Jesus says to us, “… If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious …. ” (Matthew 6:30-31)
Our Father in heaven, we are so glad you are in the room this morning, for we desperately need to talk with you.
Over and over again we have heard this teaching from Jesus. However, despite memorizing these words, today we are anxious.
We have learned our catechism questions, studied our bible lessons, and taken our systematic theology courses. We are very aware that you are sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Yet still we are anxious.
We have sought to “fake it until we make it.” Regularly we have sung hymns — old and new. We have heralded the words to “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” and are learning to belt out “Ten Thousand Reasons.” We believe you are a “Good, Good Father,” and we know “What’er Our God Ordains is Right,” yet as the words proceed from our mouths, our hearts still pound with anxiety.
We are aware of how much you love us. Your Gospel and its benefits are tremendous. Yes, you loved us in eternity past through claiming us as your own. In history you loved us by coming to earth and becoming our atoning sacrifice and righteousness substitute. In life you have continued to love us with spiritual, material, emotional, and relational gifts in abundance. Yet this morning, despite your goodness, we are still anxious.
So, what’s the deal with us?
Would you grant us some insight? How are we to go through our various moral, financial, familial, relational, physical, emotional, vocational, ecclesiastical, social, and political struggles without anxiety? How are we to be content in all things? Can “Peace like a river” flood our souls?
I suppose you give us the answer to our spriitual quandary in your verse, don’t you? You say, “… If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious …. ”
It sounds like you are saying we need more faith. You appear to be highlighting our need to more fervently receive, believe, and rest in the truths we have read, learned, quoted, memorized, and sung.
Well Father, if we could take the magic pill or say the magic incantation, we would do so. We don’t want to live with little faith. We have no desire to continue living in fear and anxiety. Father, you can see inside our hearts and heads. You know it is true — we would love to trust you more than we do. We would love to have greater faith.
But we can’t help ourselves. We are too weak.
Therefore, it seems like you will have to do the work in us. You will have to come through. You will have to “increase our faith.” Would you “gift” us more faith right now? Or to utilize a different text of scripture, as we right now are walking in step with the Spirit, will you cause your Spirit to “fruit” us with a fresh and vibrant faith.
Father, here we are confessing our sin again. We repent! We have too much anxiety and too little faith. Thank you for dying for this sin.
And Father, here we are confessing our impotency. We cannot help ourselves. We are too much like Simon Peter, your friend. We are up and own in our trusting of you.
And Father, here we are confessing our hope in you. You tell us if we ask anything in accordance with your will, you are sure to answer. Well Father, this seems to be in accordance with your Word. Therefore, hear our prayers of confession, and hear our prayers of supplication, and give it to us good. Grant us God-honoring faith to glorify and enjoy you more. Grant us faith to walk in faith and not fear. Grant us faith to abound in any and every circumstance and not be anxious. And hear our final prayerful song, “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him; how I’ve proved him o’er and o’er. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, oh for grace to trust him more.”