Do Not Worry

“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?” ~ Matthew 6:26 NIV

Matthew 6:25-34 in my Bible is literally titled Do Not Worry. That is something I always here continuously and sadly, it often times sounds cliché. It’s undeniable that we humans have many worries: the world, money, housing, jobs, families, etc. Countless worries that keep us up at night. Bigger worries influence smaller worries like what to wear, what to eat, what to order at Starbucks©. We end up worrying over things that need no thought. Therefore, we end up finding easier routes and/or solutions so we don’t have to worry. We store food for the week; no need to worry about food. We work more so we can make more money so we can afford more things; no need to worry about money. I can go on and on, but basically, what I am trying to say is that in this life, things that worry us are inevitable no matter how much we do to avoid it.

What Jesus is saying is plain and clear: do not worry. Why? Because our Heavenly Father not only feeds the birds but us too (Matthew 6:26). In other words, God provides. God gives, God restores, it is all in His hands. And bluntly speaking, the world worries about meaningless things. I do agree that clothes are important, food is important, a house, a car, family…all of that is greatly important. But when that becomes an idol, then we’re not really trusting in God. God created food, so why can’t we trust that He will provide that for us? There are more important things at stake than our careless, worldly worries.

Why is it so hard not to worry? Well for many of us, maybe we lack faith. Jesus says bluntly in Matthew 6:30, “’Oh you of little faith’” (NIV). We shouldn’t worry because we should believe that God will supply all our needs and that He is in control. On the other hand, if you struggle with worrying like I do, I recommend reading Philippians 4:6 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV).

When we “present our requests to God” for our worries, we are seeking Him which is what He wants. But what He doesn’t want from us is us imagining a planned response from Him. Meaning, we cannot expect God to do what we want. He does as He pleases. As we come to Him in prayer for our anxiousness, He gives peace, and that is what we need at the moment of our worrying.

Hiding in the Dark

“’Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.’” ~ John 3:20 NIV

The last couple of months, my church has been doing a sermon series on freedom. Throughout the Sundays, we have had people come up and share a short testimony about how the Lord has set them free from their sins. At first, it was really inspiring to hear the stories of people from the congregation. Lately, the testimonies have been more openly honest. The deep dark secrets of people have been coming out. Not only have they been hard to hear and sad, but I have grown to love them even more.

As a sinner, I hate knowing and revealing my sin. It is so shameful and crude knowing I am such a sinner. When I was a child, I was innocent when I sinned because I did not know what I was doing wrong. And now, I do things that I know are wrong. I still do them. But when I hear of the testimonies of the people from my church, I see such joy, peace, and confidence. They shine! And they declare their freedom.

Being in the dark is convenient. No one knows of our dark secrets and sometimes it’s nice because no one will treat us differently if they knew. However, one can only dwell in the darkness for so long. It is not only wrong to be in darkness but it is also not healthy emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. When Jesus came to earth, He saw the people suffering, and He did not hesitate to bring people and sin out of the darkness. He brought hope.

Ephesians 5:8-14 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteous and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible” (NIV). So much information is packed in these verses. But they speak truth. If we can dwell in our sin for as long as we want but it will never last. Eventually, it will become visible.

The verses above encourage us that we don’t have to stay in darkness all our lives. Either way, the Lord will expose all evil. And even if we feel ashamed, that is why God sent His son to die for us. He came to bring light and to bring us out of our hiding place. This does not mean we will never sin; we need to remind ourselves that we are not perfect. But we should not be slaves to sin either. Through the power of God, we are free because we can overcome!