The start of a new year can be filled with such excitement and anticipation for all that is to come. We make plans to improve our lives or to step outside our comfort zones, so that this year can be the best one yet. However, this time of year can also be filled with post-holiday lulls or stress, and anxiety over many things the new year brings to mind.
In Mathew 6:33, Jesus states:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
I am not known for my patience. When I am passionate about something, my mind begins to run with ideas, plans, and other thoughts for the future. If I see someone in need, everything in my being begins to adjust and determine the best ways to help them. None of these things are wrong in and of themselves, but it’s the first, and most important step that I can often miss fully pursuing: seeking Him first.
Jesus says this verse above in the midst of encouraging listeners not to be anxious about their lives or meeting their individual needs (Matthew 6:25). Jesus beautifully puts things into perspective as He shares God’s faithfulness to clothe the grass of the fields, the lilies with beauty, and to provide food for the birds of the air. The Message translation says that the birds are “carelessly in the care of God” (Mathew 6:25-26).
Jesus then lovingly asks “Are you not more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26, NKJV). God cares for the lilies and the birds, how much more will He provide for His chosen people, His children!
As you look ahead to the New Year, what things come to mind that may cause worry or anxiety? The start of a new semester? Fear of failing the same resolution we had in 2017, but saw little success with? Meeting a financial need, or seeing healing for a loved one? The list is unending and varies for each person, but the solution, our starting place, is always the same: seek first.
Jesus goes on to state what may seem obvious, but is something I believe we all need to clearly hear and to be reminded of: “your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:32, NKJV). No need of ours comes as a shock to our faithful Father, in fact He sees them all before they arrive at our doorstep, and He has already prepared the means to fulfill this need for us.
Our role is not to stress over these things, but to start by seeking Jesus first, and His Kingdom. Then, we will see His faithfulness as He brings his peace, love, and provision.
“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.”
Psalm 5:11 NKJV