Wednesday, May 11, 2016

No Worries!

Sometimes I let worries assault me...not much these days...but sometimes.  The Lord has brought me through many difficult times in life and I have learned from experience that He is with me always, that He can indeed carry all my burdens, and that He knows what is happening and what is going to happen and is not surprised by any of it.

Our message at church yesterday was about Elijah and the widow at Zarephath.  She was living with her young son, starving, down to her last meal.  She did not know that Elijah was on his way.  She did not know that God was fixing to reverse her circumstances.  All she knew was her present plight.

But God sent Elijah to that she could minister to him.  In her situation.  Out of her poverty.  Out of nothing.  That's how my God does things....out of nothing!  He created the heavens...out of nothing.  He created the earth ...out of nothing!   He gave life to animals...out of nothing!  He saved me from the punishment of hell...out of nothing that I ever did...only by what His Son Jesus Christ did.  Nothing  I can do can save my soul....only He does that.

Well, this widow had next to nothing.  Down to her last bit of flour and oil, she had a plan.  To make a little bit of bread and give it to her son to eat and after that they would just lay down and die....because there were "no options" in her field of vision. She could not see that God was just around the corner.

So she meets up with Elijah and, after telling him her plan, he (of all the nerve) asks her to make that piece of bread....and let him have it.

If I were her, I would be flooded with despair at this point.  I would be thinking, Even my last little plan on this earth is being thwarted!

But Elijah doesn't just ask selfishly...he asks and prefaces it with "Don't be afraid."  Then he gives the promise that the Lord God has told him.

"for this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the surface of the land.” I Kings 17

The widow placed her faith in the God of Elijah, Jehovah God, and amazingly they did not run out of flour or oil until it rained....which was many, many days later.  God provided.

When you know Jesus Christ and what He has said to you, you will not worry.

Billy Graham wrote this about where to put your worries and cares.

"Has God left us alone to cope with the trials, tribulations, and temptations of life?  I'm glad He has not!  Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has told us in specific terms just what we are to do about worry.  The Bible offers a workable formula for care and anxiety.
"What are we to do about these past, present, and future worries?  The Bible says that we are to cast them upon Him.  Our guilty past, our anxious  present, and the unknown future are all to be cast upon Christ.  All of man's burdens and anxieties are wrapped up in these three words:  past, present, and future.   For the guilt of the past, God says:  "I have redeemed thee" (Isaiah 44:2).  'I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3).
"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7)
"For the present Christ says:  "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).  If the burden bearer is with us, then why should we be crushed by our burdens?  The French translation of this phrase, "Cast all your care upon Him" is "Unload your distresses upon God."  Have you ever seen a dump truck get rid of its load?  It would be of no use if it carried its burden forever.  The driver simply pushes a button or pulls on a lever and the heavy load is discharged at the prescribed spot.

"We were never meant to be crushed under the weight of care.  We push the button of faith or pull the lever of trust, and our burden is discharged upon the shoulder of Him who said He would gladly bear it.  Cast the anxious present upon Him, for He cares for you---says the Bible.

"The worries of the future are obliterated by His promises.  "Take therefore no thought for the morrow...But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness;  and all these things shall be added unto you"  (Matthew 6:34, 33).  This promise, if we obey it, takes all the aimlessness out of life and puts purpose into it.  It brings all life into balance, and earth's hours become so joyous that they blend into the glory of eternity.  Boredom, fretfulness, and anxiety are lost in the wonder of His wonderful grace."

There is no reason to worry when you know the King of the Universe, when you belong to Him, when you have trusted in His Son Jesus Christ and are taking up your cross and following Him.

One thing stood out to me yesterday in the message preached at my church.  That this widow had no idea help of this magnitude was coming.  She was at the end of her rope.  She had no options.  She had done everything she could.  All that loomed before her was sadness and hopelessness.  Until she put her faith in the God who says to each of us, "Believe and trust and follow Me."

Her obedience to give that last bit of bread to Elijah, to trust in the promises of the Lord....that obedience led her to life!  And led her son to life! She met God that day, trusted what He said, and her circumstances were reversed...her life was changed.

Yesterday I heard the voice of God oh so clearly and vibrantly and truly in the voice of our pastor preaching His Word.  Sometimes His voice comes quiet and still....but when you really want to hear Him...there is only one place to turn...your Bible.  Thankful to have heard the voice of the Lord yesterday in His Word.