Overcoming Worry

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Jesus commands His disciples not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). What is your strategy for obeying this command?

The secular world suggests many different ways in which we may eliminate worry from our lives. Surely many of these suggestions would help us. For example, if we exercised more, we would feel less burdened and worry less; if we asked ourselves whether we could control those situations about which we worried, we worry less about them; if we stayed busy doing things in which we were interested, we would have less time to worry. All of these suggestions are helpful.

Furthermore, it should not surprise us that some of the world’s suggestions about dealing with worry are rooted (if unwittingly) in Scripture. For example, we are told to be concerned primarily about today and less concerned about what may happen to us in the distant future. Jesus prescribed this very strategy (Matthew 6:34).

And yet secular society cannot recommend the primary thing that our Lord recommended as the solution to worry:

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:31-33).

Jesus says that a fulfilled, worry-free life is rooted in the assurance that one is serving the Lord Who provides for and takes care of His people. If we are in the Father’s family, then we can be at peace in the knowledge that the Father will protect His own.

God’s people have always trusted Him to take care of them, even when they had a lot of trouble in their lives. If you were to ask David how he dealt with worry, for example, his primary solution would undoubtedly be that He believed that the good Shepherd cared for him (Psalms 23). Consider the following words, from Psalms 4:

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. . . . [T]he Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. . . . Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. . . . In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Have you taken advantage of our Lord’s prescription for eliminating worry? To ask it another way, are you a faithful child of His?

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