Devotional: February 25, 2021
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Mathew 6: 34 The Message
These words of Jesus should be very helpful to us. Some people in today’s world live out their days worried about what may happen in the near or distant future. While there are some reasons to worry, negative worry can consume someone’s thoughts. Often, they are so focused on a possible negative future that they cannot enjoy the present. They become very pessimistic people. Not only is this not good for them, but it is not healthy for others. Let’s be honest: being around such negative people is very tiresome.
Instead, we are to keep our eyes focused upon what God is doing. Rather than worrying about the future, we can focus on what the Lord is doing around us. There truly are exciting, inspiring and wonderful changes going on. Lives are being changed. People are being saved. Prodigals who have been lost are being found. Hope is given to those who had no hope.
With instant information at our fingers now, it is all too easy to be distracted from looking to the Lord. From social media, political news, and even to celebrity’s opinions, the temptation is all too easy to be sidetracked from the path the Lord wants us to travel. What is the result of paying attention to all these worldly options? Joy and happiness? Very rarely!
Today, and every day, we are called upon to look to the Lord and what the Lord is doing. Read His Word. Be with His people. Spend time in prayer. Ask the Lord what he wants you to do with your life today.
This advice however, does not tell us to forget about the future. All throughout scripture, there are words of encouragement telling us to plan ahead, and to be wise. The story about the ten bridesmaids is a perfect example. Only five took enough oil to wait for the bridegroom. Thus, the other five were ill-prepared. In a similar manner, going out into the wilderness wearing shorts and a t-shirt is not a way to prepare for a hike. That is not what this scripture is referring to.
This passage speaks to people consumed by possible negative outcomes, which they have no control over anyway. They choose to give countless hours to contemplating the worst-case scenarios. This is not the same as worrying when your child drives down the driveway for the first time after getting their driver's license. As parents, we are almost hard-wired to care and hope for the best for our children, just as the Lord does for us.
Here the Lord is talking about anxiety overwhelming a life: dragging one down, consuming personal energy, and driving away other people with one’s pessimism and negativity. More often than not, all the things we worry about don’t end up happening. We discover that we have wasted time, energy and perhaps even compromised relationships by focusing on the worst possible tomorrow. The future is in the Lord’s hands. Only He is in control of it.
God keeps His promises. He will get us through today, and tomorrow, and every day in the future. Therefore, let us rejoice in the Lord, and see what He is doing today! On life’s journey, concentrate on today’s steps, because today is the only day that you and God can take them together…
God of all time,
I confess that sometimes I am a worry wart. I am anxious about what might happen in the future, rather than trusting You to provide for me, each and every day. Help me to look for You today, to see what You are doing right now, while entrusting my future in Your hands. I pray this prayer in the name of Your son, and my Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.