“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -Matthew 6:34 ESV
When I first stopped drinking and using other drugs, I repeatedly heard and thought about the phrase “one day at a time.” I clung to that as a strategy to survive in this new sober life. That same adjustment to attitude also worked for other things, such as quitting smoking.
Clearly, Jesus knew this attitude was essential in one’s faith, as it is discussed in more than one place in the gospels. Planning for tomorrow, whether it involves overcoming an addiction, battling illness, financial distress…whatever the issue, it is pointless. Living in today allows me to focus on what I know I have to deal with. God has never failed to provide for my needs in any given situation as He provided daily sustenance for His people in the wilderness in the form of manna (Exodus 16). It is important to note that they were instructed to take only what they could eat for that day. Again, the message is clear: we must trust God to give us what we need for each individual day. As it says in Lamentations, His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Have I learned to trust God enough to live in today?
In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. -Psalms 18:29-30 NLT
Not much more to say that these two verses from the 18th Psalm don’t clearly state. I have reached a place in my life with the potential for me to suffer serious anxiety — should I forget who the Lord of my life truly is. What a wonderful place to be at in one’s life when they get there! Do you look to the Lord for protection?
Father, please remind me always that the only true protection I have in my life does not come from man or his various inventions, but from you in your majestic and graceful glory. Amen.
As I sit here at my kitchen table drinking coffee on New Year’s morning 2023, I cannot help but be reminded of the year that has passed and the one that has begun. This year I seem to have a greater sense of hope as it begins from the ashes of a tumultous 2022 that I would love to forget much of but which is engrained in my memory. Rather than live in that particular past, I choose to look forward to what this year can bring. I am not thinking right now about material gains or even improved health (mine leaves much to be desired), but how I may better serve Christ in ministering to the needs of those around me. At the moment, I am focused on what really and truly matters.
There is a sense of freedom to be gained by leaving it all in God’s hands and finding a place within where I am confident that whatever happens in okay because God is sovereign and it is all part of His plan. Truly nothing happens that He does not allow in the first place.
Let us reflect for a moment on the well-known statement made in Lamentations: His mercies are new every morning. Just pondering that importance for a few moments can leave one awestruck. Here is Lamentations 3:23 quoted directly from the Bible:
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:23 NLT
Being renewed and becoming a new creature are explained and illustrated throughout the Bible. When we acknowledge receipt of our Savior Jesus Christ, we start to become transformed into the beings God intended us to be. Romans 12 says:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. -Romans 12:2 NLT
How quickly we change or how much progress we make in this world toward that goal are directly dependent on how much prayer, meditation and study of God’s Word we are willing to undertake. I know that the more I put into practice those things, the better my life is (regardless of my present circumstances) as I strive to become more like Him each day. Are you making such effort? This is a question I must answer each day as I walk the road with Him. Happy New Year!