Look Up (Daily Encouragement Series)
“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? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? – Matthew 6:25-27
Yesterday I was encouraged by 3 different short messages* that all had the same theme: what do we do, where do we look, how do we respond when we face a struggle, a problem, an uncertainty? How do we address a problem that is causing us to be anxious?
Just so you know, you are anxious. And that’s ok. That Jesus has to command to “not be anxious” about the necessities of life (Matthew 6:25) shows we will be (otherwise he wouldn’t have to remind us not to be) 1 Peter 5:7 encourages us to “cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”. We can’t control the anxiousness that comes, but we can control what we do with it.
We are anxious.
For some it’s anxious about working from home and trying to make sure 3 kids are doing all they are supposed to for distance learning (that would be me).
For some it’s how are you going to pay bills since your work is getting cut off or cut back. I talked to one neighbor who sells equipment to gyms and sales literally were cut off as gyms have closed. One neighbor owns a business for golf course landscaping and had to lay off workers as courses shut down. I read an article on the real estate market coming to a screeching halt. The list is endless on implications for work.
For some it’s your health or the health of a loved one.
For some it’s working endless hours in situations that put you at risk of the coronavirus.
For some children and others as I sadly heard on a call yesterday it is being at home 24 hours a day in abusive relationships when school or work used to be the only relief.
This list could go on forever with the things that are causing and underlying anxiousness in all of us.
So what do we do with it? Do we “look in” and say “don’t be anxious, don’t be anxious, don’t be anxious” over and over? Do we “look out” and wait for someone to fix it? (we may be waiting for a while trying to get politicians to agree on something)
The Scriptures say to “look up”. Look at the birds of the air “they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER feeds them.” (v/26). Look at the flowers. “If God so clothes the grass of the field which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the over, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”. Look up.
“I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber or sleep.” (Psalm 121:1-4). Look up.
When we are anxious, we look up. We look to the nature and character of our Heavenly Father. He is in control – he doesn’t slumber or sleep. He is our Father who loves us. He is our helper who generously gives to those who come to Him. He is our keeper who provides all we need. He is compassionate and desires to take our anxieties from us.
3 ways we are seeking to help you look up:
- Our daily encouragement series – start each day looking up and reminding ourselves where our help comes from. Then go for a walk to get outside and “look up” and cast your anxieties on him.
- Our online Sunday Service – We drift towards anxiousness more easily than we drift towards trust. The sabbath is a weekly reminder of where and who we ought to look to.
- Prayer and Need Request – let us know how we can pray for you, how we can help you, and how you can contribute to help others. We are Christ’s body – we are A means he uses to bring the help he promises.
*One message was from the sermon of Dr. Tyler Smiley at Lakewood Baptist – one of our supporting churches. One was from Guy Mason from City On A Hill in Australia who is part of the Acts 29 Network with us. And the third was from Brian Lowe who is our Southeast Director for Acts 29.