Do you worry about everything? That could be a good thing. Or worry could become a problem and turn into anxiety. Anxiety is never a good thing. Anxiety is worry gone bad. Some people seem care free and they sleep well at night. But most people are worried and society seems to be even more worried than normal. William Barclay teaching from Matthew Chapter 6 lists seven defenses against worry as taught by Jesus that you need in your life right now.
1: God Gave You Life
God made you dear reader. You can trust him to provide to you for the little things then you can trust him to provide for the big things. If you are worried about something out of your control then remember this.
25 “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? Matthew 6:25 ESV
2: God Will Provide for the Future
Dear reader your worry about having what you need in the future is not a worry to keep dealing with. Matthew recorded the words of Jesus on worry to let us know we can let it go. God knows what you need and just as he has provided for today he will provide for your future.
26 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? Matthew 6:26 ESV
3: Anxiety is a Waste of Time
Dear reader worries that spur us to action sometimes turn on us and become Anxiety. Anxiety is not going to help you. There is no help coming from Anxiety, it is not your friend, and it will not benefit you in anyway. Anxiety is cancerous worry. Matthew technically does not even use the word worry. Anxiety is the problem. Set it aside and remember the first two points. God will provide for the life he has lovingly given to you.
27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Matthew 6:27 ESV
4: God Made You for His Glory
Dear reader God made beauty all around us. The flowers are here today and gone tomorrow. Think about the effort and care God put into creating their beauty. Do you now think that God took less effort and less care creating you in his image? Jesus wants us to have perspective that he provides to give Him Glory in greater ways than the beauty of a simple flower. You were made for something wonderful and he will not abandon his creation.
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 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? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Matthew 6:28-31 ESV
5: Do you Trust Him?
Dear reader one of the greatest ways to fight unhealthy worry is to ask yourself if Christ has ever failed. Does God not have the power to rescue? Do you put your entire hope, faith, and trust into your Creator? The world desires sex, money, power, control. Don’t be like the world. Those things may come your way in a God honoring way but that is not what Christians should be putting their faith in.
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Matthew 6:32 ESV
6: Focus on God
Dear reader your worry and anxiety are directly linked to how much you are focused on yourself. Put your selfishness aside for a moment an focus on Christ your maker and lover of your soul. Seek God and his agenda for your life and watch as peace overcomes your life.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV
7: One Day at a Time
Dear reader don’t live in the future and don’t well on the past. What has been is over and what comes is in the grace and mercy of God. Focus on the task at hand is what God wants from you. What is it you need to do right now? Getting up and going to work or calling that loved one who needs to hear your voice? Is it putting into his hands the terror of bad news you have right now?
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
One Last Thought
Dear reader we all worry in healthy ways that motivate us to action and stir our souls. Matthew recording the words of Jesus is letting us know that not worry but anxiety is the problem. We need to always be on guard against those worries spiraling out of control. So guard your heart and mind by meditating on these words of Jesus that he taught to the disciples and to us about how to deal with the down side of worry.