topics:
Hope Worry
HAVE

Matthew 6 is loaded with reassuring promises of God. The whole passage centers around not worrying. For me, worry is one of the main areas I am tempted in. I am a planner. I am not, by nature, super spontaneous.

I have planned for situations and have had the outcome be completely the opposite of my plan. I don’t like when that happens! Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a planner, but I am, and God created me to be one.

But I am slowly learning that God’s plans trump my plans every time.

They are greater and just overall better than my own.

The dawn of a new year can be filled with such hope, regret, or even with hopelessness. That hopelessness can be worse than the pain of regret. Just because the calendar begins again, doesn’t necessarily mean that the trials of the previous year suddenly disappear. Often times, the continuation of those trials can be met with the reality of unmet expectation. And hopelessness sets in.

This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we make the decision to trust God beyond what we can see. Trying to regulate all that has happened or will happen is one of the biggest sources of worry.

Regardless of what is causing my worry, God has given me some tools to combat it and trust Him with the end results.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” {Matthew 6:26-27}

We are valuable to God.

I don’t always feel valuable to people. I don’t always feel honored or loved or taken care of, especially when circumstances that I counted on have fallen apart around me or people have taken me for granted. Although those circumstances are real and valid, they are not a solid place to put my hope in. Circumstances are unreliable and inconsistent at best. There are highs and lows in life. There is an ebb and flow.

But God is stable and consistent and trustworthy and faithful through it all. He always has been and always will be. He values us more that the birds of the air, more than all creation. He loves us deeply and cares for us greatly.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” {Matthew 6:31-32}

Our needs are known by Him.

I have multiple friend- and relationship-circles. So I see a wide variety of motivations. Some people are believers and some are not. Some have strong relationships with Christ. Some do not. Some adhere closely to biblical standards. Some do not.

There is a huge difference between those who seek influence or position or wealth or notoriety. Often the goal in seeking those things is to manipulate a conclusion, outcome, or perception. I’ve come to understand how that never works. I’m learning to rest in the truth that God knows my needs intimately. He knows them better than I know them. He’s known them before they even existed.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” {Matthew 6:33}

Seek first His Kingdom. 

Everything of this world is temporary. It really is but a vapor. The things of God are eternal. When I set my gaze on Christ and cultivating closeness with Him, all else fades away. The things we focus on are the things that get our affection and attention. I always want my affection and attention to stay on the Lord. I’m sure you do as well.

When He is our goal and soul’s desire, He steps in and does a work in our lives. He sees that our hearts are pure. Then He can bring blessing, favor, and provision into our lives.

We don’t have to succumb to doubt.

We don’t have to be ruled by fear.

We just have to have confidence in the One whose name is HOPE.

What are the areas of your life that tempt or cause you to worry? What are some ways that you fight against it?

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When I set my gaze on Christ and cultivating closeness with Him, all else fades away. {Tweet This!}

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Karina,
    This is beautiful and filled with so much hope! God is “consistent, stable, trustworthy, and faithful”…Amen. I need these reminders when I begin putting my faith and hope in my planning and not His. I needed this reminder as I am working on building a foundation and ministry that serves impoverished children around the globe. Too many times I get caught up in how am I going to make this work? I need the reminder that these are God’s plans and I am merely the instrument through which He has chosen to work. Great timing for me with your post!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      Amen Bev! Keep me updated with the foundation and ministry! God is doing a mighty work through you. Praying that He continues to lay a solid foundation of His Word and promises. Listen for His voice and follow His lead. He will will do more than you could ever imagine! Blessings!

  • http://www.christanperona.com Christan Perona

    Karina, I love how you weave Scripture — weave truth — throughout your entire post. I want to pray Scripture back to God more, and your reminders are exactly what I needed to hear. My thoughts are definitely shadowed by regret. I tend to worry not for my OWN life, but for my kids’ and friends’ and relatives’ lives. It’s almost like I’m justifying worry because it is being anxious for someone else! Trusting God for me means believing that He’s got all those loved ones in the palm of His hand. Thank you.

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      Thank you Christan! I am learning to just own God’s Word and “remind” Him of His promises from long ago, that still hold true today. He honors His word. Worry is so tricky. My perspective has been changing to hold loved ones loosely, knowing that He can handle things far better than I ever could. He created them and loves them more than I do and has holy and perfect plans for them. He’s good and faithful no matter what comes.

  • Louise

    Karina, thank you. I worry I will be alone. That it isn’t God’s plan me to have a husband and children. I’m at the point thinking how do I deal with that, if that is God’s plan and I don’t relish it? Thank you for your post today.

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      Louise, I completely understand how you feel! I’m 35 and single. Most days, I’m okay. But there are those days when an overwhelming sense of loneliness creeps in. I know it’s the enemy. I have found time with the Lord and a strong community have helped immensely. I focus on now and not the future. I focus on what God is doing and through me now. I spend much of my time doing ministry and pouring into girls and women. I remind myself that when I meet the needs of others, God is faithful to meet my needs.

      My friend Meg told me a long time ago that she wanted to be so complete in Christ, whole and at peace with Him that if she never married, she’d be okay. She is still single and in her 40s. I have adopted that thought.

      Be blessed sister.

      • Louise

        Thank you Karina. This is probably what I needed to hear at the moment. Focus on the now. meet the needs of others. Your friend Meg is a wise woman. Please pass on to her that her words have helped me too. Keep writing Karina, you have a gift. Be blessed too

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Karina, I love having a plan and walking it through. But, as you shared, God’s plans always trump mine, and they are always for the best. :) I appreciate your words here today.

    I find it easiest to worry about my boys, who are growing, testing, and figuring out what they think and believe. I want them to believe in Jesus. For now, they do, but as they enter the teen years, they will have to make Him their own. This is where I have to entrust them to the Lord, pray like crazy and love them well . . . wherever their paths may take them. I’m learning to combat worry by remembering God loves them even more than I do. And, I spend time daily with the Lord, choosing to trust Him. And praying for our boys. :)

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      So good Jeanne! That’s it! You are on the right path! When we entrust our loved ones to Him, He will do far greater than we ever could.

  • Rebecca Jones

    I love what you said about not feeling valued by people, I think we all know that feeling. It’s not self centered, we all could use encouragement. That’s what I hope I can do. I know someone who was told, she was worthless, though she was a Christian, had a good job, car, sense of humor. She could laugh it off but I couldn’t, looking back, maybe she couldn’t either. Words hurt. We are all sparrows, His eye is on us, we are valued by the one who matters most.

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      Amen Rebecca!

      I grew up with family who spoke death into my spirit. It is beyond difficult to believe what Christ says about me after having hurtful words ingrained in me. But, I must! We all must! Many times, I just tell myself what I know to be true despite how I feel. When I do that, the feelings always follow. Praise God, He is the one who matters most. His opinion trumps all.

      Blessings.

  • Kristen

    Karina,
    Loved this post. Very timely and it spoke to me today. It’s hard to focus on what matters in the midst of our daily circumstances. Many times I find myself worrying about tomorrow, when I know that it will take care of itself. It’s important to remind ourselves that, no matter where we find ourselves today, that He IS bigger than our problems and through Him, we will overcome.

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      Amen Kristen!

      I love the bigness and intimacy of our God! He has the whole world and our lives in His hands. Praying you turn worry into prayer. Trust Him. He is trustworthy and faithful.

  • Mary

    My 2016 word is HOPE, so this really connected with me. God is indeed my HOPE. I am learning to focus on Him, to Listen to Him and to Obey, even when it is hard. I am also learning to give myself grace when I fail, knowing He does as well. Thanks for this post!

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      Love this Mary!

      That is a great word sister! Praying that your hope is steadfast this year no matter what comes your way. He is patient and kind with us.

      Be blessed!

  • Janice

    Karina, I so needed this, what I am struggling with concerning to worry, is when I have done something that is really unforgiveable, how can I ask God to bless me or for the consequences to my circumstances to be lightened, I feel like I can not ask for mercy

    • http://forhisnameandhisrenown.wordpress.com/ Karina Allen

      Oh Janice, I am so glad that the Lord brought you to this post! Know that God is mercy. It is part of His character. He created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. Not one of our sins comes as a surprise to Him. He understands that we are all in the process of becoming like Christ. He is patient and kind and gracious. Lean into that. He is your loving Father. He has torn the veil for you to be able to approach His throne of grace with boldness and confidence. Do that! He is waiting with you with open arms and no condemnation. When He allows consequences from our sin, it is for our good and to sanctify us. Embrace His correction. He loves you deeply! You are blessed!