While living in a worldwide pandemic and under a barrage of toxic news, we’ve got a lot we could worry about. Will I get sick and die? Will a family member or friend get sick and die? Will I lose my job? Will I get my job back? Will the economy recover? Will the stock market recover? Will I lose my home? The list could go on and on.
All this got me wondering about Jesus. What would he say about all of this? Since worry is a universal problem, his advice is as good today as when he gave it.
In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave six reasons for trusting God to get us through rather than worrying about what could go wrong. Let’s read his words and then the six principles:
Matthew 6:25-33: “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.”
First, since God gave us the greater gift of life, he will also give us the lesser gift of food and clothing (v. 28). To put that in contemporary terms–if a father gives his son or daughter a car, he will also give them the keys. And since God has given us the greater gift of life, he will also give us the lesser gift of provision. So as long as you have breath, don’t sweat what you need to sustain your life. God will provide. Even in the face of Covid-19.
Second, the God who feeds the birds will also feed you. After all, you’re of greater value than a bird (v. 26). To help remember this, the next time you see a bird–let its presence remind you of God’s love and promise to meet your needs.
Third, worry doesn’t change a thing (v. 27). Like a man in a rocking chair, worry consumes energy, but gets us nowhere. And while worrying, you’re poisoning yourself with cortisol–toxins the body releases when you worry. Nothing is helped and you’re hurt.
Fourth, worry ignores the faithfulness of God (vv. 28-30). The same God who adorns the flowers of the field takes care of you. It’s spring and flowers are smiling everywhere. As you enjoy their beauty let them remind you of God’s faithfulness to care for you.
Fifth, we are God’s children (vv. 31-33). He will never treat us as orphans who must fend for themselves.
Finally, when we worry about tomorrow we miss out on today. Any problem we face can be handled, with God’s help, one day at a time. Don’t pull tomorrow’s storm clouds over today’s sunshine. Count today’s blessings and enjoy them. Even in the current situation, there is much to be thankful for.
Turn off the news and meditate on these six truths. When you focus on God’s promise to protect and provide, his goodness washes away fear and replaces it with hope and joy. Give it a try this week . . . one day at a time.
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