We all know we shouldn't worry but do we know the reason why? Because God's Word promises that He is in control and knows our needs. Jesus gave us the best exhortation about worry which we find in Matthew 6:25-34. Let's look at the specific areas in our lives where He has instructed us not to worry and how to find His peace.
The Objects of Worry
Jesus mentioned five areas in which we are not to worry — finance, food, fitness, fashion, and the future. The first is finance. When you worry about your finances, it's a way of making money your god rather than God.
The second area is food. What farmer would feed his chickens and starve his own children? The Creator takes care of the fowls of the air and He will take care of you.
Matthew 6:27 cautions us about fitness: "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit into his stature?" Can we worry ourselves taller? Well, Bible scholars tell us that Jesus wasn't primarily referring to height but rather length of life. Worry will shorten our life span.
In verses 28-31, Jesus said not to worry about fashion. If God makes grass for the clothing of the earth and places beautiful robes on the flowers that fade, how much more will He take care of you? God cares about the details in our lives.
Finally, Jesus mentioned our future. Look in verse 34: "Take therefore no [worrisome] thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil."
The Problems of Worry
Worry is absolutely harmful because it can lead to evil (see Psalm 37:7-9). Worry is also harmful because it can lead to physical problems. It will do the same thing to you physiologically that sand will do to machinery. It will wear us down.
Not only is worry harmful to you, it's harmful to other people. Do you like to be around people who worry all the time? They brighten up the room when they leave it. People who worry are to be pitied. They need our love so they can learn to stop. I need to stop.
Worry also creates a wound in the heart of God. In Matthew 6:30, there is a small, sobering phrase: "ye of little faith." Worry is an insult to God because it says we don't trust Him. Matthew 6:32 compares worriers to the pagan Gentiles: "(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." Jesus is saying that we are acting like pagans when we worry!
The Solution to Worry
The first solution to our worries is what I want to call the Father factor. Has it ever dawned upon you that your heavenly Father has a responsibility to care for you? God did not create and redeem you to forsake you ( see Romans 8:31-32).
Second, is the focus factor. Worry is a sign that we are not focusing on our Father. Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." What things? Finances, food, fitness, fashion, and a hope-filled future (see Jeremiah 29:11-13).
Third, there is the future factor. You may think that the devil is causing your problems. But God is in control and some days He sends sunshine and some days He sends rain. The worst thing that can happen is for sinful people like us to experience no trouble in life. Why? Because we would never seek God.
You see, God gives us enough trouble every day to cause us to turn to Him and to get the grace that is "sufficient" for that day's problems — not tomorrow's problems. If you take things that belong to tomorrow and bring them into today, that is called borrowing trouble.
What is the high cost of borrowed trouble? First, worry pulls tomorrow's clouds over today's sunshine. Secondly, worry steals our strength. Thirdly, worry can produce the very thing that you're worried about. Tomorrow has two handles — fear and faith — and you can take it by either.
Keep saying to yourself, "God is my Father. Oh, how I wound His heart when I worry." Next, keep seeking the kingdom of God with all your heart. Trust God to give you what you need. And finally, leave the future in God's hands.