Where Am I Placing My Hope?

Matthew 6:25-34
“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? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 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? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Why do we have so little faith?

I see what He does without even trying, and yet in my life, I have a hard time letting go.

Here's a list of the things that psychologists and therapists have pinpointed as some of the greatest pressures that people are facing right now.

Number one on the list that leads to anxiety and depression. Can you guess what it is?

Personal finances.

The rest are: the uncertainty of the year to come, physical health, relationship with friends and family, job security, romantic relationships, keeping your New Year's resolution, traveling (I don't know why traveling is a stress, but then I remember traveling with young kids.)

There's so much and you got Jesus saying, "Don't worry. Don't worry about those things. Don't let those things dominate your life. Don't let those things control you. I want you to be in me and focus on me."

Let me just give you two questions that I feel are really helpful for us as we look at our lives and our mental health and look at where God wants to take us. Number one is, where am I looking to find my value?

Where am I looking to find my value?

These are questions you should ask often if not daily. Where am I looking to find my value? Jesus proved your value when He hung on a cross and died for you. I just need to say that again.

Some of you wake up thinking nobody even notices you. Some of you, you may have come to church today thinking, "I bet you, nobody will even know I was there." You got this mindset that nobody even really knows you exist.

Let me tell you what. My savior hung on a cross and died and said, "Your value is spoken for already. I have determined that. I have set that apart. I believe that you are valuable in so much that I will lay down my life so that you can have the life that I have determined for you."

The second question would be, where am I placing my hope?

Where am I placing my hope?

In that list that I listed off, you realize where people place their hope? Personal finances, routines, physical health, mental health, relationships, jobs, experiences.

Those are the conversations. If we can just get past this or get to that, that's when everything will make better sense.

I'm telling you, church, there is no hope in anything but the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Everything else is details. Everything else is a part of life and to be enjoyed or walked through. I'm going to tell you if your hope or your value are found in anything but Christ, you are missing the point of this life we've been given to live.

It says this, "Don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."

I love that this portion is in here in the part of Jesus' teaching because, at some points, you feel like, "Hey, man, it's going to be okay."

Then He acknowledges, "I know it's hard." He didn't minimize the problems. He said, "You got enough problems right here right now. Don't get down there. Celebrate the little wins. Celebrate the moments."

You made a pile of mess over here. This isn't the best-case scenario. You got a struggle bus that you're carrying along. I get that, but let's celebrate the little things along the way. Let's celebrate the moments that we can have. Don't worry about tomorrow. It'll have its own worries. Today is enough for you. He didn't minimize.

Humble Yourself

Now, this is supposed to be a series based on working out what Jesus said, so we're going to flash forward to a letter that Peter wrote the church.

He says this, 1 Peter 5:6-11, "Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God. At the right time, He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares for you."

He said, "Look, I was there. On that sermon on the mountain when Jesus was explaining all this, I was there, and then I spent some time following up with Him, and He gave me a little of the detailed info, and I'm trying to keep it in front of you, guys."

He was trying to point out like, "You've got to be humble in so many ways." You got to let God and His presence and power lead. It literally is a direct message against the self-promotion culture that we live in today.

He says, "Humble yourself. Let the presence of God lead you. Give all your worries and cares to Him because He really does care."

Think of the flowers. Think of the birds. I'm clarifying for you as a church and I'm clarifying for you throughout all eternity. I need you to understand. This is what Jesus was talking about.

In the Book of Acts, there's even more teaching. As you go into Matthew and Mark and Luke and John, you see Jesus say things like this. When you go into the room, don't sit at the head of the table. Don't give yourself the best place and the best provision. Don't tell everybody how amazing you are. It would be better that you sit in an average, normal place, and somebody move you there than for you to sit at the head of the table and somebody say, "Oh, that wasn't meant for you."

See, my value is found in being known and blessed by the power of God.
I said this in the first question. Where are you finding your value? Where are you finding your hope? My value is found in being known and blessed by the power of God. I don't need 10,000 or a million followers. I just need one to know my name. I don't need to be blessed by everybody.

Satan Has No Power

Then he goes on to say this, "So stay alert." This is something I say all the time on Sundays. I quote this scripture all the time. "Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

He's walking around looking for those who can't defend themselves because they're so wrapped up in their own mind, in their own heart, and what's going on that they can't even think straight.

Where am I most vulnerable?

What causes my attention to fall off of Christ when I have said as a believer that being known and being blessed by God is everything? That's my source. That's my strength. That's my hope. Why then do I find myself drifting off of that so often?

Remember, Satan has no power over my life. I'm not just saying that for me. I'm saying that so you can write that down and read that to yourself this week. The enemy has no power. All he can do is walk around and look. That's it. He has no power. None because we are covered by the one who knows us and is blessing us every single day. Let's see what Peter follows up with this.

We All Struggle

"Stand firm against Him and be strong in your faith, and remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kinds of suffering you are."

What and where is your anger? I love that he's reminding us. Peter is reminding us that you're not alone. You're not alone in this struggle. This is something everyone is going through. In the books of wisdom, it says there is nothing new under the sun, and there is nothing which is not common to all men.

We all struggle with the same kind of things. We just do it in different times and different ways and different places.

When we consider that, we've got to stand firm and look around. Remember, I got a community that when I am not doing okay, I can reach out to, and they will encourage me and lift me up. When I am doing well, it's my time to step up. It's my time to give in.

Christ Deserves All the Glory

The Bible says, "Every day, clothe yourself in Christ." In other places, it'll say, "Put on the armor of God." He says, "Literally, let me cover you. That way, they don't see you anymore. They see me at work in you and through you because that's when you are the strongest."

Christ deserves all the glory. Here's something we ran into this week, something that I have been struggling with. This is how I'm going to close.

There's too many of us trying to do what we want to do and then give God His place. God will not take second place. He will not even take 1B. He's not going to take any place but the place of life and authority that He desires, so you and I have to be very, very careful to ask, "Where am I finding my value? Where is my hope?" I got to ask that all the time because some of us find our value when the kid hits the home run finally in the game after they struck out 423 times.

May the presence of God fill you to overflowing so that you can't contain the message of the gospel and that His name will be your source, your strength, your value, your blessing, your hope, and the resurrection and the life.
Posted in

1 Comment

Maria Fluegel - April 27th, 2023 at 5:19pm

This blessed me today. Thank you!