Jesus tells us not to worry or be anxious about our life. Didn't Jesus know that in this day in which we live there would be almost overwhelming troubles and plenty of reasons to feel anxious?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, worry and anxious are defined as:
1 : to shake and mangle with the teeth 2 : to make anxious or 3 : to feel or express great care or anxiety : fret - worrier. Anxious is described as: uneasy in mind : worried.
That is a pretty graphic description - shaken and mangled. That is what happens when we worry. We give the enemy of our souls opportunity to and beat us up and even to "eat us alive." Does that describe you? Do you grate your teeth? I used to grit my teeth so hard when I was sleeping that I had to wear a special mouthpiece (like athletes wear) at night for protection. During the day I thought I was coping with my problems but at night my subconscious mind took over with worry. Do you feel anxious, fretful and/or uneasy in your mind? Are you a worrier?
On the evening news we hear about the latest plane crash, terrorist bombing, and nations at war or threatening war, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, monsoons, and tsunamis hitting our shores. Pretty scary stuff. Then we move to the local level where the reports are just as frightening: beatings, robberies, drive-by shootings, assaults, murders, people shooting at our children in their schoolyard, sons and daughters killing parents, parents killing children, and even children killing children. It seems that no one is safe - that there is no safe place.
It is no wonder that people are anxious and worried, finding no peace in their lives. Worrying about our health, safety, or finances is not God's plan for His children. Jesus said that He came that we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance - to the full, till it overflows. God cares about us and all the details in our lives. He has made provision for our every need if we will trust Him. He wants to be involved in the everyday decisions we make and help us with everything that concerns us. If we follow His Word we will find that His peace transcends every circumstance, keeping us stable and at rest in our heart and mind.
Jesus knew that life would hold daily temptation for us to worry, yet He tells us not to worry or be anxious about our life. He gives us a model in Matthew 6:25-33, painting a picture for us so we can understand HOW not to worry.
25 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
28 And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies in the field and learn thoroughly how they grow: they neither toil nor spin.
29 Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore, do not worry and be anxious, [take no thought (KJV)] saying, 'What are we going to have to eat?' or 'What are we going to have to drink?' or 'What are we going to have to wear?'
32 For the Gentiles [heathen] wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and all these things taken together will be given you besides. (Amplified)
Jesus tells us to stop being uneasy about our life, what we will eat, or what we're going to wear. In other words, what's going to happen in our everyday lives - whether the rent or mortgage and other bills will be paid. Jesus gave us perfect illustrations to see how this works. Have you ever heard a bird crying out to God, "Oh, please, give me some food. I'm hungry!" Or have you seen them busily forming brigade lines for storing up food in barns? How do they know where to find the food?
Science says "instinct" rules the animal kingdom but who endowed the animals with instinct? How do the birds know "instinctively" where to fly for their daily feast? Have you ever considered that God may have planned the birds morning song as a praise to Him and a wonderful reminder of His love and care for us? Each morning He causes the sun to rise for you and me and the birds to sing a cheery song? God's alarm clock to awaken us to begin a new day.
The Word says that the birds neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? If God has made such provision for every bird, how much more does He care for you and me. There is a song that says, "His eye is on the sparrow, so I know He watches over me." I believe that a little sparrow does not fall but that our Father knows. Have you considered how much more your Father cares for you and me?
And consider the lilies. God knows that the ungodly crave after and diligently seek after, strive after things. They say that its a "dog eat dog" world. Certainly, it takes money and a whole lot more to live in this world. Surely, God's own children are not to live this way - striving after possessions, climbing the corporate ladder, planning and scheming on how to make it to the top. Promotion comes from God. People who do not know and serve the Lord may find their blood pressure rising and falling with the stock market, but God's children need not be subject to those events.
We know that the stock market goes up and down in response to business trends, world events, and other factors, but also to speculation, or, rumors! Would you rather put your faith into stocks and mutual funds (potentially good things in themselves) or in God, Creator of the Universe and all that is in it, who has promised to take care of you? God knows that we have need of clothes to wear for work, the gym, church and other occasions. God is not saying that we cannot ever have new things or something is wrong with us. Remember, man looks on the outside, God looks on the heart. If we seek after God, and His way of doing things, we will find that all our needs have been met by our great provider, El Shaddai [more than enough] as He has promised. (I like to lovingly call Him my El Sha Dad.)
Jesus related God's provision for us to our earthly fathers this way:
11 "You men who are fathers-- if your boy asks for bread, do you give him a stone? If he asks for fish, do you give him a snake?
12 If he asks for an egg, do you give him a scorpion? [Of course not!] (TLB)
We know that it would be ludicrous for an earthly father to give his son a poison snake or scorpion instead of food - at least a good father. I remember as a child growing up I always loved ice cold milk. Unfortunately, in our family of five, there wasn't always enough to go around. My mother used to tell me to, "save the milk for your little brother" when I asked for more. Now, my mother and father weren't bad people. They were people with a lot of problems of their own and tried to drown their sorrows in beer and alcohol. I believe they loved me and did the best they could, but sometimes I went hungry or without all the milk I desired. I'm sure that they felt very bad about their inability to provide all my needs. But God, our heavenly Father is good and not to be compared to fragile, fallen human beings, who are subject to failure. God is love and love never fails.
I recall another time in my family life, a time when my father demonstrated his love for me at great cost. It was my twelfth birthday when my father arrived late for dinner. My mother's face turned "white as a ghost" when my father walked in with my gift - a beautiful blue English ten speed bicycle. It was my first bike. I had wanted, hoped and prayed for a bike for all of my childhood. Years later, I found out the real story. With their lifestyle of partying and drinking, they were never able to save any money for extras. My father had grown tired of waiting until "they had the money" to buy me a bicycle, so he had impetuously spent his entire paycheck to buy my bike, and my mother didn't know how they were going to put food on the table for that next week. What a wondrous gift it was.
How much more does our Father God long to give us good things? God is looking for ways to bless us! One of my favorite Scriptures shows us God's heart, and how much He really cares for us.
Therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]! (Amplified)
Can you believe it? Meditate on that Scripture until you do. The next time you are tempted to get anxious or worried recall how much God loves you, earnestly waits, longing and looking for ways to be gracious to you. Let these words get down into your spirit, boost your confidence in God, our Father and change you.
Do not worry!
Walking in God's grace and favor
Living Life One Day at a Time- "So don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time. Matt 6:34 (TLB)