Summary: With God as Father, Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit as Companion, and Heaven as Home, there's no good reason for ruminating so anxiously about problems that we miss the JOY of living the Christian life in the here and now.
FOUR GREAT SAYINGS OF JESUS IV
A Series of Devotional Sermons
Fourth Great Saying . . . “Do not be anxious for your life.” (Matthew 6:25)
A favorite Mark Twain saying of mine: “I’m an old man, and I have known many problems in my life, most of which never happened.”
We spend a lot of time worrying about things before they happen; but, often, the things we spend time worrying about either never happen or, if they do happen, the intensity is usually not as great as we thought.
Sunday night of last week I received a phone call from a doctor who was calling from Central Georgia Regional Hospital. With permission of her patient, who is a counselee of mine, the doctor was calling to ask me some questions so that she could decide as to whether or not to keep the patient for observation and evaluation.
The gist of the matter was that the patient - my counselee – had been driven by worry to the brink of self-destruction. His anxiety about what might happen to him - “if this happened” and “if that happened” - had gotten so intense that he was overcome by fear of the unknown.
He had become so fearful, and irrational in his thinking, that I had told his wife to call 911 and take him to the emergency room. From there he was sent to one of our regional psychiatric hospitals – but that experience got his attention and prompted him to beg the doctor to let him out of there.
Thus, the doctor called his counselor – me – to ask my opinion. Confidentiality forbids me from going into the details of my conversation with the medical doctor, but suffice it to say that my client was admitted to the hospital for observation, evaluation and treatment.
It is so sad to realize that so many people are so burdened by worry that too many times folks throw up their hands and give up on life.
God does not want His children to give up; He wants us to “keep on keeping on” even though we may not see anything to be gained from living.
Although Jesus said, “Do not be anxious for your life,” there are troubling times when we get sick and wisely seek medical attention . . . get concerned about financial matters and wisely seek financial advice . . . get overwhelmed by family problems and seek wise counsel . . . get our dander up over injustices in our lives and seek to right the wrong . . . get down spiritually and seek spiritual guidance.
Life is not always fair! I could tell you story after story about folks who have had a raw deal in life . . . the props knocked out from under them . . . their material possessions taken away from them . . . their reputations ruined by malicious gossip. . . their lives cut short by medical mistakes.
Life is not always easy! One of the sayings I learned as a teenager has stuck with me because I have found it to be so true; and it goes like this: “Life is hard by the yard, by the inch it’s a cinch.”
Only on rare occasions has anyone gotten anywhere in life without hard work. As I grew into manhood, I got so tired of folks in my family telling me to “get a job” that I went out and got a job. My first job as a carpenter’s helper paid me fifty cents an hour . . . the next year I made seventy-five cents an hour . . . and then my brother promoted me to the position of “rough carpenter” and paid me a dollar an hour!
That carpentry stuff was hard work - but you know what? Every Friday, when we got paid, it felt so good! Forty dollars a week! Earning my own way was not easy, but it sure was rewarding. Through the years I inched my way up the ladder of higher earnings until I was able to take care of a family.
The next lesson I learned in life was that, whereas life is not always fair nor is life a bed of roses, the most important thing in life was to make a life - not just make a living. That, too, is hard work.
Just because I gave my heart and life to the Lord did not guarantee me a good life. No Christian is guaranteed happiness . . . fulfillment . . . a life without worry. The Christian life that Jesus taught us to live comes at a price. Expenditures of time and effort are required for becoming the person Christ wants us to become. It’s something we have to work at – regardless of age or stage in life.