Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36
New Testament Reading: Matthew 6
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:31-34).
Jesus reveals the subtle enemy of our faith. It’s not anything as obvious as materialism or greed, anger, lust, or hypocrisy. No, it’s much more secret, much stealthier. It stalks your peace, sneaks into your dreams, and slowly slips away with your faith. What is this insidious enemy? It is worry and anxiety!
Three times Jesus commands us in this passage to not worry (v25, 31, & 34) It is important to understand that Jesus is not promoting reckless neglect of responsibility or disregard for the future. What He is prohibiting is being obsessed to the point of distraction with things that are out of the realm of either our control or our responsibility.
Someone has said that the average person is crucifying themselves between two thieves: the regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow. It is right to plan for the future and even to save for the future, but it is a sin to worry about the future and permit tomorrow to rob today of its blessings. We may dignify worry by calling it by some other name like concern, or uneasiness, or we may spiritualize it by calling it “our cross to bear” but the results are still the same. Instead of helping us live better, worry and anxiety rob life of its contentment and joy.
Jesus gives two reasons why worry is a sin. First, those who worry model the lifestyle of the pagans. For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things (v32a). Worry is the way of life for worldly people and when we worry, we are adopting their lifestyle instead of a lifestyle of faith.
Second, those who worry presume that God forgets. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them (v32b). With our worry, we make an implied theological statement that God is either unaware of our needs or unconcerned about them.
Worry does not need to keep you up at night, tossing and turning with a stomach tied in knots. You can get relief from this disabling sinful behavior. Jesus gives us two prescriptions to get relief from the ulcer of worry and anxiety.
First, we need a good dose of the right priorities. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you (v33). This may be a hard pill to swallow, but we have to rearrange our lives and put first things first. His kingdom needs to be first—not ours. His desires need to be paramount—not ours. Both His kingdom and His righteousness are higher than any earthly needs we have. If the needs of heaven are number one, then all of our earthly needs will automatically fall into proper perspective.
Second, we need a good dose of simplicity. We need to stop living more than one day at a time. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (v34). Each day contains enough to be concerned about without overloading our mental circuits with tomorrow’s problems. Our mental and emotional natures were designed in such a way that if we don’t heed this advice, we can expect to blow a fuse and short-circuit our entire system. And what good will that do, either for us or the kingdom of God?
Are you suffering from the enemy of worry and anxiety?
Is your relationship with God riddled with the worries of the world?
Are you so consumed with making a living that you’ve neglected to make a life?
If you are wringing your hands about what tomorrow may bring, maybe it’s time you put those hands into the hands of Him who holds tomorrow. Look at the birds in the air. Look at the lilies of the field. And Relax! If He has provided so well for them, how much more will He provide for you?