Who would have thought a seemingly benign conjunction could bring as much peace and clarity as this one does when spoken by our Savior? Three times in our passage from this week, Jesus tells us not to be anxious. “But why?” I imagine Jesus knew we would ask that, so He gave us the answer… three times.
Pause for a moment and consider what He says in these passages:
Matthew 6:24-25: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Or this …
Matthew 6:30-32: “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
And in the very next verses …
Matthew 6:33-34: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’”
Here we see the same principle three different ways, and in each one those passages from this very short section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we get the same confirmation: Jesus Christ knows what we’re anxious about, and He has gone before us to make sure His care and assurance are in place before we get there.
Worry, itself, is not abnormal; we all experience it. I know I do. And like Pastor Josh mentioned in his message on Sunday, one of my frequent worries also has to do with my kids. I love all four of them so deeply. And as a parent, I want to control their futures by somehow removing trouble from their lives. But this just isn’t possible. Our broken world won’t allow for that. And interestingly enough, God, our perfect parent, doesn’t even do that. He walks with us through the trouble and gives us the assurance that “in the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
When the world brings trouble and anxiety, we can look to the One who has gone before us and conquered sin, death, and yes, even anxiety. God’s Word and the revelation it provides serves as an ancient and flaming torch that lights our path. And as members of God’s cherished church, we also have one another—both in the good times and in the bad.
We can see this, as we read near the end of Paul’s life in one of his final letters, while in prison for his faith in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:14-20):
“Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Therefore my friends, as Jesus Christ promises us in the Sermon on the Mount, don’t be anxious. For though you might be experiencing anxiety today for a wide variety of reasons, you’re not alone. There is help available to us all, and it begins and ends with Jesus.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF …
- How are you doing today? And are you in need of any help or support for your anxiety?
- How are you coming alongside your brothers and sisters to share your burdens together in a healthy way?
- Do you understand who God is, and what Jesus Christ says He offers us?
- In all honesty, where is your hope anchored (politics, family, money, God)?
READ MORE …
“Consider the Sparrows” blog post after last week’s sermon by Pastor Mike: https://www.harvestworld.com/consider-the-birds/.