You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Our brother Paul made a great and noble statement to the Philippians. To these who, in material things, we’re almost his sole supporters he dared to say: “I have all things and abound.” Paul gave no hint of need, but took the position of a wealthy child of a wealthy Father, and he had no fears that by doing so he might discourage further supplies. It may be quite in order for an apostle to say to an unbeliever who is himself in distress: “Silver and gold have I none.” It would never do for him to say the same thing to believers ready and eager to respond to any appeal for help. It dishonors the Lord when a representative of his discloses needs that would provoke pity on the part of his hearers. If we have a living faith in God, we shall always make our boast in him.
Jesus talked to the people of His day and us about the things that worry us. I’m sure that these troubling times have brought for most of us some anxiety. As we see the effects of inflation, staples such as eggs tripled in price, fuel costs skyrocketing and spending power diminishing, we have cause for concern but as the children of God o cause to worry or to be anxious. The oppression of Rome and taxation in Jesus day has left most people struggling. Throughout time, these matters seem to consistently arise.
So Jesus, speaking to the crowds, gave us this promise:
“Therefore I tell you, stop being worried anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, not much more you? You of little faith! Therefore do not worry be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If you pay close attention, you will see that our source of peace and our source of provision rests in God and not in us or other humans. Jesus tells us that if the Father is concerned about little sparrows who in the eyes of human have little value, how much more will He care for us His children. He tells us that if God takes notice of the wild lilies of the field that are literally a nescience to the farmer and clothes them more beautiful than the wealthiest man who has lived, how much more will He provide for us. Our faith rests not in tangible things but in the Person of God and because we know of His loving care, we can trust Him to bring us through.
Both David and Paul tell us that when we trust in God as our source and supply, we have no need to fret, be anxious or beg. Instead we offer up praise and thanksgiving for what God has given us and for what He still has in store.
Paul leaves us with instructions that help us live this life:
“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].”
Dr. John Thompson