I worry about things. Big things or little things, or sometimes nothing at all. As I mentioned in a previous devotion this week, I have a plan for things. When things don’t go according to plan, I stress out, and at times let my worry and anxiety take over. In the last week or so, I have had a series of issues with my house that have really caused me to worry. First our freezer broke. Then something caused our propane tank to go from 30% full to empty very quickly. Then the heat for our house started having problems. I have been extremely anxious over all of these problems. So, when reading over Matthew 6 and trying to decide what to write about, I thought that the section I needed to learn from was the section on worrying.
So, what I am writing today is aimed at myself, and I hope you can also gain something from it.
In Matthew 6:25, Jesus tells us:
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
He then compares us to the birds, to lilies, and to grass. God takes care of all of these items, and we are so much more valuable to God than these things. Yet, we worry about these things, and try to handle them all on our own.
What good does worrying do us? Worrying makes it hard to sleep. It makes it hard to concentrate. It makes us irritable and upset. It can give us ulcers. I can’t think of one thing that worrying actually accomplishes, but I can come up with a whole list of things it hinders. Verse 27 sums this up nicely. “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” In fact, worrying can only decrease hours in our life.
I think we all know that worrying is bad, and that we should trust in God more and release our problems to him. I know it, and yet I still struggle with this frequently. So, what do we do?
Jesus sums this section up with two verses, 33 and 34:
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I often hear each of these verses talked about individually. I don’t remember ever looking at them together. However, they are together. If we seek the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, all the things we worry about will be handled in God’s perfect method as well. If we focus on God, we do not need to worry about all the other stuff.
So, I am not going to encourage you to stop worrying, because I don’t think that is the answer. I encourage you to seek the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness. Seek it fervently so that you do not have time or room in your life for worry. This ties back to Matthew 5:6, earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Hunger and thirst for righteousness….I believe this is the cure for worry.