Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Week Forty-Nine - Cares and Confidence

"Be careful for nothing" was the focus of my devotion from Springs in the Desert. (Philippians 4:6) We know it means do not be filled with care or worry.  Psalm 37:1 says something similar. "Fret not thyself because of evil-doers." How many times have we read these verses or heard them and dismissed their instruction or felt it impossible to obey?

God knows we indulge in those activities more often than we care to admit. Why else would He take time to warn us against them if it were not that He knew allowing them to overtake us would be detrimental to faith, peace, and stability?

This little poem was at the end of the devotion. I printed it off and added it to the reminders pinned up around my computer.

It is God's will that I should cast
On Him my care each day;
He also bids me not to cast
My confidence away.
But, Oh! I am so stupid, that
When taken unawares,
I cast away my confidence,
And carry all my cares.

During 2020, with all its craziness, I, too, have found myself falling beneath the cares of this world. Guilty of trying to solve problems and figure things out that were outside my realm of responsibility, and annoyed by events around me, I knew I had traded confidence for worry and fretting.

And then, the Lord reminded me of Hebrews 10:35, 36.  I knew this portion by heart but had never equated it with the sin of worry. It reads, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." 

After some sincere thought and prayer, I came away from my quiet time repentant of my sin of worry, and more equipped to discern my attitude.  Worry accomplishes nothing of eternal value. It holds no promise of relief and eats away at inner strength. But confidence - faith - is always rewarded. It holds great recompense, meaning it really pays off!

The devotion records the prayer of the soul who recognizes the same. "O Christ! I must overcome worriment, and Thou alone knowest how I have tried to do so. I have fought; I have struggled; I have wept bitter tears. And I have failed. Oh, Lord Jesus, unless Thou dost undertake for me now it is all over with me."

We must all come to this point - the point of confession and repentance for our worry and fretting, ready to turn to the Lord with renewed confidence and place our future and hope solely in His promises, which never fail.

The testimony of the one who does so is sure. "Then and there I threw myself in utter helplessness upon Christ. Somehow, where before I had been struggling, I now found myself trusting as I had never quite done before. From that time onward Jesus Christ began to give me the beauty of victory for the somber ashes of defeat."

Dear friend, if worry and the cares of this life have overtaken you, cast yourself wholly upon the Lord. Pick up the confidence afforded you in His word and go forward with spiritual poise singing,

I care not today what the morrow may bring
If shadow or sunshine or rain.
The Lord I know ruleth o'er everything,
And all of my worry is vain.

Living by faith, in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding, in His great love.
From all harm safe in His sheltering arms.
I'm living by faith and I feel no alarm.

Do those lyrics ring true to you? They can if you cast aside worry and pick up confidence!

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