We can make up our minds beforehand to not worry! Isn’t that great? And God will supply everything that we cannot. But we have to use something that many of us have a very limited supply of. Faith. (Dramatic music)
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
Luke 17:5 NIV
I mean, how often do we pray this??? This needs to be something we pray often! Faith is supposed to be an integral part of a Christian’s life, but we gloss over it sometimes. Jesus tells us how powerful faith is in Matthew:
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
Matthew 21:21 NIV
And, as usual, God has given us precise instructions in his Word to equip ourselves with exactly what we need to stand against the devil. Isn’t our God great?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV
So, faith is our shield against worrying and doubting. That’s a little too important to gloss over any longer.
But what exactly is faith? Dictionary.com says that among other definitions, faith is:
A) Confidence or trust in a person or thing,
B) Belief that is not based on proof, or
C) Belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.
Our Adversary will try to make us doubt that God really exists, and if we don’t follow God, we are following the Devil. The way to combat unbelief is faith. Definition A, B, and C all fit the verses in the Bible that address faith. We need confidence in God. That’s the bottom line. So,
Please increase my faith in you. I am a fallible human who was a child of the devil, now is adopted by you. I have a doubting nature, but that is no excuse. All creation declares your glory, so no man has an excuse. Including me. Thank you for revealing yourself to me, and sticking close beside me no matter what. I believe in you, so help my unbelief.