Overwhelmed

“I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold. I will never be shaken.—Psalm 62:1-2

There have been times when my life has gotten overwhelming. Does that ever happen to anyone else? Recently, things have been quite overwhelming and frustrating for me and I could see my attitude slipping, frustration oozing out, and I was just all around irritated. In the past, I have just “white-knuckled” through those times until they passed, knowing full well that they would. My problem was I was using my own strength and not always exhibiting the character of my Savior.

As I have been going through this last time of struggle, I have managed to get away for a time to pray. That still small voice kept leading me to Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you.” And of course, I am like, yeah, I know. But I didn’t know.

When I finally looked up the verse…and read the surrounding verses…that whole passage just struck me…like I had never heard it before…even though I have…several times.

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’  or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”—Matthew 6:25-34

Not that the overwhelming struggle was necessarily about food, drink, or clothing, but what a comfort to know that my God knows what I need and if I seek Him FIRST, he will provide what I need. Then the conviction came…have I been seeking Him first. Sadly, no. That’s been a tendency of mine, when things get hectic, my quiet time is one of the first things to go when it should be the only thing I cling to. And I know this…but I do not do this…until now. So, I’ll let you know what happens…my prediction is my attitude might get an adjustment!

Verse 32 is what really struck me, “For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” And I got this picture in my mind…of all these people running here and there trying to get the things they need…or want. But as a citizen of the Heavenly Kingdom, my life shouldn’t look like the world. I need to have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

“Young lions lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.”—Psalm 34:10

 

Focused

2corinthians4-18

In a world filled with turmoil and strife, it is so easy to get caught up in what is going on … terrorism … wars … ridiculous candidate choices … corrupt government … fraudulent voting systems … black lives matter … blue lives matter … and the list can go on and on and on. How depressing! How utterly helpless we could feel!

As believers, we are called to turn our focus elsewhere. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to, “Keep our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” Colossians 3:2 tells us to, “Set our minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.” So what if we did these things…no questions asked…how would our perspectives be different…how would our lives be different?

As believers, we must know and accept that Yahweh alone is in control. As a matter of fact, a lot of what is going on now in the world was warned about nearly two thousand years ago. “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) That sure sounds like the world today.

But notice, it sounds like the world today. Yahweh knows everything that is happening. Nothing takes Him by surprise, not even the two main presidential candidates! He is in control. He will put who he will put in power. He will be with us through all of the strife and turmoil and all of the conflicts and wars. But we must turn our focus to Him. We must follow His ways and His leading. We must remember that as believers in the Most High God, our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20) We must live according to the Spirit and set our minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5) We must focus on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and morally excellent. (Philippians 4:8)

If we keep our focus on Him, he promises “He will keep the mind that is dependent on Him in perfect peace, for it is trusting in Him” (Isaiah 26:3)