Lucia's Blog: "DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING"
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

"DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING"

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7



Martha was distracted with much serving. Jesus gently rearranged her priorities saying, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” The Lord might say the same to you and me when we are distracted by the many things that trouble us. Only one thing is necessary, and we must choose that good portion.

Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, and though His disciples live in the worldthey still must do God’s will and not be anxious about earthly things, for they harm and destroy our souls.  They quickly become our master and steal our faith, our heavenly treasures, and our service to our true Master. Jesus does not want us to worry and be anxious about the things of this earth.  He wants all of our hearts.  Our faith is weakened when we become anxious about the material things of this world. Anxiety prevents us from seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Jesus commands us to not be anxious.  He wants us to devote our care to seeking Him and His righteousness.  Although we will have cares and worries or anxieties here on earth, we still must pursue His heavenly treasures and serve Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind.

You see, when our hearts doubt God’s provisions (Matthew 6:31), we fall into deep anxiety.  When we worry and fear for the future, stress takes over, and we become anxious, and our focus is no longer on heavenly things, and God’s kingdom but on earthly things, those things that we think will calm our fears and anxieties.

We must get rid of all layers of distractions and worries about careers, school, health, the economy, financial security, retirement, and many things such as these that draw our hearts away from God and His kingdom.  We run the danger of becoming the thorny ground of Matthew 13:22, where “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”  We deceive ourselves into thinking that the answer to our fears and worries is found in our own strength or the earthly things of this life.  Our anxieties become so powerful that they threaten to take control of our lives, leaving us no escape.  Although Jesus understands our anxieties, He still commands us not to be anxious over earthly or physical things but His heavenly things.  He proceeds with a question.
“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)

I.   REASONS NOT TO BE ANXIOUS
“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? 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?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 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?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all”'  (Matthew 6:25-32).

In verses 26, 28-30, Jesus gives us four reasons why worry is pointless since the Father provides what we need.


  • The first reason Jesus gives us comes from nature: (verses 26-30).
Jesus asks us to consider the birds. Birds do not sow, reap, or gather into barns or refrigerators, and yet God always feeds them.  In verses 28-30. Jesus asks us to consider the flowers. They do zero work, yet God clothes them more beautifully than the richest of kings.  God has made man to sow, reap, and gather.  He has made us in His image and more valuable than all plants and animals.  Our heavenly Father has provided an abundance of plants, animals, and humans for thousands of years. Knowing all this, do you doubt that our Father in heaven will not also provide what we need?  Do we dare to doubt His consistent and continuing provision for us? Do we dare to doubt that God will give us what we need?  He did not create us to abandon us and watch us die!  He created us to live!  So He will provide. Jesus stresses that worry is a matter of faith and trust, for our Father in heaven is in control of what we need.


  • Jesus’ second reason for not worrying is found in verse 27: 
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”  

Worry and anxiety accomplish nothing!  Worry doesn’t fix our problems, but it can make us sick.  We cannot add one hour to the span of our lives, no matter how intensely we worry. This ought to free us from our cares and worries.  We have little power to control our futureWorry shows our lack of faith (verse 30).


  • Jesus’ third reason is a grave reminder of the dangers of anxiety:  
Jesus labels those who are always anxious as people of little faithAnxiety is a lack of trust. Why? Because when we worry about God’s providential care, we doubt His love, care, and power in our lives.  Worry is an affront to God. What good does it do to wear the name of Christ, and defend our faith fiercely if we allow worry and anxiety to plague our life? Our faith means very little, for we refuse to put it into practice when we worry and do not have trusting faith in our Father in heaven.


  • Jesus’ fourth reason is that worry or anxiety makes us look like the world: (verses 31-32). 
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”  

Seeking after food, drink, and clothing is what Gentiles do. Their lives are consumed with the cares of this world.  What else does a godless person live for? They believe in nothing else but to seek food, drink, and clothing! For the godless (Gentiles), having no food, drink, and clothing means death and no meaning in life.  Christians have learned that life has more meaning and purpose, for they are God’s children.  But when we Christians worry, we are telling God that we do not trust Him, and thus our faith is small.  Our purpose in life is not in God and His kingdom of righteousness but in empty and carnal pleasures.  Worry and anxiety are for those who are without Christ!  Our faith and our trust in God makes us shine our light.  Worry and anxiety take away our trust in our heavenly Father and make us look like the world, for they have not God!


  • Tomorrow Will Be Anxious For Itself:
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”  (Matthew 6:34).

The final instruction that helps us to fight and eliminate worry and anxiety is found in verse 34What an excellent way to close the book of our worries and anxieties!  But you might say, “You don’t understand! I have so much to do tomorrow! Tomorrow is Monday! I have this and that…”  Jesus tells us to lay our concerns about tomorrow or any day afterward to rest, for we cannot control what tomorrow might bring. If we run out of bread tomorrow, then we will deal with that tomorrow!  We cannot solve tomorrow’s problems today!

We must compel our minds to do what we need to focus on today and let God take care of the rest. Since we have only today, we are commanded by God to seek His kingdom and righteousness.  It will be impossible to seek God today when our hearts and minds are so full of tomorrow’s worries and anxieties.  We must focus on what is important, not the future things of this world that seem so urgent to us.  Jesus urges us to not be anxious about tomorrow because tomorrow is tomorrow, and it is not today!  We have what we need for today!  Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow! Today has enough trouble!  So we must learn to deal with today and live for today, taking advantage of today and being grateful for what God has given us today.  We cannot fix tomorrow, for worry will not change tomorrow!  Remember, God is in control of tomorrow. And we must handle what God has given us today by faith. Anything could happen tomorrow, but nothing might happen tomorrow!

The Teacher of Ecclesiastes exhorts us, saying that life is just the same tomorrow as it was today. So why must we worry?  Tomorrow might be different than today, and there is nothing you and I can do to change it!  So we must not worry about what is beyond our reach. Instead, we must put our hope and trust in God for today and for whatever comes our way, good or bad.  Why not choose to trust our Father in heaven instead of being anxious, worried, and frightened, for we are His children whom He loves and cares for?  That ought to give us hope, for God shows His steadfast love and will not forsake us if we faithfully seek after Him and His kingdom of righteousness.

So we must choose to serve Him and be devoted to Him, for everything in this life belongs to Him, everything we do must be done for Him according to His will.  He will provide for our needs, for He is all-powerful and can help us overcome all our struggles, fears, and hardships.  So we must examine our hearts and choose to commit our life to Him and not this world, for God will help us be established, putting us on His winning team.  We don’t dare to bargain with God under any circumstances but commit to serving Him faithfully by drawing nearer to Him (James 4:8).  Remember that a life that pleases God is a life that is empty of materialism and worry, for we must store up treasures in heaven and not on earth (Matthew 6:19-24).

  • But Seek First The Kingdom of God:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”  (Matthew 6:33).

In verse 25Jesus stresses that life is more than food and clothing, our basic needs.  Worrying about these basic needs distracts our hearts from what life is truly about.  Worrying about life’s basic needs puts our primary focus on earthly things and distracts us from God’s purpose in life for us, seeking Him and His kingdom of righteousness.  You see, the urgency of our worries and anxieties hinder us from seeking the kingdom of God and the pursuit of righteousness.  Our lives were created to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  It is what matters the most in this life!  We must not make our worries and anxieties more important than the real food God gives us, for we must be filled with and clothed with His Words of righteousness.  When we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all of life’s basic needs will be added to us.  Jesus has promised to provide for our physical needs when we seek what is most important, Him and His kingdom.  

So why be so consumed with worry and anxiety? Jesus chips away our worry, anxiety, and fear, for the Father will provide what we need that we may focus on what is really more important in life.  So we must worry and be anxious about the things of God, the heavenly things in His kingdom of righteousness.  We must seek righteousness instead of earthly things.  The pursuit of righteousness is seen throughout the Sermon on the Mount in Christ’s teachings, as expressed in the beatitudes. Jesus stresses the need for us to hunger and thirst after righteousness. One who is truly hungry longs for and craves food. When we crave for righteousness, we will be driven to be holy, for it will rule our thoughts, reading, and actions. When we seek after righteousnesswe will be merciful, for righteousness compels us to treat others with mercy.  Mercy is an attitude that springs from the heart of a renewed person who has experienced God’s mercy and desires to show it even to his enemies. Christians are blessed when they seek purity of heart. So we must seek to become the light of the world and to love our enemies.

When we seek after righteousness, we will not have time for worry and anxiety, for our hearts will be filled with thoughts of righteousness.  There won’t be any need to worry because we know the Lord will provide what we need. So we must free our hearts from the layers of worry, anxiety, and fear in our lives and focus more on the essential things, the things of God’s kingdom.  We must meditate more on His Word, show mercy in our words, fill our lives with spiritual things instead of earthly things, and meditate on what God has done for us through His Son.  Worry and anxiety spring from a faithless heart that’s filled with the things of this world.  We must choose to win over worry and anxiety, allowing our heart to stand firm with trust in the Lord.  God is able to carry us through our difficult and trying times, giving us hope for today.  When we seek God and His righteousness, we can rest assured that He will provide for our needs.  We will never find righteousness in the worries, anxieties, and uncertainties of this world! We will find the Lord’s provision when we seek after His kingdom!


CONCLUSION:

Jesus stresses the reasons why we must not be anxious and worried but instead have faith and trust that God will take care of us.  He wants this to be our focal point in life.  Worry does not trust God.  When we don’t trust God, having faith, we’re in danger of taking all matters into our own hands. So we become anxious and worried about what we must do to find the solutions to our problems.  The most popular solution is, “don’t worry, be happy,”  “keep calm and play volleyball” or something else.  So it is met with a response, “I can’t keep calm; I have anxiety!”   So how do we overcome anxiety, fear, and worry?  Not by focusing on the things of this world.  It will not work!  How can we find peace, remove all layers of distraction that clutter our souls from the peace of God, the peace that frees us from all the cares and anxieties of this world?  

We must first accept that life is more than the empty things of this earth (Matthew 6:25).  That is materialistic and shallow!  How sad and vain to pursue these things! “Man does not live on bread alone” (Matthew 4:4).  We must not live by food alone but depend on God for life and breath!  We must remind ourselves always that our Heavenly Father cares for us (Matthew 6:26).  It is the only way to defeat worry and anxiety.

Jesus used the birds to illustrate this great truth.  Birds do not store up treasures in barns and houses and yet are fed by our Father in heaven.  So if our gracious Father feeds these tiny creatures, will He not care for us?!  Are we not more valuable than the birds?!  So how much more will our Father in heaven care for us!  He cares and provides for all His awesome creation, but we must develop faith, trusting that God will also care for us!  So if we believe that our heavenly Father cares for us, why do we worry and get anxious?  We must learn to trust in Him and faithfully put our lives in His hands!  We must trust in God and refuse to worry and be anxious, for it does not do any good for us. It hurts us (Matthew 6:27).

Worry is pointless and does not solve our problems.   Worry and anxiety cannot solve the past or change the future.  Jesus doesn't want us to worry and become anxious (Matt. 6:25).  We must combat worry and anxiety and start acknowledging that our God will take care of us (Matt. 6:28-30).  We must consider the flowers of the fields.  They do not sow or reap or clothe themselves. Yet they are beautiful and splendid, for God covers them!  So if our gracious God adorns the flowers and the grass, will He not do the same to His faithful children?   In Matthew 6:30, Jesus exhorts us saying,
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?” 

Indeed, this is a true fact! Worrying and becoming anxious shows a lack of faith in God.  God is our heavenly Father, and there is nothing to worry and be anxious about!

One thing that will keep us from worrying is acknowledging that our heavenly Father knows what we need (Matthew 6:32).  It is a test of our faith!  God knows what we need tomorrow, so there is nothing to worry about tomorrow!  So we must fight worry and anxiety to have a much higher perspective or goal, for we must first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness above everything else (Matt. 6:33).  God alone is worthy of our total devotion and service.

 We must trust God and have faith rather than being anxious about tomorrow because tomorrow is tomorrow, for it is not today.  We have what we need for today!  Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow, for today has enough trouble!  We must handle what God has given us today by faith So why must we worry and be anxious about what is beyond our reach?  Why not put our trust and hope in God alone, come what may?

Sadly, many become anxious when things are tough, and life is difficult.  They lose heart and become discouraged.  In those dark moments, they find it hard to understand the purpose of our trials. They become anxious about the unknown.  They are overwhelmed!  Despair is the opposite of true thanksgiving.  It makes us not only anxious but also insecure. When our affections are on earthly things and not on God, we are in danger.  We tend to cling to our immediate circumstances rather than to God.  Only God can fill our hearts with His peace.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men.  The Lord is near."  Philippians 4:5-6

We must always remember that God is in control.  God is already in the future because He stands outside of time.  Let's never forget His beautiful and faithful promises we find in Matthew 6:28-34.  Our God wants us to live in His peace.
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:7  

He doesn't want us to become weary and anxious.  He wants us to let go of the bondage of anxiety. It doesn't mean that we will escape feeling sorrow or stress, but we will find a satisfying deep calm in our hearts.   Such tranquility can only come from trusting God with all of our hearts.  We must always have the disposition to give thanks to God no matter our circumstances.  YES, we must have a heart of thanksgiving even in death, in life, in sickness, in health, in abundance, and poverty.  This is what God wants and expects of us.

A muscle is strengthened with a lot of exercise.  In the same way, our spiritual strength is developed by a lot of practice enabling us to defeat anxiety.  We cannot let Satan lie to our minds and emotions. This surely will drive us crazy!  We can't afford to walk his pathway of lies and anxiety.   Anxiety is just that—a great, big lie.
"For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened."  Romans 1:21

Let's remember that our God is not a God of chaos and anxiety.
"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."  2 Timothy 1:7 

Anxiety is not of God but rather the work of Satan. He, Satan, uses this as a weapon against us to distract us from the PEACE of God. The only way to defeat him is by dwelling in God's Truth, fixing our eyes on Him.  Dwelling in lies, trusting that we are in control and not God, is of Satan.  We must always know that God holds us in His hands and that He is the author of time; that we are here temporarily; and that He is in control.  So, my question is, What is there to become anxious about?

May we find that peace and rest that our souls need so much through our Lord Jesus.  May we seek His kingdom and His righteousness and trust in His promises.  May we live in His peace, trusting in Him with all of our hearts, minds, and souls.  May we keep calm and know that He cares for us.  May we never forget that He is near.  To Him be the glory.


Luci

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