Be Anxious for Nothing

Anyone been a little anxious lately? That’s really a rhetorical question. I believe that all of us in one way or another have experienced some anxious moments in the last month. So much has changed in our world. The coronavirus has left few untouched. All of us are concerned for our health or the health of loved ones. The economy has been hit hard. Businesses have needed to close their doors costing many their livelihoods. Kids are having to be educated at home. We’ve had to isolate ourselves to protect against the virus. On Thursday March 12th, Major and Minor League Baseball postponed spring training and the start of the season. The events of the last few weeks have caused many to worry and be fearful of what’s to come.

This ought not to be for the follower of Christ. A.W. Tozer once said, “A scared world needs a fearless church.” Faith over fear; worship over worry. We can do this because our God is still on His throne and His throne has never been shaken. His Word gives us encouragement and reminds us to look to Him in uncertain times.

Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Jews have a word that they use, “lolidog”, and it means “not to worry”. That’s what the Lord is saying to us here through the Apostle Paul. Jesus used the same wording in Matthew 6 when He stated, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, what you will eat, what you will drink what you should wear.” Worry or anxiousness will not change the situation.

We are instructed, actually commanded, to be anxious for nothing.

Paul encourages us to take all of our concerns to the One who knows us and loves us. Our heavenly Father delights in His children. He desires for us to bring each and every concern to Him. He is the One who has the power and wisdom to answer according to what is best for us and what will bring the most glory to His name.

I once heard a Bible teacher say, “turn your cares into prayers”. When we approach Him with our requests let’s remember to take them to Him with an attitude of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an exercise of faith. It expresses trust in the One we are approaching. In Philippians 4:7 God makes an incredible promise to us when we bring those requests to His throne. His peace, which goes above and beyond what we could imagine, will stand as a guard over our hearts and our minds.

When spring training and the season were shut down, the players and their families headed for home. How would we connect with them? Individually, yes, but we desired to see the players also connect with one another. The UPI staff began to pray and fast. We sensed this was not a time to retreat, but a time to rise up as followers of Jesus.

FDR, stated in his inaugural address of 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Our God is in control in the midst of chaos. We began to look for ways that we could advance His kingdom work during this time. God answered our prayers. Through the use of technology like Zoom and FaceTime, we are putting together small groups of players from all over the U.S. for discipleship driven Bible studies. Each of our staff have multiple small groups forming and the players are excited about growing deeper in their walks with Jesus. We have met many players we did not have contact with before and have been able to introduce them to what UPI has been called to for Jesus’ glory: to reach, teach, train, and send! In a time of isolation, players are connecting with one another on a deeper level than what they have ever experienced in the past. We are truly converting retreat into advance!

Winston Churchill once said in the midst of World War II, “Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision”. Difficulties surround each person every day. Who catches your attention more: the person who is constantly fearful and anxious or the one who is at peace? We have a tremendous opportunity to advance our Lord’s kingdom today by displaying His peace to those who are anxious. Be anxious for nothing. The King is on His throne! Be at peace!

Upcoming Schedule

- Tony plans to remain in AZ until the end of May before heading back to Delaware
- The UPI team will be hosting chapels using Zoom every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. EST and 9:30 a.m. PST
- The UPI team has multiple small groups conducting weekly discipleship with players
- The UPI team is meeting weekly for one-on-one discipleship with players
- Luke has a Turkey Hunt Retreat tentatively scheduled for April 14-19

Prayer Requests

- That our team would use this time wisely to grow in our faith
- Protection of the UPI team, both physically and spiritually
- For players to commit to meeting online for small group discipleship
- For wisdom in how to navigate these unique times that we are in and to use this time effectively for the kingdom!
- To be effective in our ministry using the technology that we have
- For Tyler as he leads his family with discernment, being faithful to what God has given to him
- For Simon and Sarai Guehring and their family as Sarai was exposed to the coronavirus as a nurse at the hospital and they are now under quarantine
- Protection over Kayla Weston Aanderud as she is on the front lines as an OB/GYN resident at a hospital in Grand Blanc, MI dealing with COVID-19 patients
- That the body of Christ will be bold in our witness and service to others bringing much glory to the name of Jesus
- PRAISE GOD for incredible connections during Spring Training with players and their wives
- PRAISE GOD for more time at home with our families
- PRAISE GOD for unity within the UPI team and board of directors
- PRAISE GOD that HE is in control and that HE is very clearly moving during this time