"Be Anxious For Nothing"
Worry and anxiety are things some people struggle with often and many people struggle with at least occasionally. God’s word plainly teaches us to avoid worry and anxiety. Jesus taught us not to worry in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry 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?” (NKJV). Matthew 6:31 says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” (NKJV). Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (NKJV). Three times Jesus teaches us not to worry. In the book of Philippians a similar command is given, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NKJV). Worry and anxiety are something God’s word teaches us to avoid. What are some things God’s word teaches us to do in order to get rid of worry and anxiety in our lives?
God’s word teaches us not to worry about material things such as food, drink, or clothing in light of the fact God takes care of other aspects of the physical creation. Matthew 6:26, 28-30 remind us how God feeds the birds of the air and clothes the grass. If God takes care of these aspects of the creation which are less valuable than man, how much more will God take care of us and supply our needs.
God’s word teaches us worrying about things really accomplishes nothing. Matthew 6:27 says, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (NKJV). Worry cannot make us any taller, cannot give us a longer life, or really fix whatever it is we are worried about. If we can do something about whatever it is we are worried about, we would be better helped by getting up and doing something about it rather than worrying about it.
God’s word teaches us worrying is an indication of a lack of faith (Matthew 6:30). When we worry, we are acting as though we do not believe God is capable and/or willing to do what it is we need. As we increase our faith in God by remembering God’s power to deal with things beyond our control our worries will diminish. As we increase our faith in God by remembering His care and concern for us our worries will decrease.
God’s word teaches us worrying is borrowing trouble from tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). Each day has enough trouble or problems in it that we do not need to import problems into the future into the present. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, let’s be more focused on what we can and should be doing in the present especially seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
God’s word teaches us to replace anxiety with prayer (Philippians 4:6). Whatever we are anxious about is something we need to go to God in prayer about according to this passage. Remember prayer is powerful and can accomplish great things (James 5:16-18) because we are praying to a God who is almighty (Ephesians 3:20; Genesis 17:1). Prayer is also an effective means of dealing with worry because we are addressing One who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). So, when we are struggling with anxiety, let’s turn to God in prayer.
God’s word teaches us to express thanks when we are anxious (Philippians 4:6). When we are anxious, it is easy for our prayers to become filled with requests and be lacking in thanksgiving. By remembering all the things we have to be thankful for (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), our anxiety can often be relieved.
Philippians 4:7 reminds us “the peace of God” is available to those who will follow these instructions. If we want peace instead of anxiety and worry, let’s remember these instructions which can help us at such times from God’s word. Let’s replace our anxiety and worry with faith in God!