So much to worry about! What if I lose my job? What if my car breaks down? What if the doctor tells me I need surgery? Will Hillary or Trump be our next president? How many more times will we have leftovers for supper this week . . . ?
Jesus knows we tend to worry about things. In his Sermon on the Mount, he tells us why we worry and what we should do about it (see Matthew 6:25-34).
First, Jesus points out that birds don’t plant, harvest or gather into barns yet God makes sure that they eat. Aren’t we more valuable than the birds?
Jesus is not forbidding us from planning for tomorrow. He is helping us to work and be wise without worrying. After all, worry is fruitless. Jesus asks, “Who can add one hour to their life by worrying?” The answer: nobody! So why worry?
Jesus then urges his followers to consider the beauty of the wildflowers. If God adorns the grass of the field with such splendor, and the grass is here today and gone tomorrow, will he not do much more for his people?
He addresses his followers as “little-faiths.” In the old King James version it is rendered like this: “O ye of little faith.” The root of worry, Jesus says, is lack of faith in God.
So, how do we exercise faith in God so that our worries are eliminated? Jesus tells us to get our priorities straight. “Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness,” Jesus says, “and all these things will be added to you.”
As followers of Jesus, our first priority is God’s kingdom and his righteousness. God is king of all creation but many people want to reject his rule. We seek God’s kingdom by serving him as our king and encouraging others to do the same.
God’s righteousness is expressed through his commands in Scripture. We seek his righteousness by obeying him fully and teaching others to obey him.
By “all these things” Jesus means the things in life that God knows we need. We may not get all that we want, but Jesus promises that God will provide for us.
So Jesus connects the world of faith and spirituality to the daily world of food and clothes. We are tempted to trust God for ‘religious’ things and trust ourselves for daily, material ‘practical’ things.
In other words, Christians sometimes live as though God rules the church and the Devil rules all else. We follow God’s ways in church and play by the Devil’s rules in the world.
Jesus recognizes the struggle. In fact, he goes on to say that we should not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our Lord is not denying the fact that life is filled with challenges. He freely admits that any day can be a tough day. But God is King. He rules over every day. He rules over time.
God’s way, his righteousness, is the right way. All other ways are dead ends. When we walk in God’s ways we have no need to worry. When we serve the King we need not be anxious.
Let’s not allow the Enemy to replace our joy with anxiety. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. True, but Jesus has come that we might have life more abundantly!
May God’s Holy Spirit inspire and empower us to support his church and share his victory,