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Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Comments (5)

by John MacArthur

Much of our anxiety is born out of concerns and uncertainty regarding our future. We get caught up in our plans and programs, overlooking the blessings of today and obsessing over uncontrollable details on the horizon.

Jesus said, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew6:34). In effect He was saying, “Don’t worry about the future. Even though it will have its share of problems, worrying about those problems now doesn’t accomplish anything. Just deal with them as they come, for there’s no way to solve them in advance.”

Planning and providing for tomorrow is good, but worrying about it is sin because God is the God of tomorrow just as He is the God of today. Your anxiety about the future is really doubt in the Lord’s sovereign control. Lamentations 3:23 tells us His mercies “are new every morning.” Put your confidence in the Lord’s daily grace and provision and you’ll be less prone to panic about an uncertain future.

Worry paralyzes its victim, making him or her too upset to accomplish anything else. It hijacks your focus and forces you mentally into tomorrow, occupying your mind with doubts about details you cannot control. The Lord says you have enough to deal with today. Apply today’s resources to today’s needs or you will lose today’s joy.

Lack of joy is a sin for God’s people. By worrying about tomorrow, many believers miss the victory God would give them today. That’s not fair to Him. “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24, emphasis added). God gives you the glorious gift of life today; live in the light and full joy of that day, using the resources He supplies. Don’t push yourself into the future and forfeit the day’s joy over some tomorrow that may never happen. Today is all you really have, for God permits none of us to live in tomorrow until it turns into today. Jay Adams, who has written excellent materials on counseling those who struggle with anxiety and other sins, adds this:

Tomorrow always belongs to God. . . . Whenever we try to take hold of it, we try to steal what belongs to Him. Sinners want what is not theirs to have, and thereby destroy themselves. God has given us only today. He strongly forbids us to become concerned about what might happen. . . . Worriers not only want what has been forbidden, but also fail to use what has been given to them (What Do You Do When You Worry All the Time? pamphlet [Philipsburg, NJ: P & R, 1975]).

Realize God gives you strength one day at a time. He gives you what you need, when you need it. He doesn’t encumber you with excess baggage.

Perhaps your worst fear is how you’d handle a loved one’s death. Let me assure you as a pastor who has kept watch over many Christians finding themselves in that situation, this is the attitude I most often encounter: “It is so wonderful how God has sustained me! I naturally miss my beloved, but I feel such incredible strength and confidence and a gladness in my heart that my loved one is with the Lord.” God gives us His grace in the hour we need it. If we worry about the future now, we double our pain without having the grace to deal with it.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). That means He will be doing the same thing tomorrow that He was doing yesterday. If you have any question about the future, look at the past. Did He sustain you then? He will sustain you in the future.

(Adapted from Anxious for Nothing.)


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#1  Posted by Nancy Altice  |  Tuesday, November 20, 2012at 11:27 AM

I am guilty of worrying! My greatest worry is that my 3 young adult children will die without knowing Jesus and will spend eternity in hell. Right now they reject Christianity even though they went to church regularly as children, prayed with me as children and were baptized after making a profession of faith. I don't believe that you can lose your salvation but I doubt that they ever really were saved. They followed along with making a profession of faith because this is what they were encouraged to do. I don't think they were truly convicted in their hearts of sin. How can I not worry about where they will spend eternity?

#2  Posted by Thomas Walker  |  Wednesday, November 21, 2012at 1:43 PM

Nancy,

I know how you feel and share your concern about my adult children. There must be some concern in your heart that they are not living the faith they once professed.

People backslide, nations backslide, Israel is the classic, America is the current example to us all.

We just pray for those we love to be convicted of sin, righteousness and judgment to come by the Spirit and the Word you instilled into them in their youth. That Word will not return void. You love them daily and God is pricking your heart right now not to worry but to do something that will make a difference. You call them, text them, write them, and email them to left them know your love for them and Jesus and how thankful your are for His grace and forgiveness. Try not to miss an opportunity to lift up Jesus before them and keep and positive thankful heart. Lifting Him up will draw them to Him.

Never forget God loves them even more than you. They are your mission field and don't let a day pass that they don't see His love through you. LOVE NEVER FAILS (1Cor.13)

#3  Posted by Ray Shaver  |  Wednesday, November 21, 2012at 3:20 PM

Hi Nancy, I am sometimes concerned too about my own kids. They are still at home and have excepted Christ, however I sometimes wonder if they have really made it real for themselves.

I will say this though that might help. I became a Christian at a young age and had a pretty good foundation but then had some rough young adult years where I probably didn't look much like a Christian. God got a hold of me though in my mid 20's and I have steadily grown ever since. Now I wonder if my father is a Christian. Go figure.

#4  Posted by Mae Ella Jones  |  Thursday, November 22, 2012at 8:38 AM

Thank you all for your comments. My husband and I are right there with our adult children! Your comments have really helped. knowing that we are not alone. We will keep loving and praying for them.

#5  Posted by Jesus Rodriguez  |  Wednesday, November 28, 2012at 1:27 PM

Thank you very much, John for this words of encouragement, especially right after an election that could prove devastating to the future of this nation. Your words bring to my attention more clarity as to how I need to converse with my college daughter. She, like Nancy's kids, has grown cold from the walk. and she went through her rebel years in her middle teens. Dropped off school and so on and so forth.

As a dad that loves her have managed to encourage her to finish school and continue higher education. So far so good. I think I understand sufficiently God's word so that when she inquires about why things are getting so bad, I bring to her attention the sovereignty of our GOD.

I sometimes find myself concern about what the future will bring. But I have to remain focus on who is in charge of our lives. She is in her second year of studies. I pray for her and hope she will see the light(the true light) at some point.

One thing I know, God is the giver of life(eternal). I trust that whatever he does will be for his glory and pleasure.

John, your words encourage me tremendously. Thanks