Today America is in the grips of an epidemic of worry. We worry about money, relationships, appearance, health, what other people think of us. The symptoms of our anxiety are staggering—from emotional disorders to serious health problems. We are literally worrying ourselves to death.
There is much that we in the church have to learn about anxiety. Our worries have a way of following us into the sanctuary and sitting with us in the pew.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,  yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?  “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:25-34 NLT
In our text Jesus identifies four sources of worry and suggests some strategies for coping with worry in our daily lives.
In verse 27 it says we worry about things over which we have no control. There are some things which are simply beyond our control. We could not do anything about them even if we tried. Worrying about them not only does not change them; it also robs us of our ability to deal with then when they come.
Jesus’ solution to this source of worry is implied in verse 26. Simply stated, we must learn to accept them. We must learn to master the art of Christian resignation; learn to be content in all things. We should pray for the courage to change what we can; the patience to accept what we cannot change; and the wisdom to know the difference.
The last part of verse 25 says we worry about things that do not really matter. Jesus points out that some things are more important than others. Many of the things we worry about are simply not worth the effort. “Much ado about nothing,” is the way Shakespeare put it. Jesus says we can conquer worry over the unimportant by learning to “seek first the kingdom of God.” The Greek word for worry literally means to “be pulled in different directions.” By aiming our lives in one direction and learning to put first things first we can reduce some of the artificial, self-made anxieties of life.
Verse 34 says we worry about things that have not yet happened. “What if” are the two most worry-filled words in the English language. Anxious speculation over the future does not empty tomorrow of its trials, but it does empty today of its joys. Even when we know something is going to happen, our fear and dread of it is almost always worse than the thing itself. Christ’s answer to worry over the future is found in verse 34, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” In other words, live one day at a time. Prudently manage today and let tomorrow take care of itself.
We worry about things of legitimate concern. As this text suggests there are some challenges of life that are of real substance. There are the physical necessities of food, clothing, shelter. There are the difficult circumstances that can threaten us. Yet Jesus says even these things are not worthy of worry because they are things God is perfectly willing and able to assist us with. “Your heavenly Father knows your needs.” He promises that if we seek first His kingdom, these genuine needs will be supplied.
I’ll leave you with these words…
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all explanation will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.
Philippians 4:6, 7