South Students Devotional 1
What About Tomorrow?
How do we think about the future when the future is so uncertain (more than usual)? That is a question that has been on my mind a lot this past week. It seems as though God hit the pause button on our world and our lives, even though the days still go on. We still have work, school, other responsibilities. So many things have been put on hold, or cancelled though. Vacations. Visiting friends. Graduation. Prom. Sports seasons. These are just a few. We don’t know how long this “new normal” of quarantine-ing, staying at home, social distancing, will last. Weeks? Months? What will our summer look like? I’m sure you’ve been asking a lot of these questions, and probably so many more. So where does that leave us?
Several times in Scripture we are told to not worry or be anxious. Matthew 6 and Philippians 4 are some of the main passages that teach that. But let’s be real, that is so hard to do. Especially in our world today where so many people struggle with anxiety, and worry plagues their minds on a daily basis. How does God expect us to not worry? It’s probably because he knows it won’t do us any good. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). What’s the point of worrying? Jesus talks about this in the middle of his Sermon on the Mount. He says not to worry about your life, what you’ll eat or drink, your body, what you’ll wear. He uses birds as an example to show how he provides for all of their needs, yet we are so much more valuable to him than they are. Verse 34 is one of my favorites, and one I have to remind myself of on a regular basis. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
In this season of some much uncertainty, we are almost forced into not worrying about the future and not planning for what’s to come, because we really don’t know what the coming weeks and months will look like. In the midst of all this uncertainty, God has been teaching me to take life one day at a time. That is something I have always struggled with. I love planning. Sometimes as I lay in my bed, trying to fall asleep, I think through my schedule for the next day, or even the next week. I love knowing what’s coming and what to expect, even though it doesn’t always go exactly according to my plan. However, I still find some comfort in my plans; really I’m finding comfort in having control. In reality though, I’m not in control. God is. Even now, in the midst of all this craziness, God is in control.
So, in this time where we can’t plan for the future, at least the next few months, let’s try to take life one day at a time. Don’t worry about tomorrow, next week, next month. Just focus on today. Trust God with your future, with your tomorrows. He is in control and he has a plan, even when we can’t see it, even when we don’t understand what he is doing. He is still good and he is still in control. So today, bring that worry and anxiety you may be feeling to God and replace it with peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says that when we bring those things to him with prayer, petition, and thanksgiving, that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. Let’s replace that worry with peace today.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
God, in a world where life is so uncertain, help me to trust you. When I don’t know what will come tomorrow, remind me to focus on today. When worry and anxiety begin to creep in, fill my mind with peace instead. When I feel like I lack control, remind me that you are in control. God, help me to take life one day at a time. You are good. You are in control. You have a plan. Help me to rest in those truths today. Amen.
Feel free to use these questions as a guide as you journal and/or pray.
1. What things are you worrying about today?
2. Is it difficult for you to not worry or feel anxious? Why do you think that is?
3. What are some things that you can focus on today instead of worrying about tomorrow or the future?
4. Do you believe that God is good, in control, and that he has a plan? Why or why not?
Songs to listen to
These are a couple songs that I listen to when I’m feeling anxious or worried. Spend some time listening to these, reflecting on the words, and sitting with Jesus.
Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest) by Kari Jobe
P E A C E by Hillsong Young & Free