Therefore I tell you, do not worry . . . (Matthew 6:25)
This week I am going to present a three-part series of articles that I hope will strengthen you to go through this week without worry. Worry affects us all, which is probably why the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (the phrase was repeated more than 20 times throughout the song) sold millions of copies. The song resonated within the hearts of so many because worry messes with our lives and weighs us down, as Proverbs 12:25 warns us.
Let’s begin by clarifying the difference between worry and proper care. We are to have the proper care and concern about life and the responsibilities that go with living it. We should anticipate the negative consequences of taking a certain action or failing to respond appropriately when we see trouble ahead. But we are never to be anxious about life because we have lost sight of our sovereign God, who can be trusted in any and every circumstance we face. Proper care produces practical steps for the circumstances of life, but worry paralyzes us.
There are many ways to define worry, but the biblical bottom line is that worry is a lack of trust in God—who He is and what He has promised. Each day presents us with myriad opportunities to worry, from our health to our home life to our finances to our future. Jesus added these specifics to our verse for today: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” And what is the reason why we are not to worry? Because God can be trusted!
After telling His disciples “Do not worry,” Jesus went on to say, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33). When we worry, we are not seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness; rather, we are trapped in the momentary circumstance and our fear is telling us that God is not big enough to handle whatever it is we are going through.
So how do we keep worry from watering down our witness? We must remember and act on these words from the apostle Peter:
Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
The next time anxiety begins to grip you, remember to cast whatever it is on Jesus, because He cares for you and He can handle whatever it is you are going through. I have reminded you of these great words from Charles Spurgeon before: “God is so good and gracious that we can trust His heart even when we cannot trace His hand.” Let that truth set you free from worry. And come back on Wednesday for some more ideas on how to spend this week without worry. This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!