Do Not Worry – Matthew 6:31-33
Matthew 6:31-33 – “So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink” or “What shall we wear”. For unbelievers chase after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Worry – be anxious, troubled, uneasy, full of fear and anxiety, to lose sleep, to agitate
Seek – look for, search for, request, take, obtain
The world is full of worry. Parents worry about their children and grandchildren. Single people worry about “finding the right one”. Married people worry if their marriage will make it. The poor worry about their next paycheck. The rich worry about their stocks and companies. Everyone worries about something, but most particularly:
Money – “I need to get more money, everyone’s trying to get my money.”
Health - “Is that a lump? What if it's cancer?”
Relationships - “What if he leaves me?” “What if she's cheating on me?”
And there are plenty of other things out there to worry about. Most people tend to think that money is the answer to everything – that it’ll buy us pleasures and happiness and stave off disaster. But it has never yet lived up to our expectations. Having more money has never eliminated worry, it only changes it. Others of us think that our relationships will fix everything – that getting married will chase away our loneliness and give us security. But try as we might, we can never truly control the actions of another. The hundreds of broken marriages have proven it also to be a false hope. Are we then doomed to a life of worry and uncertainty? By no means!
The only way to live free of worry is to learn to trust God. Anything else we put our confidence in (money, power, position, our abilities, or other people) will fail us – only God never fails (Zephaniah 3:5). If we belong to Him, if we are His children, can we doubt that He will take care of us? Will a father not provide for the child he loves (Matthew 7:9-11)? He knows better than we do what we need (Matthew 6:32). He made our bodies. He “knit (you) together in (your) mother’s womb.(Psalm 139:13)”. As long as you are here, He will give you everything you need. He has always come through for His people. David says, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread (Psalm 37:25)”.
Why You should be Worry Free
God wants us to be free from worry for many reasons:
Worry is useless - Worry does us no good. Jesus said, “Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27, Luke 12:25)”. We all know how true this is, but it doesn't seem to stop us. We worry and fret like it's helping something when all it's really doing is making us sick (physically, emotionally, mentally). For this reason at the very least, God says to us, “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:31).
Worry is doubt - God wants us to live every day fully relying on and trusting in Him, not living in doubt, fear, and despair. When we trust God by refusing to worry, we highlight God’s faithfulness, power, sovereignty, and His tender love for us. When we depend on Him, we can be certain that He will come through for us. As Scripture says, “For the eyes of the Lord go back and forth over the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fixed on Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)”.
Worry is draining and distracting – When our minds are filled with thoughts of worry, we are distracted from all the good that God is doing in us and around us. Worry, doubt, fear, and anxiety are are all emotions that drain our energy and sap our strength keeping us from being able to do what we should be doing. When we are free of worry we are able to focus our lives on the only thing that God has already told us really matters – “seek first the kingdom of God... (Matthew 6:33)” and to pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)”, that this prayer might be answered first in ourselves and then in the lives of others.
When our single passion and focus is God’s glory in us and in the world, how will He not take care of us? If all our desires are focused on Him, how will He not fulfill them (Psalm 37:4)? If His kingdom is our reason in all we do, how will He not give us everything that we need? (2 Corinthians 9:8) We know that, “God will supply all (our) needs according to His glorious riches. (Philippians 4:19)”. It’s time we lived like it.
How to Live Worry Free
Be a Tither and a Giver - This is not an option if you want God’s blessing in your life. Tithing and giving demonstrate that you trust God to take care of you. Everything in the world already belongs to Him anyway. If you need something from God, how can you say that you trust Him to answer you and meet that need if you don't trust Him with your money and to meet your financial needs? Scripture says, “... A man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:7)”, that means the good and the bad, and, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)”.Learn to give and bless others, then you will truly begin to see God's blessings in your life.
Cast Your Cares - Learn to “cast your cares on (God) because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)”. Scripture says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)”. All the things we carry everyday were never meant for our shoulders. Give all your concerns to God and leave them there. It can be so easy to pick them back up, but if we will lay them before God in prayer and trust Him to take care of them in His own time and in His own way, we have the promise that God's peace will guard our hearts and minds - then we will be free from the worry and anxiety that would otherwise plague us.
Redirect Your Thoughts – Once we have “cast our cares on God”, we leave them there by refusing to think on them, but instead we direct our thoughts to what Scripture says, “...whatever is true...noble...right...pure...lovely...admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)”.
Wait on God – Worry will drain us, but waiting, trusting, and hoping in God will give us back that strength. Scripture says, “Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength (Isaiah 40:31)”. When we put our trust in God it gets His focus and ensures His intervention. Scripture says, “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His unfailing love (Psalm 33:18).” and “the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame (Romans 10:11)”. Everywhere Scripture admonishes us to wait on God, “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice for we trust in His holy name. (Psalm 33:20-21)”, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14)”.
Rejoice/Praise – While you are waiting to God, begin to rejoice in Him and praise Him for what He's done and is doing on your behalf. Scripture says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)” and “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice... I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame... Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him... The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirits are crushed. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all...The Lord redeems His servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him. (Psalm 34:1-22)”. It's hard to worry when you are praising God and remembering His faithfulness.
No matter what may happen in our lives and what may come against us, there are a few things that we must always remember:
Everything here is Temporary – No matter how long you've dealt with something or how hard it is for you to believe that it's ever going to change remember, “what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)”. Your difficulties and circumstances cannot last forever but God's promises in His Word will. “...the Word of the Lord stands forever (1 Peter 1:25)”.
God is With Us and For Us – Scripture says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)” and “...if God is for us who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)”. God says to us just what He said to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. Don't be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)”. Nothing can separate us from Him. As Scripture says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)”. So we can say with David, “I have set the Lord always before me (focusing on Him). Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)”
God's Plans are Good and He is Faithful - We don't have to worry about the future because we know that God is in control and has promised good things for those who follow Him. He says, “For I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)” and, “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)”. Even though we go through things in this world, Jesus said, “...take heart. I have defeated the world (John 16:33)”, and Paul says to us, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)”. Therefore, never give in to worry, fear, or doubt for, “He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23)”. Indeed, His very name is “Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11)”.
Remember His promises, trust in His faithfulness, and determine to live every day for God’s glory, asking for His help by His Spirit who lives in you. Study His Word that you may know what He has said and draw near to Him in prayer. This will strengthen your faith in Him which will help you to send worry packing for good.
Point to Ponder
Do you tend to struggle with worry? What things do you worry about most? Have you committed them to God’s care? Once you have committed a worry to God’s care, reject those thoughts of worry that try to come back but instead turn your eyes to God and say, “I trust You to take care of ___.” If the opportunity arises, place yourself in a position where you must rely on Him. Remember that “God is able to do more than we can ask or imagine… (Ephesians 3:20)”.
Let’s pray, “Lord God, our maker and redeemer, we know that You watch over us and take care of us like a shepherd tends his sheep. We are so grateful that You did not abandon us on this earth to try to provide for ourselves but You have promised to clothe us (Luke 12:28) and feed us (Luke 12:24) and carry us on Your shoulders (Luke 15:5). Help us, O Lord, to trust You in everything, to live in dependence on You that You might show Your faithfulness and love. We determine right now to turn all our thoughts and all our hearts to You to trust You and to seek You. May we pursue You and Your kingdom with a single-minded purpose and passion. May You ever be the driving force of our lives. May we glory in You alone and live for You alone in the power of Your Spirit alone. Thank You for Your Word through which You have set forth many great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4), and shown us who You are. To You, our God, be all glory and honor and power and praise throughout all generations and forever. Amen!”
See these songs: I Will Trust in You, I’m Letting go / Lord, Take it all
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