There were 83 different subjects that Jesus taught on. In the book ‘What on Earth have we Done with the Teachings of Jesus?’ (available as a free download here). Today’s post is titled do not worry. I listed the top ten according to the frequency that Jesus spoke on them. In covering the top ten, I am now looking at the fifth most common topic.
Having covered humility; forgiveness; doing the will of God; being aware of deceivers; living by the Word and loving others. Today’s subject is on ‘Do not worry’. Of equal number of frequency is ‘Go and preach the gospel’ which will be covered next. It brought tears to my eyes when I realised that these two subjects were of the same importance.. as if Jesus was saying – now you go and preach the gospel wherever you go and don’t worry about a thing. Do not worry how people judge you, don’t worry about facing hostility, don’t worry whether you’ll have enough money, don’t worry about whether your family will be ok – Just do it.
Do not worry about your life
In Matthew 6, Jesus says do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear… your heavenly Father knows that you need them… Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. In the midst of this particular teaching, He speaks a nugget of wisdom ‘Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?’
And why did He say that we need not to worry? Because as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness… all these things will be given to you as well. It is in the seeking first of His Kingdom that we need not worry – because when we seek Him first – He will ensure all our needs are met.
In verse 28, He says, And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I have seen the miraculous provision of God in my life
I, myself have seen the miraculous provision of God in my life, as many others have. He has provided even the seemingly insignificant requests of my heart. What He was looking for was a mustard seed of faith. I have many stories of when my need has been met miraculously. But they have always been either when I have been totally unable to meet that need myself and so cried out to God. Or when instead of seeking to meet that need through my own means, have asked God and decided to believe and wait on Him. Many years ago I lived in America. I had just purchased a car and was out driving one day when it coughed and spluttered and broke down. Being new to the area I had no idea of what to do. When I looked up I found that I had broken down outside a car repair garage. I went in and explained to them what had happened, handed over the key and got a lift home. I then added up everything I had which came to just over $200 and a few cents. I turned to God and said ‘well God this is all I have’. The next day the mechanic rang to tell me the cost of the repairs. It was exactly to the penny (or cent) that I had calculated. It was a lesson to me – that I can trust God to provide for all my needs.
There have been so many more instances since of when God has demonstrated that He will be there to supply, if I only trust Him and believe. Jesus said, Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed… Nothing will be impossible for you, Matt 17:20.
When we believe that God will supply all our needs whether material, emotional, physical we can do the ‘to go’ of preaching the gospel. This may be simply speaking to someone at the supermarket or being willing to hear the call to go much further afield. But it is in the seeking first of His Kingdom.
The sin of distracting worries
Henry says – There is scarcely any one sin against which our Lord Jesus more earnestly warns his disciples, than the sin of distracting, distrustful cares about the things of life. It is a bad sign that both the treasure and the heart are on the earth. It is the counsel and command of the Lord Jesus, that we take no thought about the things of this world… it disturbs our joy in God… Let our souls dwell at ease in him! … what pleasures He takes in those that hope in His mercy… it is by an active faith can our fears be overcome… God has given us life, and given us the body; it was an act of power, it was an act of favour: what cannot He do for us, who did that?… If we take care about our souls and eternity, which are more than the body, and its life, we may leave it to God to provide for us food and raiment.
‘After all these things do the pagans seek’, Matt. 6:32. Worries about the world is a heathenish sin, and unbecoming Christians… there is a Providence, but that there are promises made which teaches them a confidence in God and a contempt of the world. Your heavenly Father knows our wants better than we do ourselves… Tell Him whether you have or have not. Though He knows our wants and when we have opened them to him, let us cheerfully refer ourselves to his wisdom, power, and goodness, for our supply. We can ease ourselves of the burden of care, by casting it upon God, because it is He that careth for us (1 Pet. 5:7).
You have greater and better things to take thought about
Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt. 6:33. You have greater and better things to take thought about, the life of your soul, your eternal happiness; that is the one thing needful (Luke 10:42)… which is commonly neglected in those hearts with worldly cares… By seeking first the kingdom of God, and making religion your business: do not say that this is the way to starve, no, it is the way to be well provided for, even in this world.
“Seek first the kingdom of God, mind religion as your great and principle concern.” Our duty is to seek; to desire, pursue, and aim at these things… we must mind heaven as our end, and holiness as our way… we must follow peace and holiness, Heb. 12:14.
Let your care for yours and others souls take the place of all other cares
Let your care for yours and others’ souls take the place of all other cares: and let all the concerns of this life be made subordinate to those of the life to come. We must seek the things of Christ more than our own things; and if they come in competition, we must remember to which we are to give the preference. O what a blessed change would it make in our hearts and lives, if we but firmly believe this truth, that the best way to be comfortably provided for in this world, is to be most intent upon another world!
Do not worry about tomorrow
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own, 6:34. We must not perplex ourselves about future events, because every day brings along with it its own burden of cares and grievances. But if we look about us, it brings along with it its own strength and supply too… Tomorrow, and the things of it, will be provided for… Let us leave events to God; do the work of the day in its day.
By our daily prayers we may be strengthened
The conclusion of this whole matter is, that it is the will and command of the Lord Jesus, that his disciples should not be their own tormentors, nor make their passage through this world more dark and unpleasant, by their apprehension of troubles. By our daily prayers we may procure strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to arm us against the temptations that attend them, and then let none of these things move us.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
And so the Words of Jesus speak deeply again to heart. His Words breath life to our mortal bones and provide us with guidance for our lives here on earth.
Whom do you fear? Do not be afraid of people All will be revealed. Every secret will be made known; Nothing will be concealed. What I am telling you in the dark You must repeat in broad daylight. What I whisper in your ears Proclaim from the highest height. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, They cannot touch your soul. Rather be afraid of God who can destroy both in hell Or indeed can make both whole. For only a penny Two sparrows you can buy Yet not one sparrow falls to the ground Without your Father knowing why. As for you even the hairs of your head have been counted So why do you fear? You are worth much more than many sparrows To God you are very dear. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father – I thank You for Your promises that declare You will always provide for my every need. Forgive me when I have doubted and sought my own ways. I choose to cease from all worries and trust in You for my today and for all my tomorrows, knowing that You hold me in the palm of Your hands. In Jesus Name. AMEN