MAD Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
– Matthew 6:25
During uncertain times, like the one we are currently living through, our basic human fear factors kick in as a response to a potential threat to our well-being. One of the key basic elements that triggers our fear factors is control, or the lack thereof. The result is worry.
But Jesus warned His followers that there would be many uncertain times for those who would become His disciples saying, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Most of the time in this life we will be out of control, but He will not.
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:25-34), our Lord gave his strongest teaching and instructions on how to cope with the accompanying trials and doubts that will prompt us to worry. The New Testament word for worry is merimnao which means. “to care, be anxious, troubled, to take thought.” Anxiety is often a perfectly natural initial response but when dwelled upon it is unproductive at best. A careful reading of our Lord’s words leads us to several reasons for us not to worry:
First, worry is inconsistent (Matthew 6:25). “Do not worry,” is a command reminding us that God provides for his children. To set one’s heart on material possessions or worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive one’s self of the spiritual blessings of God. He has promised to supply all of our needs and He does (Philippians 4:19). During trials, it’s time to take him at His word.
Second, worry is irrational (Matthew 6:26). Those birds you hear singing every morning have little concern about their daily food because God provides for them each and every day. Using them as an illustration, Jesus addresses this question to his followers, “aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? (Matthew 6:26). That is a rhetorical question. Of course you are!
Third, worry is ineffective (Matthew 6:27). All the worry you can possibly conjure up cannot “add a single moment to your life.” It never makes your concern go away. Plus, it can never make you any taller than you are right now!
Fourth, worry is illogical (Matthew 6:28-30). It doesn’t make any sense and anxiety doesn’t make you feel better but worse! Jesus said just take a look at the beautiful colors and variety of the flowers around us. They are reminders of God’s provision for the things He creates. Those flowers didn’t have to do a thing because our Father provided the beauty for each variety of them. How much more do you think He will provide for those He “made in his own image” (Genesis 1:26). That’s you and me!
Fifth, worry is irresponsible (Matthew 6:31-32). God knows what we need before we ask Him and He has promised to provide. As Moses tells us, “God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act?” (Numbers 23:19).
Finally, as we seek Him above all else, by making Him first in our hearts by living righteous and faithful lives, He has promised to give us everything we need. So commit your life totally to Jesus. Give it all to God. Concentrate your energies to living one day at a time. There’s no purpose in worrying about today, tomorrow or the day after that for God has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) and “Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Maranatha!
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am
your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up
with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10
Alliteration taken from the sermon, “Anxiety” by Dr. David Jeremiah
To help us walk closer with God and to know Him better