Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs down, but a good word makes him rejoice. (Proverbs 12:25)
If there’s one thing you’ll never have to worry about, it’s running out of things to worry about! There’s plenty going on in the world (especially in your world) to make you worried, anxiety-ridden and stressed-out. But as a disciple of Messiah, you cannot respond to stressful circumstances with more anxiousness, worry and stress of your own! God has called and set you apart for something far better. Thankfully, the Scriptures teach us why we’re so stressed—and how to overcome it.
Listen first to the words of the Master Yeshua Himself, as He exhorts you:
Be not anxious for your life (what you will eat, or what you will drink) nor for your body (what you will wear). Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body more than the clothing? Look to the birds of the heaven, for they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into storehouses—yet your heavenly Father nourishes them. Are you not much more valuable than they are? (Matit’yahu 6:25-26, mjlt)
While this may be one of Yeshua’s most famous teachings, we unfortunately tend to miss the Master’s point: The first reason why you get so stressed is because you do not realize how valuable you are. Yeshua is telling you to stop being anxious for yourself by accepting your own self-worth! Why? Because if God is taking care of things that are less important and less valuable than you, then rest assured: He is taking care of you most of all.
Continuing on, the Master adds,
And who of you—being anxious—is able to add one hour to his age? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider well the lilies of the field: how do they grow? They do not labor, nor do they spin thread. Yet I say to you that not even Sh’lomoh in all his glory was wrapped around as one of these. And if God so clothes the grass of the field—which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace—will He not clothe you much more, O you of little faith? (Matit’yahu 6:27-30, mjlt)
The Master continues to drive home His earlier point; but then, as if making an off-hand remark, He calls us out. The second reason why you have such big stress is because you have such little faith. It’s not that you have no faith at all—it’s just very small. Since you have not known how to measure your self-worth, you haven’t believed that God wants to take care of you—much less more than fowl or field. Though it ought to be obvious, it appears it needs to be said: stop stressing out, and just trust God!
But believe it or not, there’s still one more key, and Keifa can counsel us in this:
Be humbled, then, under the powerful hand of God, so that He may exalt you in good time, having cast all your care on Him, because He cares for you. (1Keifa 5:6-7, mjlt)
When we are troubled and weighted down, Keifa tells us to throw it all on God. Why? Simply this: because He cares for us. So the question is, why won’t we do it? We hold on to the cares of life because, according to Keifa, there is something even stronger holding us back. The third reason why you’re so stressed is because you haven’t humbled yourself. You may feel completely and utterly broken by life, you may be crying out for relief from all your pain and struggles, but even then, it is still easy to be so full of pride that you cannot accept help—even God’s.
My friend, it is time to exchange that stress for peace. You are valuable, so have big faith, and humble yourself before God! It’s time now to get your eyes off you, and give your worries to Him—the One who really knows what you need.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything—by prayer and by asking for help, with thanksgiving—let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, that is surpassing all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Messiah Yeshua. (Philippians 4:6-7, mjlt)
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