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Jesus on Worry



On Sunday I tried a pulpit experiment. I asked our congregation to take out their cell phones and to text me in one or two words what they were worried about. Within one minute my phone “blew up,” and I received about 50 texts from our members. Their list of worries could be categorized as follows: retirement, money, health, and family.

What we see we desire and those desires shape our hearts. Our hearts become inclined to treasures that we in turn serve. And when we have treasures to serve, it stands to reason that we will worry about how to please our treasure and we worry if our exalted treasures will be there for us in our time of need. No wonder Jesus addressed worry in the next paragraph of the Sermon on the Mount.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs” (Matthew 6:25-32, NLT).

Jesus described the futility of worry in the verses you just read. His counsel is that we can be free from worry by trusting God who already knows our needs.

Years ago I went to my dentist for my six month check up. During the check up he swabbed “cavity indicator” on my teeth. He explained that the cavity indicator would reveal tooth decay that was not visible to the naked eye. This cavity indicator is called a reagent. A reagent is a chemical compound applied to a system to determine whether or not something is present. Worry, according to Jesus, is a reagent. It indicates when I lack trust in God. When I worry, I am not just worrying about my needs, I am, how ever unintentional it may be, confessing that I do not trust God to care for me.

Jesus concludes this thought with this challenge. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:33-34, NLT).

Jesus said that its God’s job to care for me and my needs. My job is to focus on the Kingdom of God and to live righteously. Believe it or not, God cares about our lives more than we do. Whatever you are worried about today, God cares about it more than you do. Will you have enough money to retire? Will you have enough income to meet your monthly obligations? Will your marriage survive? Will you kids turn out ok? Are you going to have to face a major health issue? God cares about those things more than you do. And if you can trust him to do it, he’ll provide for your needs. Our job is to seek the Kingdom and to live righteously.

Categories : Contentment

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