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? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 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 6:25-34
“Don’t worry about it! Stop worrying!” We’ve all heard those words. Even from Jesus. There’s plenty to worry about in our world these days. But, how do we stop worrying? How do we deal with the anxious feelings inside? How do we trust God? Jesus is very practical in his Sermon on the Mount. He talks about our private life, our public life and every day, ordinary issues closest to our heart.
Our Lord is a masterful teacher. He presents some logical reasons why we shouldn’t worry. If God plans to take care of the lesser (like birds and flowers) won’t he take care of the greater (people)? And, if God is able to take care of the big things (our very breath and length of life) won’t he take care of the little things? Preoccupying ourselves with and trusting in earthly things is unnecessary and unproductive.
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. How do we get what Jesus is saying from our head to our heart? We must study the alternatives and weigh them carefully, then make a choice. Think, then act. There are only two options: the selfish preoccupation of our own security and happiness or the pursuit of God’s reign and spread of his love. Choosing to let God rule in your heart, by confessing, believing, and humbly submitting to his Lordship is worthy of a lifetime of seeking, for your life and others. The way of Jesus must be our heart’s desire not the way of worrying.
What do you feel most anxious about? Admit those things to the Lord in a prayer of confession. Memorize what Paul wrote from the Philippian jail: “Do not be anxious about anything, 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. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:6-8
By Donna Burns