Everyone has priorities and values; the real question is – in whom or what do we place them? It’s so easy to believe like a theist and to live like a deist. It’s easy to believe in the real and personal God of Scripture yet to live our life, at least at times, as though He ’s distant, aloof, uninvolved and uncaring. In thinking like this worry can run rampant. Worry is a subtle temptation for so many of us, but it really undermines trust in our God as Creator and Sustainer. It can undermine our trust in His goodness and power.
Please do not misunderstand. I am not talking about people who, due to chemical imbalances in their bodies, take medication to help them avoid painful and prolonged bouts with depression. I am speaking to those of us who are far too prone to “cross the border” from concern into worry, from being quite healthy over-all to having the life slowly “choked out” of us by our anxieties and who may well go from faith to doubt far more quickly than we’d like to admit. Worry keeps us from enjoying the peace and contentment which are ours in Christ.
Jesus helps us put worry in its place. In Matthew 6:25-34 our Lord mentions worry at least six times (vv. 25, 27, 28, 31, 34 twice). Hearing what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-34 can help us better deal with worry. Here are 6 observations on which to focus –
1. Make sure to focus on treasure in heaven considerably more than treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19-24).
2. Make sure to focus more on God ’s providential care (Matthew 6:25-30).
3. Make sure to focus on our value and preciousness to God (vv. 25-30). If God cares for the birds and flowers, how much more does He care for us?
4. Make sure to focus on how unproductive worry really is (31-32). We ’ve often heard it said, “Worry can’t change things.” But it can. It can make things worse!
5. Make sure to pursue God’s promises (Matthew 6:33).
6. Make sure to focus on God’s grace for today (6:34).
It has been well said that worry has an overly-active imagination! Let’s invest more time in worship and in wonder of God; that way, we ’ll be less prone to worry.