Have you ever wondered why we worry about things? Ever wondered about how to deal with worries? The Gospel this week (Matthew 6.25-33) calls us to consider some things, not the least of which is to consider where our focus is. I say this because I know that where our focus is, there is our faith and strength. And if, as believers, we are not focused on Jesus, does that not lead to fear and frustration because we lack power and courage?
We need to do more than “just believe”. We need to stop and consider that Jesus knows what our needs before we even ask and our simple ignorance in asking. We need to ask, to seek him and to knock on the door until we get not because Jesus acts like a certain jolly old elf but because we need to know what it is that we need. So that when we receive it we are willing to do more that just hold on and treat what we have been given as a personal possession. We are called in this way to seek first the kingdom of God and all that comes with it, starting with righteousness. Keep in mind that the Father calls us into a deeper and deeper relationship with him – that he wants, desires for us to come closer to him so that he can give us all that we need to do what he needs us to do so that others can come into that same kind of righteous relationship with both God and with us.
God’s mercy through us as the Church retrieves us and others from trouble. God grace strives to make us not just holy but whole. Faith makes us ready for Jesus to come again and for what is next – life that is abundant and irrepressible. We come to congregate on this morning to give thanks for all that God has given us. Giving thanks to God keeps us from making idols out of what we have in our lives and us from becoming self idolatrous because we believe that everything depends on us… it does not. Thanksgiving grows because we are in relationship with a God whose giving knows no ending. Trusting God for what we need, is in and of itself an act of faith which is a gift God has already given and we have received. We honour God by taking this moment to praise, to glorify, to pray and to give thanks. Worship causes us to find our focus again and to return to what it is that God is calling each and all of us to.
Fears, misgivings, mistrust and unfaithfulness arise from an unwillingness to accept God at his word and to lean on what he has promised. We often refuse to learn that God is faithful to us all the time. As human beings we are willing to defer to ‘expert opinions’ because of involvements in other matters. We comply with something we know not to be right or the truth because we fear ridicule and being excluded from community because of personal opinions, motives and agendas concerning Church and the Faith we hold in common.
We are dragged into the spot where we are persisting in certain things: to ask, to seek and to knock, and await God’s answer to our needs and necessities. We do so in order that we might become answers to at least a few of our own prayers.
And as a last thought, let’s consider the encouragement of Scripture, specifically Psalm 37.3-7a which says,
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!"
We need to give thanks, overcome things in the name of the Lord Jesus and focus on what we are called to. He will deal with our worries in ways that will cause us to give thanks and to rejoice.