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No Stress Too Great

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 'Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.'" - Matt 6:25–34

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" - Matt 7:7–11

    Our Lord's comfort stands against all the tides of life. In every moment, great or small He holds us in His mighty hands lest we fall into unending despair. All of His commands and commendations are life and breath to His sons and daughters, we sigh in relief at the knowledge of His attention and love.

    Christ gives us strength in the words of His sermon by reminding us of two tremendous truths. First, that our lives are more than mere survival. Fear not hunger, or cold, or the troubles of your day to day. If God feeds the beasts in their own days then surely He will feed His own. Our lives are secure in the hands of the All Sovereign. In view of the great gifts of Christ and His labors for us, our challenges are small and paltry things. The all-seeing and all-knowing God does not overlook your bread, but gives it gladly. He shall not give you a stone.
 
    Secondly, He tells us not to be too anxious to ask. Our fear adds nothing to our lives (in fact it hurts us more than it helps), and our troubles only grow upon us as we stew in them. But as the old adage goes "closed mouths don't get fed". Our Father knows all these things, and yet He invites us to ask of Him. He delights in coming to the call of His children, bending His ear to our needs and seeing our joy in His gracious fulfillment. If our Lord had seen to every need before it could be met we would grow ingracious, unable to recognize the hand that feeds us. In this we are humbled and reminded of His strength and provision as He stands ready to give us all things.
 
    Now, none of this is meant to belittle our daily troubles. Life is hard, Christ warns us often that it will be. He does not come to say that our pain is not pain. When rent is due, the car broke down, empty cupboards, no place to rest, no time to breathe, our God is not far from us. He encourages us not to be anxious because He assures us that our toils are temporary, our troubles fleeting, and our temptations empty. Death has no sting in the face of the mighty love of God. As a father loves his child and would not forsake him, neither will he forsake us. He holds us in His hands, the very hands that shaped the stars and restrained the oceans. His wisdom and power are focused on the issues of His children. We may struggle in our dark places, but we may also have peace. 
 
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:35–39
    So we do not have to be anxious for anything. No power, no pain, not even death itself can end the works that God is doing in us.
Topics: Gospel Distinctives
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