I’ve got a close friend who is a chronic worrier. I asked him once if he ever noticed that most of the things he worries about never happen. He smiled and said, “Yeah, I noticed. Just goes to prove worrying works.”
The truth is worrying never accomplished a thing except ruining the present. Worry does nothing more than pull tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine while it wears away our faith, robs us of sleep, and occasionally produces an ulcer or heart attack. Of course, recognizing the harmful effects of worrying doesn’t make us stop. But the words of Jesus might.
In Matthew 6:26-33, Jesus gave us six reasons for trusting in God rather than worrying. His words make as much sense today as they did back then.
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 illustration in contemporary terms–if a father gives a child a car, won’t he also give him the keys? Of course! So as long as you have breath don’t sweat the small stuff like food and clothing.
Second, the God who provides for the birds will provide for us. After all, we are of greater value than any bird (v. 26). To help you remember this, the next time you see a bird–let its presence remind you of how much God loves you and promises 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.
Fourth, worry ignores the faithfulness of God (vv. 28-30). The same God who so wonderfully clothes the flowers of the field is responsible to care for us. Every blossoming flower is a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Fifth, we are God’s children (vv. 31-33). He will never treat us like orphans who need to 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.
The next time you’re under pressure, pray for the grace you need to depend on God. Remember that if you’ve obsessing on thoughts that contradict what Jesus promised, those thoughts are a lie and will trigger the release of toxic emotions that could lead to hopelessness, despair, and depression. Focus on the Lord and his promises and the toxic emotions will wash away and be replaced with his joy. Give it a try this week and sew what happens.
I don’t worry much at all. My dear wife does all of the worrying for both of us!
Thanks, I liked your post on worry. I need to be reminded of this so many times! Good thoughts! I hope God continues to bless your writings for Him!!!
Good afternoon Bill –
I saw you at the ISI event in Springfield, IL a couple of years ago. After being very moved by your authenticity and your message, I quickly became a fan of your books and teachings. At the time I was going dealing with issues of infidelity and pornograghy. You were instrumental in my recovery and I stood nearby to speak with you during a break, but chickened out. Things were too fresh then. Anyway, Thank you for your work!
Worry is an interesting topic for me. I am a very even-keeled person and very laid-back. I didn’t think I worried about much until my wife pointed out that I worry about money and debt. I have always been active in missions and I have a heart especially for foreign mission work. While I continue my work with raising support, education, and supplies, for missions, I know that I have used my debt as an excuse for not being more involved – or as involved as I want to be.
Now to the reason for the comment…I’ve always had a problem understanding why there are Christian people that are hungry or lack proper clothing or housing, in the context of Matthew 6:26-33 (v.28 especially). I know that His children are more important that the birds, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem so. I understand that worrying about these things won’t help, but maybe it is a very fine line between worrying about these things and either losing or obtaining food/clothes/shelter.