Of all the Christian T-shirts , the Bible Emergency Numbers is easily the most popular. You can see why. It lists 25 important Bible verses for 25 different situation you might face. Each verse can help guide you through a tough time, remind you to be faithful, or give you the lift you need to get through the day. In this post, we’ll dive into the first of those Bible emergency numbers to help you understand how that particular passage can help.
We all worry, even when we wish we wouldn’t. We worry about paying out bills, raising our children, what our friends think about us, and a host of other problems. There are as many worries as we can handle, and sometimes even more.
I think most people aren’t happy that they worry so much, especially when it’s about little problems. Worry worries at our hearts all day long. It burrows into our sleep. It shades even the most sunny day. It’s awful. Countless articles appear in magazines, blogs, and our social feeds
Why do we do it? If worry is so worrisome, if it keeps us up at nights, why wouldn’t we just get rid of it? Like most problems, it comes from sin. Sin is when we turn away from God and towards ourselves. We say, “I need to provide for myself. I have to take control of my life and my future. God helps those who help themselves, right?”
But God provides. He is the only one who can handle that job. No one else can take control of creation to cause it to provide for us. No one else has the power to move the entire economic system so each individual gets what he prescribes. When we worry, we place ourselves in the seat reserved for God.
Worry leads us into unfaithful behavior, too. When Abram and Sarai went to Egypt, Abram didn’t think that God would protect him. He figured that the locals would kill him and take Sarai as a wife. So, he asked Sarai to pretend that she was his sister. He even let the continue until the Pharaoh married her.
When Rebekah was worried that her favorite son, Jacob, wouldn’t get his father’s blessing, she convinced him to trick Isaac. Jacob dressed up like his brother Esau, and he convinced his blind father to give him the blessing of the firstborn.
Worry caused Peter to deny Jesus. Peter was in the courtyard of the high priest while Jesus was on trial. People asked him whether he was one of the disciples, and denied it three times. Why? Peter was worried that he’d get caught. The guards would grab him, and he’d get the same sentence as Jesus.
Worry can lead us to sin the same way. If we’re afraid that God won’t provide, we take it into our own hands. We worry that our kids won’t have enough positive experiences, so we take them to soccer instead of worship. We worry that our friends won’t like us, so we let peer pressure lead us into sin. We worry that our paycheck won’t stretch far enough, so we give less and less to our church.
Jesus helps us see how to deal with worry in Matthew 6:19-24. He says,
“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?”
Many people read these words as a command. “Don’t worry.” Jesus tells us to trust him, so that’s what we’re supposed to do. This approach makes Jesus’ words just one more thing to worry about. Ironic, right.
This passage, however, is a promise. Worry doesn’t make sense, Jesus says, because the Father promises to provide what you need. He is a loving father, who takes care of his children. He knows what we need, and he promises to provide.
In Matthew 7, Jesus promises something similar:
“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 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!”
Our heavenly Father promises to give us good and not evil.
Jesus is the most important piece of the Father’s promise to provide. Jesus gives us eternal provision. Jesus came down from heaven, sent by his Father, to save us from our sin. He came to save us from worry. He died on the cross, he rose from the dead, and he ascended into heaven. From there, he promises to return to give us everlasting life.
The food you eat tomorrow will go away, and you’ll be hungry again. The clothes you wear today will get holey. Eventually, they’ll fall apart. Happiness and success will fade away. Everything disappears, even family, except one thing: Jesus. His promises last forever.
Therefore, we are secure in Jesus even if we don’t have what we need in the moment. Consider what happened to Jesus, himself. The Father sent him to earth to save us, and Jesus had to experience terrible things. He felt hunger, probably more than most of us (His parents were poor after all). He got sick. His family members died. And then, his Father sent him to a brutal death by torture and the cross.
Yet, the Father promised to provide. So, he raised Jesus from the dead on Easter Sunday. Now Jesus lives forever. His body will never hurt. His stomach will never rumble. He is perfect, and the world’s problems can’t touch him anymore.
We can trust that the Father’s promises, too, even in the worst situations. The starving man who has Christ has more than the richest tech billionaires without him. The depressed woman who has Christ has more joy than Jimmy Fallon could ever muster. The abandoned child who has Christ has more family than the patriarch, Jacob. Through Jesus, the Father provides all these things.
That’s how we handle worry. We need someone to remind us that Jesus gives us more than we could possibly imagine. He gives us eternal life. The momentary problems we face now are nothing compared to the glory we will receive when Jesus returns to make our lowly bodies like his glorious body. So, when you’re worried, think on the Father’s promise to you. Trust that he will protect you like he did for Jesus.
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