Fear, doubt, and worry are central to many people’s lives in the world today. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not be anxious.”
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This summer we have been discussing portions of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This passage of scripture that spans 3 chapters of the gospel of Matthew is one of the best collections of daily living instructions for the Christian.
Today we are focusing on Matthew 6:25-34. Jesus is teaching about worry and anxiety in this passage. We see a lot of worry and anxiety in the world today. The devil is using these two things to keep mankind under his control and distract us from Jesus. We are going to read the passage and then share three main things we can learn from it; trust God, focus on the present, and be thankful. Let’s read Matthew 6:25-34.
(25) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (27) Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (28) “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (29) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (30) If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (31) So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (32) For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
We can’t expect our life to turn out perfectly. And that’s exactly what Jesus was trying to tell us in Matthew 6:25-34. So let’s take a look at this passage and consider how this applies to our everyday lives.
First, Jesus is reminding us to trust in God and not be anxious. Matthew 6:25-26 says:
(25) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
He is telling us that if we put our faith in Him, He will take care of us. Even when we feel like we can’t handle all of life’s worries and pressures, we must remember that God will always provide for us.
Putting our faith and trust in God is absolutely necessary to not be anxious and to live a joy-filled life in this world. It is interesting that Jesus talks about worrying about what we are going to eat and what we are going to wear. He taught this 2000 years ago and people were still trying to dress to impress.
Sometimes our fears of the future overwhelm us. Yes, we should plan for the future and not be foolish, but we must trust the Lord to always sustain us in all of our needs. A perfect life without hardship is not part of the promise of God, but Jesus does tell us that he will never leave us nor forsake us. If he will never leave us or forsake us we can put all of our faith and trust in him and rely on him to provide all that we need for all of our days.
This leads to focusing on the present instead of being anxious.
Focus on the Present
Jesus says that we should focus on the present moment and not worry about tomorrow. Matthew 6:34 says:
(34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
This is a great reminder that we should not be anxious about the future. Worrying about the future will only lead to more stress and anxiety. Your worry and anxiety will grow and grow more and more. The devil is in control of this world. Satan wants nothing more than to steal people away from God and he uses fear, worry, and anxiety to distract people from God.
The easiest thing to worry about is what will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. There is nothing wrong with planning for the future and having a general idea of the direction you are going. It is good to make plans, set goals, and commit them to the Lord. However, we must be flexible enough to change those plans when the Lord has something else for us.
The Apostle Paul teaches us in Philippians 4:6-7:
(6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Instead of focusing on the future and worrying about it focus on living in the present and trusting that God will take care of you no matter what.
This leads to being thankful instead of worrying.
Jesus tells us to be thankful for all that we have. Jesus says in Matthew 6:28-30:
(28) “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (29) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (30) If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
When you honestly look at your life through the lens of the Bible you can see how God continues to provide all you need. We only need to be thankful to God for his provision. God created us for fellowship and to love him. He loves us so much that he gave his son, Jesus, to be sacrificed for us so we could be reconciled back to him.
God supplies all we need. Paul teaches in Philippians 4:19:
(19) And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
In order to truly appreciate what God has given us, we must be thankful for all that we have and not let anxiety consume us. Anxiety will keep from you seeing what the Lord is doing in your life. Worry will keep you from being thankful for all that God is providing for you. Fear will prevent you from living a victorious life in Jesus.
Friends, don’t be anxious. Trust in God, focus on the present, and be thankful for all that you have.
God feeds the birds of the air and he will definitely give you all you need to not only survive, but thrive. Focus on the present and do not spend too much time focusing on the future. You will miss what God is doing in your life and how he is using you in the lives of others right now. Be thankful to God for all he provides and the direction he leads you. This will help you be a shining example of God’s love, plans, and purpose for all mankind to everyone in your sphere of influence.
The devil is trying to distract you and draw you away from God with fear, worry, and anxiety. God has given you what you need to resist the devil’s schemes; trusting God, focusing on the present here and now, and being thankful to the Lord.
A life filled with faith in God through Jesus Christ is an anxiety-free life!