Three Things Jesus said not to worry about

WORRY. We are all prone to it, some of us more than others. Yet, Jesus said these challenging and encouraging words to his followers:

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? …  34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (“Matthew 6:25–30,34)

When Jesus says, “Do not worry,” he’s not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about things. When our kids were babies, I put child locks on the cupboards with all the liquid cleaners because I didn’t want them drinking bleach! Being concerned for things is okay. But worry is a step beyond being concerned. Worry is excessive concern about the things of life. It’s when we are so concerned about the challenges and problems of life that we can think of nothing else.

Thankfully, our Lord tells us that we don’t need to worry. He mentions three things specifically that we don’t need to worry about that we are typically prone to worrying about.

1) The Basic Necessities of Life (v.25-26)

Jesus specifically mentions food and clothes as things not to worry about in v.25-26. The reason is because they represent the basic necessities of life. They stand for all the things we need to manage in the world, such as money, a job, housing, food, etc. By mentioning how God takes care of the birds, he is making an argument from the lesser to the greater. If God provides for the birds, which are less important to him than you are as a human being made in his image, then he will most certainly also provide for you.  Think about it though. How does God provide for the birds? Does he drop food into their nest? No, they have to go out and search for it and work to gather it. Applying that to us, often God’s provision comes as we do our part to work hard and make wise choices with our time and money.

2. Health (v.27)

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (v.27). What’s the answer to that question? No one. Worry can’t add a single hour to your life. In fact, it is a known fact that it will do just the opposite. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t exercise, eat well, and take care of our bodies. We should be concerned about our health, but not be worried about it. The Psalmist said about his life: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). God has a fixed number of days for each of us, and no amount of worrying on our part can extend the length of those days that God has ordained for us.

3. Future (v.34)

Many of us have the food we need, the clothes we need, the money we need, and the health we need for today.  But we worry and say, “I might not have it tomorrow.” Jesus deals with that too. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (v.34). When Jesus says to not worry about tomorrow, he doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make plans for tomorrow. We should save money for emergencies/retirement (see Proverbs 6:6-8). It is wise to have life insurance and make provision for our families just in case something happens to us. But having done that, we must submit those plans to the Lord (see James 4:13-15).

So, how do we practically not worry about all these things? More on that next time, but for now, this quote by Corrie Ten Boom, who suffered in a Nazi concentration camp, points us to the solution to worry. She said,“Look around and you’ll be distressed.  Look within and you’ll be depressed.  Look to the Lord and you’ll be at rest.”

The rest and peace we need will only be experienced as we look to the Lord each day. His presence is the calm that combats our deepest worries.

Categories Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on January 22, 2024

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