Do Not Be Anxious
Matthew 6:25-32 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? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you, by being anxious, can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But 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.
Do you understand what this means? It means a Christian’s peace is meant to be a real peace that is felt spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. This is the peace that we don’t have to put together up ourselves. Now, I understand that there are cases when anxiety is, in fact, a chemical, physiological issue that medicine will help to heal. But we can see as Christians we have a THEREFORE attached to the problem of anxiety.
Therefore, why can we have peace? It’s the truth that our God is our loving heavenly Father. Jesus tells us about the Father who sees, hears, knows, cares, and supplies. 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxieties upon him for—here’s the reason—he cares for you. This is the truth in our life—the Sovereign Lord cares about us.
The problem that Jesus points out in Matthew 6:25 is that we’re overly focused on our immediate needs, and we’re asking what if: What if I don’t get …? What if this happens …? What if my needs …? What does Jesus do? He says, Look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.” Who feeds them? Who dresses them? God is managing the entire bird world, and God is in control of the lily fashion industry.
Can you imagine a father who has a bunch of birds for pets? And these birds don’t work; they don’t toil; they’re not stressed out. And yet they’re fed every day. How irrational would that father have to care more for his birds in the cage than for his children in the house? And this same Father has a garden of flowers. How mad would Father have to care more about his flowers than his very own children? And therefore, Jesus says, are you not of more value than they are? And the answer is …Of course, we are!
Matthew 6:32 The Gentiles – which was short in their day for the people who don’t know God—they’re the ones seeking after all these things: Health, wealth, and material possessions—the material things of life. That’s all they want, and that’s all they talk about. And that’s why they’re anxious about it.
Our anxieties reveal our priorities. We get anxious about the things we put our hope in. That’s why earlier in this chapter, Jesus says where your treasure is, your heart will be also. In other words, what you’re hoping in, what you’re investing in, that’s what’s going to have a hold on your heart.
Do you want to be anxious about something? Be anxious about this. Do you want to seek something? Seek this! Seek first the kingdom of God. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Invest in eternal things. Please don’t put your ultimate hope in this life; put it in the next life. But how do we do that? Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves, go the extra mile, turn the other cheek, and give Him our hurt and pain.
So, seeking first the kingdom of God involves two main things: remembering the hope of heaven and radically demonstrating the love of Christ in the here and now.
Blessings and Peace,