Last week I introduced you to Mail, an FEBC listener in Thailand. She has really good reasons to worry, and I used her as a nice example for Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. She believes that God is real and that Jesus is the Truth, but expressing this publically and living life following Jesus will certainly bring big challenges her way.
Mali is absolutely genuine, but she’s a long way away. Yours and my trials are right here. But as we struggle with our troubles, it’s a healthy thing to consider the untold Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims around the world hearing about Jesus today, secretly believing the Good News that he loves us – died for our sins – and invites us to follow him, and yet thinking about the strife that will follow them when people find out they’re now followers of Christ!
Following Jesus’ promises that we’re more valuable in the creator’s eyes than birds and flowers, and that God our Heavenly Father knows our needs and cares for us beyond anything we can imagine, Jesus gives us the key to overcoming worry:
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.”
I take this to mean –
- Make trusting the King of Kings the highest priority in your life.
- Make the principles of the Kingdom of God your first concern (God is the all-knowing all-seeing, all-powerful creator and Father of all. He loves us and knows our needs. While he doesn’t promise ease and comfort for all, he does promises to save all who call on his name.)
- Make the question “What is Father God doing in this situation?” your first question.
- Look at all your troubles and trials through the lens that – God can and will work in them for good!
Seeking the Kingdom is the key to all of life’s struggles – to the whole sermon on the mount. Worry is not an expression of care. Nor does worry prevent pain, it makes us anxious and stops us from seeking God and trusting him.
Like you I’m sure, Mali will find this hard, as I do. But I offer more more piece of biblical nourishment that I’m personally practicing now as I wrestle with my own temptations to worry. From the book of Lamentations (3:21-24)
This I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, The LORD is my portion; Therefore I will wait for him.”
To seek the Kingdom of God is to “call to mind” God’s love, unfailing compassions and great faithfulness. To “say to myself” God is great enough for me and my life. I will trust him.
This is good self-talk. This is seeking the Kingdom first. Wherever we are – this will help us in our worries and in life.