In this series on “TRIUMPHING OVER ANXIETY”, so far, I have dealt with the following issues among others: the meaning of anxiety, the implication of anxiety, the root causes of anxiety and some huge problems of anxiety. [You can read more from my previous posts on Triumphing over Anxiety]
Today’s teaching is going to be centered on “DON’T BE OCCUPIED WITH THE PROBLEMS OF THIS LIFE”
Job tells us that this life is full of problems. Based on his statement, it can be inferred that there’re as many problems today as the number of people on the face of the earth [I’ll dilate upon this very shortly].
Luke penned Jesus’ assertion to this in Luke 21:34-35 [TLB]: “Watch out! Don’t let my sudden coming catch you unawares; don’t let me find you living in careless ease, carousing and drinking, and occupied with the problems of this life, like all the rest of the world.” 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth”
The world in which we’re born biologically to live is a place that is full of problems [troubles]. It’s only when a person dies physically that s/he is free from the problems of this life. So to be physically alive and wanting to be exonerated from the problems of this life is just like requesting to be dead, considering that the life we’re called to live is constantly being confronted by the problems of this life.
As stated earlier, Job tells us that “Man who is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble” [Job 14:1].
Did you hear that? Every man who is born of a woman is full of trouble. In order to understand this we’d need to read Job 14:1 from another translation of the Bible, say, The Living Bible: “How frail is man, how few his days, how full of troubles!” [TLB]
The actual sense of this scripture doesn’t imply that man is full of trouble, because God couldn’t have created something full of trouble. Genesis 1:31 tells us that: “And God saw EVERYTHING that he had made, and, behold, IT WAS VERY GOOD”.
As a matter of fact, the following scriptural references establish the biblical truth that God didn’t create something that was full of trouble. Take a very close look.
“O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works” [Psalm 104:24, 31].
“Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?” [Lamentation 3:38].
“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:” [1Timothy 4:4].
With an understanding of these truths from God’s Word, it becomes clear that what Job said in Job 14:1 actually means that man lives in days that are full of trouble. The evil isn’t in man but in his environment, not created by God but brought to man’s environment by Satan.
So, it’s apparent that we’re not created with trouble. No! God wouldn’t do that. Man is created in God’s image and likeness; that’s what God’s Word teaches us in Genesis 1:26. What this means is that man doesn’t only look like God, but man’s environment was also a reflection of God’s peace. It’s the fall of man [Adam] that created an environment for mankind that is full of trouble. [Read more on this from my post on NEW LIFE IN CHRIST: UNDERSTANDING GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS].
Speaking about what Job said in Job 14:1, Jesus said, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” [Matthew 6:34].
You see that! The trouble is in the day – the environment and not in man. As a result of Adam’s fall, the whole of humanity was born into an environment full of trouble / problems, brought about by Adam. All of this happened when Adam sold mankind out to Satan by yielding to his bidding, in spite of the fact that they contradicted the instructions he’d received from God [Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7].
After Adam’s gross disobedience God sent him out of the Garden [a secured location] – that is, God sent him to a location that he created for himself through his act of disobedience; which was completely under the influence of Satan – the world – a different system. John the Beloved tells us the following about Satan and his arrival on earth [Revelation 12:7-12]. “7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time”.
Satan came on earth with a woe – that speaks of troubles / problems. We also understand from this scripture that Satan is behind all the troubles on earth. He came on earth with woe, great anger, because he is aware that he has but a short time.
Speaking about this, Jesus also says “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:” [John 10:10]. He was actually referring to Satan as “The thief”. Here, Christ tells us about Satan’s assignment, and one of the weapons he uses is that of troubles/problems. He is the author of problems.
In spite of all this, Jesus’ admonition is straightforward: Don’t Be Occupied with the Problems of this Life [Luke 21:34-35]
He didn’t say “Don’t be occupied with your problems,” because they’re not yours, they’re Satan’s. Jesus calls them “the problems of this life”. He’s speaking of the problems of the environment called “earth” – the world. [Read: John 17:6, 9, 11, 15, 18; Psalm 91:1-16].
The idea of telling us not to be occupied with the problems of this life is Jesus’ way of saying that we shouldn’t be so concerned or worried trying to solve them because we can’t without Him [John15:7]. He doesn’t want us to give our attention to these problems of life because that is exactly what Satan wants. He has rather taught us to pay attention to His Word fully in spite of what we’re going through: “Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place – until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your heart” [2 Peter 1:19].
To pay close attention to the Word instead of being worried because of the troubles of this life means “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…” [Hebrews 12:2].
If we’re so occupied by these problems of life, one of the challenges we’d stand to face is the tendency to go to the wrong people and places for solutions. Jesus had compassion on the people not because they were confronted by the problems of this life, but because they were confused and helpless due to the fact that they didn’t know where to go to for a solution to the problems of this life that had entangled them [Matthew 9:35-36].
Speaking through Paul, Jesus tells us to “be careful for nothing…” [Philippians 4:6]. The call is clear: Don’t Be Occupied with the Problems of this Life [Luke 21:34-35]
Why Such an Admonition?
Luke 21:34-35 [TLB]
“Watch out! Don’t let my sudden coming catch you unawares; don’t let me find you living in careless ease, carousing and drinking, and occupied with the problems of this life, like all the rest of the world.”
Being occupied with the problems of this life will impede your spiritual sensitivity. It means things will be taking you unaware, which is not supposed to be because being a Christian takes you out of darkness and places you in the light of Jesus. Look at what the Bible says concerning this: “4 but ye, BRETHREN, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” [1 Thessalonians 5:4-8]
To be occupied with the problems of this life will result to careless and carouse living, a life style that will become inimical to all your efforts of ever being spiritually sensitive; and the worst thing that can happen to you is to live in the world with a life void of spiritual sensitivity.
Five Things Jesus Refers to as the Problems of Life
- The concern to fight back for what people have taken from you either deliberately or craftily [Luke 6:30]
- The concern that people won’t repay whatever they borrow from you [Luke 6:35]
- The concern for security to guarantee the supply of all your needs before responding to God’s call [Luke 9:57-60]
- The concern about what to eat [Luke 10:38-42]
- The concern about defending yourself [Luke 12:11-12; 1 Peter 3:16; Matthew 5:33-37]
Dear friend, not being occupied with the Problems of this Life as admonished by Jesus in Luke 21:34-35 will be practically impossible without the help of Jesus. What you need right now in case you’re not in a relationship with Jesus is to enter into one with Him. You can do that by simply praying the following prayer of faith:
“Dear God, according to Romans 4:25, I believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sins, and rose again to make me right with you, in order to fill me with your goodness. I also confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord. Today, I accept Jesus into my heart as my Personal Lord and Saviour.
In accordance with Romans 10:10, which say if I believe with my heart and confess with my mouth, I will be saved, I know that from now henceforth: I am born again; I am a new creation in Christ, old things are passed away, behold, all things have become new. I have the very life of God in me; I am God’s righteousness in Christ. I am lifted with Christ and together we are seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father, far, far above principalities and powers. Just as Christ is, so am I in this world, in Jesus’ Name”. Amen.
Congratulations! You’re now born again. Welcome to God’s supernatural family built on the foundation that’s Christ. I’m certain that you have been blessed by this piece. Please, don’t hesitate to leave your comment and recommend this site to someone you love and care for. You can also send me a direct mail through firstname.lastname@example.org in order to share some spiritual issues that are bothering you, bearing in mind that your spiritual welfare is my utmost concern. I love you and I’m praying for you. Remain forever blessed in Christ.
Jesus is Lord!