Recently Jesus spoke to me; He said, “You don’t believe.” But, I believe. I believe everything the Bible says about Jesus and I also believe everything He teaches us is good for us therefore I follow His commandments with determined focus. I could argue with anyone and defend myself as a believer. And yet, you don’t argue with Jesus. He knows inside our hearts. The truth that we hide even from ourselves is known by Him. Everything He says to us is an honourable gift to us. I realized I was honoured by His warning and so I said to Him: “I thought I believed, but if You say that I don’t believe, I want to know what You see in me that makes You say so.” He then said, “You worry for your future.”
I am not the kind of person who will defend himself by saying, “but everyone does.” Everyone has the right to choose to do wrong. I do not belong to the group called “everyone.” I am different. I follow Jesus. I am a new creation “in Christ.” I have been adopted by God as His child. Almighty God has become my Father. He owns me and has plans for me. I belong to God and this is cool!
But, yes I worry about my future. The ambiguity of future bothers me. I have concerns about my life, my family, my ministry. When I wonder about what will happen in the future, unpleasant feelings of worry and anxiety emerge in me and suck my energy. My joy is replaced with gloom; a serious-looking, sober and depressed long face appears which cannot be hidden behind a smiling façade for my eyes mirror what is in my heart.
However, merely because I worry about future, I would not see myself as an “unbeliever.” But I am not the judge, Jesus is. If Jesus says, “You don’t believe,” that settles the matter and I must change.
He taught to His disciples not to worry about the future, saying, “That’s what unbelievers are always concerned about. Your Father in heaven knows about your needs. Seek first His kingdom, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Jesus did not say, “Stop thinking;” that would be an invitation to irresponsibility. He said, “Today’s trouble is enough for today,” meaning “Go ahead and make plans how you are going to address to current day’s problems.” He invites us to take charge and make necessary decisions, actions, and adjustments to remove the troubles that today brings to our lives.
I studied Jesus and taught. But our faith must not be reduced to something to study so you can teach; it is a lifestyle and it is not what we know that makes us cool, it is when we abide in it and live it.
Why should someone be a Christian? What advantage is there for them? If I have the same anxieties and worries about future like everyone else does, what is “cool” about me?
I got my correction. Immediately I put into practice what Jesus said. I stopped wondering about future and focused strictly dealing with each day, 24 hours at a time, literally. I had a marvellous harvest. Fresh peace came down and settled into my heart.
I realized two important things about worry. The first, by worrying I could not reach to future and could not shape it. The second, worry was a wonderful tool to get me connected with today’s problems. I found this amazing. The same worry with two opposite results.
I left my future to my Father’s hands as Jesus told us in the Bible. This decision brought much peace, deep peace into my soul. I felt rescued from a danger, pulled out from a pit, and was now resting in the arms of the One who saved me.
Now, I had the energy to concentrate and deal with each day separately. I had the peace and joy of the Spirit in my heart and worry became my tool to investigate and find out what I should be doing today. And I dealt with what I had to deal with that day and stopped right there. Worry did no longer trigger anxiety in me; instead it lost its power and became my flashlight to see what is ahead for me today.
I love changing. I love being corrected by Jesus. I love it when He treats me as someone precious and tells my what difference I need to make in me. Facing Jesus I am always wrong, Jesus is always right. I celebrate with this truth. I feel safe in His peace giving arms.
I am delighted to share my failures with you, so that you may be blessed. I hope you join me and you also take this message into your heart and encounter a difference in knowing Jesus. My hugs to everyone who has read this far. I love you. May you be immersed in God’s best for you!
Murat Kuntel is the pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.