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Minister’s Message: Do not worry … that’s easy for you to say!

What options do you run to for refuge?

By Frank Alioto

What is there not to worry about as economic woes pile high; violence abounds in the streets, at schools and in homes; and people are suffering from sickness, addictions and an unrelenting global pandemic?

If you are not currently experiencing some pain, many of us face the impending doom that something bad is going to occur and unfortunately many of us believe it is likely going to happen to me. The landscape of our world does not look like it is changing for the better and whether you are young or old it seems like more trouble still looms on the horizon.

What options do you run to for refuge? Some of us go to our strengths, resources or even distractions to get us by, but what can really bring us resolve when getting through life can be such a struggle?

Jesus said, “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? (Matthew 6:25).

Some of us may be tempted to rebuff this declaration and say to Jesus, “That’s easy for you to say!”

Jesus can encourage us with this admonishment because he came to earth, entered human suffering as God encapsulated in the flesh, and endured some of the similar troubles, struggles and sufferings we face. He said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33).

Jesus brings humanity the hope that as we seek him, God will provide what we need. Just like he takes care of the birds of the air, the flowers and the grass of the fields, Jesus promises to take care of us. We can bring all our worries, troubles and sufferings to Jesus as he can identify with us and promises to walk with us through the valleys and mountaintops.

Putting faith in Jesus is not seeking a crutch or even a “feel-good experience,” but it is a mental assent and heart surrender to trust in a God who chose to enter the fray of humanity and bring us hope in the midst of the brokenness around him and us. We can choose to let things push us away from God or allow even pressing hard times to bring us closer to God.

Jesus’ mission on earth was to bring people back into relationship with God, which is why he died on the cross for the things that separated us from God and conquered the grave by rising from the dead.

God has invited people to respond to His love and in so doing created a renewed relationship with him and a way for people to live with purpose, meaning and hope. It is your choice to follow God and accept this peace that will transform your eternity and give you hope in whatever you are facing.

Jesus gives us this promise when we can be consumed with worry: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

Will you let Jesus live this out in your life?

Frank Alioto is the pastor of Roots Family Church in Soldotna (907-252-0036) and serves as a chaplain in our community.

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