One of the titles of Jesus in the Scriptures is Counselor. We are blessed that not only is he our Savior, but he is also someone who will listen to our concerns. He appreciates what we go through in life. He knows about our struggles. He knows about our disappointments. He can relate to us for the hurts that we experience from other people.
It is noticeable in his comments to others that he says to redirect thoughts away from the negative to the positive. If we continue to concentrate on the negative, we will be digging ourselves a deeper mental hole. To dwell on bad results in further bad in our emotional life. Since we have the ability to concentrate on the negative, we also have the ability to change how we think in a better way. We can only think one thought at a time. So, why not think of the best thoughts?
In Matthew 6 Jesus discusses the matter of worrying. In verse 25 Jesus reflects how it is so easy for us to be overly concerned about our life, what we would drink, what we would wear. In verse 27 he challenges a person’s tendency to have anxiety by calling on common sense. Our Lord uses the example that since we cannot add to our height, why be anxious about that which we cannot change. He goes further to say that little faith nurtures anxiety. Repeatedly Jesus says to take no thought about matters in this world. The solution to this emotional upheaval is trusting the Heavenly Father. If we truly trust God in the smallest matters of our lives, we need not dwell on earthly concerns.
As a counselor myself, I have met many people who reach into the future for matters that have not yet happened but react as if they were today’s issues. In verse 34 Jesus says to let tomorrow’s concerns be dealt with tomorrow, not today. So many people develop issues for themselves around something that has not even happened. They make themselves impotent because there is nothing that can be done about worries for tomorrow. While dwelling on tomorrow what may or may not happen, we can lose sight of the good things in our present life. While worrying about how one would be perceived by others in the future, think how fortunate it is to have the blessing of those who love us today.
The same is true about being afraid. We could become fearful about that which is manufactured in our own minds by not trusting God. In Matthew 8: 26 Jesus rebukes his own disciples for being afraid of the storm. He draws a parallel between a lack of faith and being afraid. In our own lives faith counteracts that which we cannot control and that which we are overly concerned as possible results. Having an element of faith in our daily lives gives us the ability to face that which seems so fearful. How much we trust God in the moment counteracts fear.
When you read the Bible, notice how invested Jesus is in how we think, the emotions we experience. To deal with those unhappy times Jesus tells us to redirect our thoughts and to have faith in him. If the disciples and early Christians allowed themselves to worry or be afraid, they would be shackled by their own emotions preventing them having the ability to spread the gospel. Follow their example. Follow the counseling of Jesus. It is not just a matter of avoiding worry or not being afraid. It is a matter of trusting him by exercising our faith.