Ramon Arias | January 5, 2015
The New Year’s Eve party is over and life goes on. Everyone is entitled to plan and wish for a better year. However, reality tells a different story. The challenges we will have to fight and overcome in this new calendar year are monumental. We are not only continuing to carry all of last year’s unsolved problems, but also those of past decades and centuries. If we do not work to solve them, the mountain of difficulties will only continue to increase and overwhelm us. The flip side of all this adversity is that we don’t have to be overcome and swept away into the ocean of despair.
A song by Mick Jagger of the English rock band, The Rolling Stones, was released in 1965. I remember it only too well because far from giving me hope for a better world, it only confirmed the internal turmoil I and others in my generation were facing as young people, and our society in general. I am sure you remember the lyrics:I can’t get no satisfaction,
I can’t get no satisfaction,
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no
Those lyrics clearly express a sense of frustration with the life people have faced for thousands of years, and it is sad to say, this includes the majority of God’s people. Jesus’ message to the Jews of His generation was not one only intended for a New Year’s resolution, rather it was intended to be applied every day that we sojourn in this earthly life in order to arrive at full satisfaction:
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34
The trust we have in the present and for the future is subject to our faith as we keep the covenant with God and expect the loving care of Him who is in control of all things in this world. Jesus mentioned three things to His listeners: He said they could expect food, drink and clothing. There is a vast difference between our needs and our wants. We should never confuse the two.
Evil men cannot produce a good quality of life, they would like to, but the outcome is the opposite. If we trust God, then we can have confidence that He will intervene on our behalf. He never fails.
The people’s desire to obtain the basics of life is legitimate; the problem has always been how to obtain them. When Jesus stated: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” He meant this is to be a prerequisite for His blessings. If people have no clue or understanding that this is an ethical issue, then they will seek to do things the wrong way by using unjust means to obtain “all these things,” and by doing so, they forfeit their peace of mind, and then anxiety takes over.
The essential moral principle is to seek the Kingdom of God. The economy is not the means to security, it never has been and it never will be. Unprepared people are terrified by bad news, however, those who understand God’s will and His government never lose sight that it is He who has total control of history.
God is always on the side of those who keep His covenant, whether they are individuals or nations. When our faith is solid and we obey God’s economic principles human error is minimized.
Jesus was clear in directing the minds of God’s people away from economic worries, both in the present and the future. He said, “Do not be anxious.” This is not a request it is an order. Our security is not in economics, but in God. He is the owner of the universe and is totally trustworthy to do His part in fulfilling all of His promises. This is the very reason Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome saying:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Putting our faith in man and his ungodly institutions will never bring full satisfaction. Man’s way of dealing with the affairs of this world do not protect against foolishness, but only produce disaster; that is its nature. Our faith in God must be unshakable.
Our priority is to know and understand God’s character and His righteousness. The more we know Him the more we will become like Him:
“For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:45
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
As we seek Him and His righteousness, we become part of His plan and the expansion of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. For this reason we must commit ourselves day by day to grow in that knowledge and leave behind the traps of anxiety:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25
I pray Mick Jagger and all like him will end their journey and go from “no satisfaction” to find THE SATISFACTION that we have found in Christ here and now.
Let us be mindful of the unsaved and their need for salvation in Christ. Let us seek to do all we can that they might have the opportunity to accept or reject the fulfilled life He offers, if they so desire. Also, let us keep in mind that investing in making God’s Kingdom known gives the greatest satisfaction and dividends with a carryover to the next life. This is the ultimate satisfaction!