For the last few weeks we’ve been thinking about the relationship between worry and peace, and between faith and anxiety. We have considered our identity in Christ and the choice that is ours to trust God.
Today I want to encourage you to think about the object of your faith. Worry causes us to focus our attention upon what we can control and influence. Faith calls us to turn our attention away from ourselves and onto God. I love the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
If you have ever felt the temptation to look to yourself and not to God when facing a stressful situation, know this – you are not alone. We have an example of the challenge to focus our faith on Christ in a New Testament story found in Matthew 14:22-33.
Jesus had been teaching all day, so he sent his disciples on by boat so he could be alone and pray. As the evening progressed, Jesus left the place where he was praying and walked on the water to catch up with the disciples. As He approached the boat, the disciples became very afraid. Can you imagine? We don’t have to guess what they were thinking as we read their reaction in verse 26. They thought Jesus was a ghost! Jesus responded to them, telling them who He was and telling them not to be afraid. As the narration continues, Peter asked Jesus to command him to walk on the water. Jesus responded by inviting Peter to join Him. At first, Peter’s amazing journey started well. But as soon as Peter thought about himself and his circumstances, he started to sink.
See the principle? Jesus is the focus of our faith and the reason we do not need to worry. We are to remember who Jesus is and what He is able to do. God calls us to look to Him, to remember that He is with us, and to think about all that He can do. My friend, that’s why we don’t have to worry. The focus of our faith, Jesus Christ, has not only promised to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), but has made us part of His family.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
That’s why I have kept coming back to this amazing concept throughout this series: God is superintending your life. You don't need to worry because God is all powerful. You don’t need to be afraid because Jesus is always with you and you are a child of God. Remember that God loves His children. That’s why we can say in faith:
“You should not begin to pray for all you want until you realize that in God you have all you need." ~Augustine