Monday, July 15, 2013

Consider The Birds And The Lilies

Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

When you’ve been faced with walking through a difficult situation for a prolonged period time and as you look forward you really see no indication that it might soon change, it is easy to become discouraged. Weariness and worry are things that God knows His people struggle with, and it is something which He deals with in His Word. Isaiah reminds us of this. He reminds us that our God, Himself, does not grow weary and tired, and that He is able to give strength to us.

And Jesus, Himself, spoke to many of these areas in which we are prone to worry, and His answer in all of them was again to recognize that our God is both aware and able to handle those things which have caused us concern. He reminds us that this is His character and we have no reason to question it.

Matthew 6:25-34 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

He tells us not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own, while at the same time, those things He spoke about are the momentary ones in which we live and over which God is sovereign. The birds live free in the moment dealing with those things of the moment. The flowers and the grasses enjoy the richness of the sun and the fertility of the ground in the moment. And Jesus, in sharing about these things, asks rhetorically, won’t He do much more for us. Truly His exhortation to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness is one that is intended to drive us to our faithful God who will take care of all of the other stuff as we seek and follow after Him.

James tells us in chapter one and verses two though four that we are to, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” As we are faced with a trial of any form, by looking to our God and His faithfulness we can rest knowing that He is 100% in control, and then as we watch Him bring us through that particular situation we grow in our endurance and in our practical knowledge of His working and sustaining. Having grown in this we are then enabled to trust Him more and more until we become mature as John wrote in 1 John 2:12-14,

“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”

In Hebrews we have an incredible encouragement about perseverance and endurance as the writer points us to our Savior and Lord—Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/15)

Do not worry about tomorrow! This is not a suggestion, but a command. I divided time into days and nights, so that you would have manageable portions of life to handle. My grace is sufficient for you, but its sufficiency if for only one day at a time. When you worry about the future, you heap day upon day of troubles onto your flimsy frame. You stagger under this heavy load, which I never intended you to carry.

Throw off this oppressive burden with one quick thrust of trust. Anxious thoughts meander about and crisscross in your brain, but trusting Me brings you directly into My Presence. As you thus affirm your faith, shackles of worry fall off instantly. Enjoy My Presence continually by trusting Me at all times.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8 (NKJV) 

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