Here’s where you’re really going to see the compassion of Jesus Christ lean into us. Look at the very next line: “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Or if you have the NIV: “Today has enough trouble of its own.” Let me tell you why I think that’s a super compassionate statement by Jesus Christ. You were just given permission to deal with anxiety and fear today. How do you deal with it? You give it over to the Lord. Today will have fear and anxiety. What do we do? We give that over to the Lord. We lay that down. We don’t let that be compounded with tomorrow’s trouble. We simply stay in today.
I want to press on you this truth. I think it’s going to sting, but it becomes of utmost importance for your joy and freedom from fear and anxiety. The bottom line in most fear and anxiety is you simply don’t trust that God is good. Look at me. Don’t lie about that. There’s no freedom for you if you can’t say, “I don’t trust that you’re good. I don’t trust that you have my best interests. I don’t trust that you’re going to provide for me. I don’t trust that you’re good enough. I don’t trust that you’ll be enough for me. So I have to take it and I have to worry about it.”
You have to get to the point where you’re not pretending that’s not in there. It’s of no help for anyone to pretend you trust God. You need to say it. You need to let the Holy Spirit break you in your confession of it. Then we can deal with fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety are never going to lose their power over you until you can be honest about what drives them, namely that you don’t trust that God is good.
That should open up a whole other can of issues. Why don’t you trust him? I’m guessing something marked you in your past. I’m guessing you’ve seen some things that make you nervous. I’m guessing you’re owning some things you ultimately don’t own. You’ve valued some things beyond what they should be valued. Not that they aren’t important; they’re just not of utmost importance.
Until you can get to the place where you go, “I don’t trust you, God. I don’t think you’re good. I don’t think that, ultimately, you’re going to be for my good,” we can’t move past into letting the Holy Spirit accomplish what he accomplishes when we’re finally honest about who we actually are. Jesus says, “Today has enough trouble of its own.” So let’s deal with it today. Let’s hand it over to the Lord and say, “Help me. I’m fearful here.”
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
And I don’t thing there’s nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus walks with me… )
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long
Because some Sundays we need the brutal honesty, instead of the mindless worship songs.
Most people I have met know what sin is. They don’t need Christians to point it out for them. They need Christians to demonstrate why repentance is better.
Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say.
I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.
- Me: I messed up.. again.
- God: Come to Me.
- Me: I'm worthless.
- God: Come to Me.
- Me: God couldnt possibly love me after what I've done.
- God: Come to Me.
Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you … remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business … even your own life is not your business. It also is God’s business. Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life-transforming thought … unclench the fists of your spirit and take it easy … What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort … than being able from time to time to stop that chatter.
When Jesus said “Love your enemies,” maybe He even meant those parts of ourselves with which we’re not yet at peace.
Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.
BRILLIANT in the BASICS
As I was preparing to teach my Sunday School Lessons this morning, I came across a wonderful keynote address by my friend Julie Beck. The full article is deeply moving, but one section in particular resonated with me. She was speaking to instructors who work with young adults (college age) in religious education and was essentially encouraging them to ‘walk the talk.’ I saw, however, applications for my young family and for those of us who are trying to make steps towards healthy living/fitness.
Faith. Family. Fitness. If you share my platform, consider trying to become “Brilliant in the Basics.” Below is my ‘ah-ha’ moment and Julie’s original quote.
Live so that you’re brilliant in the basics, so that you’re intentional [in a few small things]. Think in terms of precision, not perfection. Perfection is nearly impossible, precision is a committment that you can make. If you have your goals and you’re precise in how you go about, you will make progress. Then you will be able to encourage, inspire, and serve the people you love.
"Live in your home so that you’re brilliant in the basics, so that you’re intentional about your roles and responsibilities in the family. You think in terms of precision, not perfection. (Perfection is difficult to obtain in this life, but live your family life with precision.) If you have your goals and you’re precise in how you go about them in your homes, your students will learn from you. They learn that you pray, you study the scriptures together, you have family home evening together, you make a priority of mealtimes and teach your family during those times. You are constantly teaching your families the same things that you’re teaching your students. You speak respectfully of your marriage partners. Then from your example the rising generation will gain great hope and will understand—not just from the words you teach, but from the way you feel and emanate the spirit of family."
When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means…My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.