Worry can really consume us sometimes, stealing our joy and challenging our faith. It can also make you physically sick. Let’s look at a portion of Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about worry.
“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are” (Matthew 6:25-26).
Jesus is saying that needless worry goes against the lessons of nature. If the natural world around us isn’t worrying, neither should the children of God. Our loving Father in heaven is watching over us and this day and its needs are in His hands. Worry spends today by borrowing trouble. The interest rate is too high to pay.
Giving our cares and worries to God helps us to live a supernatural life.
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not” (Matthew 6:27).
When we torment ourselves over things that might happen or we allow ourselves to fixate on some dreaded thing, we’re actually sabotaging our peace. Jesus is clearly saying that when we worry we add nothing to our lives, we actually lose something, something is subtracted—our peace.
Worry steals our peace by robbing us of the moment we’re living in. God’s plan is to give you peace for this minute. Worry demands a week or a month’s worth of peace for a moment, and that will never be delivered. God’s grace is always enough for right now and right now is where we’re living. Jesus has promised, “I’ll be with you… day after day after day, right up to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, MSG).
“And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!” (Matthew 6:28-30).
What if your mirror could talk and it echoed what you say in front of it, what would it say? “How do I look?” “What am I going to wear?” “I look fat!” “Why isn’t my hair curly?” “I wish my hair was straight!” “I wish I had some hair!”
If mirrors echoed what they hear us say, we might be more aware of how much energy we spend to project a physical image of ourselves, and how little time we spend dressing ourselves spiritually every day. If how you looked on the outside was directly proportional to how much time you spend with God each morning, how would you look right now?
Let’s spend more time grooming the inside, and the results are sure to show on the outside.
Paul’s words to the Colossian Christians seem especially appropriate: “It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete” (Colossians 3:7-10, MSG).
“So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs…” (Matthew 6:31-32).
You’re not on your own, you don’t have to take care of yourself, you’re not an orphan. You have a loving Father in Heaven who is going to take care of your needs. When we worry, we’re living like we’re on our own.
When you start to worry, STOP:
- Remember, you’re part of the family, the Father’s family, you’re not on your own, God has promised to care for those who are living for Him.
- Ask yourself: “How big a deal is this in the light of eternity?”
- Turn off the static. Worry is like listening to static all the time. It’s annoying and exhausting. The best way to deal with it is not to try to fine tune the station and figure out all the reasons for your anxiety, but to turn it off! Worry would love to play over all the activities of your life, turn it off by trusting Jesus’ words.
- Cast it off by getting quiet with the Lord and writing everything down that is worrying you. Then take that piece of paper and throw it away. You’re actually obeying God’s Word which says for you to cast “…the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” (1 Peter 5:7, AMP).
Now let’s put this into practice.
Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church