It seems strange how the present can seem so intimidating to us. We, more often than not, find ourselves feeling scared, frightened, worried, even anxious about what our actions could possibly result to. It’s funny though because when I look at scripture God insists that we shouldn’t worry. On the contrary He demands us to always rejoice (Phil 4:4). I don’t see worry and rejoicing going together at all.
“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? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”(Matthew 6:25-27 NIV)
I think what Jesus actually means here, is exactly what He says. I often read scripture and then my initial thought is to find the meaning behind the words and not take the words literally. In many cases it is necessary for us to research the context of Scripture, but for me this is very clear. The people to whom Jesus spoke had lives with responsibilities and family and a lot of other parts of life that we can relate to and are similar to what we experience every day. Jesus told them to not worry. Period. We fill our minds with all these “what if” and “worst case scenario” thoughts and it influences our trust in Jesus’ words. Jesus never said, “do not worry, but when things really get though, it’s ok to doubt my words”.
What Jesus is saying is that Christians don’t worry.
Look at Matthew 6:33-34
“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.”
I like the first part that says in the passive that EVERYTHING will be given to us, if we live righteously and seek, above all else, the Kingdom of God. And just to clear any uncertainty, living righteous and seeking the Kingdom of God, above all else, is what Christians do.
We actually have no excuse to worry, that is if we seek God above all else and live righteously of course. If we don’t, then we have to pray and ask God to help us live according to His word. But we live in a culture today where we expect to receive all the blessings in Scripture, but aren’t willing to be obedient to the commands in Scripture. The Bible says in John 14:15 that if you truly love God, you will obey His commands. And I know that God’s grace irons out our lazy attempts, but if we really have a desire within our hearts to fully see a manifestation of God’s word in our lives then I believe our efforts will be a lot more sincere and authentic.
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge.” (2 Peter 1:5 NLT)
We must make every effort to respond to God’s promises, to God’s word. And if we do so, we can truly say that “we know the One who knows the further… and that makes it all better.” If God is our first love and we seek to grow closer to Him everyday, not out of obligation, but out of love. Then we can live a life where worry and fear for the worst is not part of our expectation, but we can walk with confidence, knowing that “He will give us everything we need”.