Worry and control
We know that God doesn’t want us to worry. He doesn’t want us to worry about our basic needs. He doesn’t want us to worry about anything. Essentially we should not fear the unknown or what we already know. “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’” Matthew 6:31
And we know that God is in control (Hebrews 1:3). He is our provider of food and other basic needs. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26 It is evident that God provides birds with the food that they need, but we can easily miss the fact that even birds have to act in order to get the food that God provides for them. God provides the food, but does not serve it on a platter to birds. Birds do not get fed if they don’t pursue their prey.
Notice that God doesn’t serve us our food either. Again, He provides the food. He gives us the strength that we need to gather and prepare our food. We shouldn’t worry about being fed, yet we still need to act in order to get the food we need. Yes, God is in control, but if we don’t gather and prepare the food, we will not be fed. Could you imagine if we approached being fed like we approach politics? We would starve, because we would be waiting on God to “provide” for us.
What it doesn’t mean to trust God
Yet sometimes that is exactly how we approach politics. We say to ourselves, God doesn’t want me to worry about it, so I’m not going to do anything about it. God is in control, so I’ll just leave politics up to Him. That is absolutely crazy! In no other aspect of life do we think like this like we do with politics. God has established government and He has given us everything we need to be the light that our government is in need of.
Not worrying and trusting in God doesn’t mean that we don’t have any responsibility to do the work that God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pray, speak, act, or care about certain aspects of life, including politics. There may be times when others will urge you to refrain from participating in politics. They may tell you that we aren’t here to solve the world’s problems. They might say don’t worry about it, because God is in control. At that moment we should be encouraged to remember that faith requires trust and action. We should act as though it is up to us and trust in God as though it is up to Him.
We should be careful not to communicate an apathetic attitude towards those sharing the goodness God has given them. In other words, when we tell others to not worry, yet we really mean that they should stop caring or doing good, we are essentially advocating for evil to overcome us by our silence. And while God is in control of the results, He does not manipulate our every thought, word, and action. We are in control of the choices we make, at least to some degree.
What it does mean to trust God
Sometimes God acts on His own and sometimes He uses us to fulfill His purposes. Either way, it isn’t more spiritual for us to ignore the problems in the world (James 1:27). It is up to us to do our best in whatever we do (Colossians 3:23) and let God produce the outcome. We cannot necessarily solve all of the problems in the world, but we can be the light in a dark world and God will provide the results.
Worry is based on fear. We should not be afraid. We should not worry. Instead we should pray, speak, and act in alignment with God’s word. God is in control of the results related to all aspects of our lives. We should remember our part in our relationship with Christ in all things, including politics. And our part is to serve, gather and prepare in every aspect of life. We are in control of our thoughts, words, and actions, and God is in control of the results.