Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on… Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matt. 6:25-26
How different our modern sense of security is from people who lived one hundred years ago, never mind two thousand years ago! Pensions and stocks and 401Ks, and retirement – the fail-safes of contemporary life – these were unknown and beyond the ability of believers to do anything about for most of history. Not that any of these are bad things; it is only prudent to “store up” for the future if you can do so. But in this world investments and savings can evaporate overnight (which is what has happened to many because of the Coronavirus), and pensions cannot always be relied upon (because of various forms of mishandling). California, for example, has a colossal bill for teachers pensions that it seems ill able to afford. Moreover, some people are simply not able to afford to retire. What is to be the outlook of God’s people when it comes to these kind of questions?
The Christian is called to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Although this does not mean we are not to think ahead, it does mean that we are to look to God for all things. Our Lord taught His disciples to pray “give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11), and the words of our text today are an enlargement upon that prayer. God wants us to depend upon Him. He wants us to exercise faith in His ability and willingness to look after His loved ones.
There is a bigger principle here: it has to do with God’s role as Creator and our response to Him as creatures. It is to be a daily interaction, and a daily dependence. And for most believers in history, that is just what it has been. The question is, has this changed? Is this now not what God wants us to do? Are we rather to fend for ourselves?
Again, before addressing the point head on I want to be clear that those who have been given the wherewithal to save for retirement should see it as God’s provision for them ahead of time. They have a responsibility to save. But those who do not have that opportunity; maybe because of a change in circumstances, or because they have chosen a lower paying job to be able to serve the Lord where they believe He wants them to serve, can and ought to trust in these words of Jesus. Jesus words are for always. He is our Head, our Lord and Master, our Keeper. He can be trusted. David knew this:
I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread. – Psa. 37:25
Do we find things to worry about? Are there things that Satan can use to take our eyes off of God? Yes, and finances are one of the best. We can and should tell ourselves that God will not leave us helpless and alone. He has promised to look after us. In times like these that is a very reassuring truth.