Then here it is: don’t worry!
If you want to obey God’s will for your life, you need only rest in His perfect provision, without troubling yourself with the future.
Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Where do I come up with such ideas?
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? – Matthew 6:25 (NASB) (emphasis added)
And Jesus doesn’t say it only once:
Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?’”or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. – Matthew 6:31-32 (NASB) (emphasis added)
Plus, did you pick up on the little stinger in verse 32? Jesus levels the charge that when we worry we are actually acting like people who don’t even know God (that’s who the Gentiles are), much less know God’s will.
The Source of Our Worry
What’s that you say? That sounds nice and all, but how are you supposed to just stop worrying?
Well for starters, begin with conjuring up great shame over the fact that you do worry so much.
Feel bad about it! And brood over it.
I’m kidding! Don’t do that!
Instead, recognize the source of your worry.
Oftentimes we think the source of our worry is totally outside our control.
Like say, the existence of a virus that can attack your lungs and kill you. Or consider the NONexistence of your income should your business be shut down due to the threat of a virus like that.
What’s not to worry about, right?
Well, for one thing, the goodness, the wisdom, and the sovereignty of God.
OK, so that’s three things. But this is Jesus’ appeal as to why we should trust His heavenly Father (and ours), and it’s found in the verses that lie between the two passages we referenced above:
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! – Matthew 6:26-30 (NASB)
I urge you to click the hyperlink above and read the entire scripture in context, again and again, because these are the words of Jesus, the Living Word, who offers us His peace!
But why is this perspective so foreign to us?
Again this gets to the source of our worry, which I suggest is never external, but always internal.
Why We Worry
We worry, because we don’t trust God.
It’s as simple as that.
Yes bad things can happen to us, but that’s no reason to worry.
Bad things have happened to us. And we lived through them all. Otherwise I couldn’t be typing these words, and you couldn’t be reading them.
In fact, the worst thing that has ever taken place in my life so far, was something I never saw coming. Indeed, had you warned me about it ahead of time, I wouldn’t have believed you. It was as unexpected as this current pandemic. But…
Even when we can see the bad thing coming ahead of time, does worrying ever make it any better?
Preparation can make hard times easier to bear, but not worry. As Jesus said, “Who of you by being worried can add a single our to his life?”
Simple answer: not me. In fact, I have lost hours of my life – all totaled probably months of my life – to worry.
That said, if we truly trust God we know He works all things together for good.
But what is that “good” which God is working everything toward? That we’ll never get sick? That we’ll never lose our job? That we’ll be able to eat in restaurants again?
That good, according to Romans 8, is that we be conform to the image of Christ. That we become like Jesus. And in the end we know any trial, difficulty, or suffering which accomplishes that, can’t be all that bad after all. However…
Oftentimes the good we want is not being conformed to the image of Christ, but being conformed to the image of successful, or comfortable, or influential.
So when dangers or conflict or even mere interruptions arise we run to worry and fear and anger.
And if this is so, we see that the cause of our worry is not bad things occurring outside our control, but bad motives living inside our heart.
And how do we change that?
Only Jesus, my dear friend. Only Jesus.
That’s why He came down here to show us how to live a life free of worry, even though He experienced the most intense emotions:
- Grief (after the death of Lazarus)
- Anger (over the money-changers in the temple)
- Betrayal (on behalf of Judas, and Peter, and the rest of the disciples)
- Anguish (in the garden before His own impending death)
- Despair (when the Father turned His face away from Him as He became sin for us)
The God of the universe can change our heart, so we can be more like Jesus, whether that entails worldly success, comfort, influence, or none of the above.
However, not only is our worry caused by holding onto wrong desires, but looking to the wrong provider. But we’ll talk about that next week as we continue our series on knowing God’s will.
Let us know if this series is addressing your particular questions and concerns in the comment section below. And for more guidance inhow to hear from a God who never texts, check out this LoveEd episode from our series featuring the 3 Key Life Disciplines for Relational Success on our FMUniversity YouTube channel.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!