The first word in Matthew 6:25 is the word, “Therefore.” Before we can enter this paragraph about worry, we need to reconnect to the prior paragraph. In verses 19-24 Jesus told us to treasure heavenly treasures and not earthly treasures. Make your treasure in heaven and not on earth. This idea is going to lead into this teaching about worry and anxiety.
The Command (6:25)
Therefore, do not worry about your life. Let me just stop before we go further in the lesson and just ask, “Are we worried about our lives?” What does the “therefore” have to do with this? We noticed that what you look at is going to affect your life. What you treasure is where your heart and your desires will be. So when Jesus says, “Therefore, do not worry about your life,” the “therefore” tells us that your life is not something we are supposed to treasure. Our lives are not to be our focus. Do not devote yourself to yourself because then you will despise your master in heaven. You cannot serve God and money. So do not worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink, or what you will wear.
Worry reveals what we are looking at. If I am worrying about what I will eat, drink, and wear then I am looking at treasures on earth. Do not be anxious about stuff. Do not worry about money. Do not worry about your clothes. If you think about it, this was Israel’s failure in the wilderness. The reason they complained was because they did not believe God would take care of them. They were focused on what they could see. They were focused on earthly things. They worried about what they were going to eat and drink.
I want us to think about the seriousness of what Jesus is saying. Three times Jesus says, “Do not worry.” Look at it in verse 25. Then he says it again in verse 31. Then he says it again in verse 34. Do not worry. Do not worry. Do not worry. Notice that Jesus does not say to not worry about your job. He does not say to not worry about your retirement. He does not say to not worry about your investments. He does not say to not worry about your house. He does not say to not worry about what other people think or what other people are going to do. He says to not worry about something that we would think would be the most worthy of worry. Do not worry about what you will eat. Do not worry about what you will drink. This is an argument from the greater to the lesser. If you are told to not worry about the most critical things we need to live (food and drink), then we clearly are not to worry about things that are not pertinent to maintaining our lives today. If the things that are the most worthy (in our minds) of worrying about are not to be worried about, then there is truly nothing that we are supposed to worry over. So three times Jesus says, “Do not worry.”
But before Jesus goes into the logical reasoning as to why we should not worry, I want us to observe what he says at the end of verse 25. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing. We do not live by food. We live by the word that comes from God’s mouth. God is in charge. Life is far more than just what we eat and God wants us to see this truth. Now Jesus is going to help us not to worry. I love that Jesus does not simply say, “Don’t worry.” Jesus gives us the reasoning for why we should not worry. He is going to help us get away from having anxious lives so that we can be free to trust the Lord.
You Are Valuable to God (6:26)
We need to hear the words of verse 26. God cares for the animals of the creation. They do not accumulate for retirement. They do not store up for years. But God feeds them. You are more valuable than them. Now this is an important truth for our culture today. First, God tells us that humans are more valuable than animals. It is an understood truth that we must reestablish in our world. Humans are made in the image of God and this is one important reason why we are more valuable than animals. Humans are not mere animals. Second, God is telling us how important you are to him. God is telling us that he will take care of us. He is taking care of his creation. For how ever long the earth has been here, God has cared for his creation. God is not done caring for his creation. You do not need to worry about your life because you are valuable to God. You can put your hope in life on this truth.
Worry Is Ineffective (6:27)
Worry does not accomplish anything. Worry does not solve problems. Worry does not provide solutions. Worry does not rescue us from our problems. Worry accomplishes nothing. Worry is ineffective. Worry does not add time to your life. Worry is a waste of time. No one can sit back, look at over their life, and declare that worry was such an important help. No one can point to worry as the reason for our rescue. Worry never saves the day. So why do it? Why tear ourselves up with worry? When worry comes over us, we need to not indulge it because it is ineffective.
God Provides (6:28-30)
God will provide what you need. The flowers have what they need. The grass has what it needs. God will give you what you need. Please notice what Jesus says at the end of verse 30: “You of little faith.” Worry points to a problem. Worry shows a lack of faith. Worry says that we do not believe that will provide for us. Worry says that we need to take care of ourselves. Worry believes that the reason we are alive is because we are doing what is necessary to keep ourselves alive. But we can easily disregard this idea from our minds. We have no power to wake up. Have you ever thought about this? It is kind of creepy. You go to sleep so that you are no longer aware of what is happening to your body or in your body. Yet you still breath without knowing it. You roll over to prevent body pain without knowing it. You wake up without knowing it. It is not like you can forget to wake up. You just do. How can we possibly think that what is keeping us alive is our own power? We cannot control what is happening to us. This is why your body does not do what you think it should do even though you try to have power over it. So we must be determined to believe that God will provide for us. Worry does not believe that God is providing.
God Knows Your Needs (6:31-32)
Fourth, Jesus tells us that we do not need to worry because our Father in heaven knows what we need. Worry does not need to come from the concern that God does not see our condition or not know what is happening to us. God knows what we need. You might remember in one of my sermons during the first month of the pandemic I made a point about this. There was not toilet paper anywhere. That had to be one of the strangest phenomenons. I do not know what Covid has to do with toilet paper. But I said to us to encourage us and give us hope that we know God knows that we need toilet paper. God is going to take care of us. How did we do? God is always showing us that he knows what he need. He knows what we need in the moment. God will provide for us.
When I was in college in Kentucky, I was working at a gas station behind the counter, ringing people up. One evening a person came up to the counter in a mask and told me to put all of the money in the register in the bag. At first I thought this was a joke, but I looked up and he had a gun in his jacket pointed at me. We were trained to immediately grab a dollar that is attached to an alarm in the register as you grab the money out. As I opened the register, he told me not to grab that dollar but the rest of the money. I pulled the money and gave it to him and he ran out. Then I pulled the dollar and had a pretty big adrenaline breakdown at that moment. So the police come out and I have to give my statement. After finishing that, the manager expects me to finish my shift. I just looked at him like, “You have to be kidding me.” But I need the money from this job to pay my bills. I went ahead and quit because I could not believe the lack of concern for what had just happened and drove home. Now this seems all like a terrible thing at the moment. But God got me another job, a better job, working as a bookkeeper which was what I studying to get my degree in: accounting. God always gives us what he need. How many times has God known your needs when you didn’t know what you were going to do and he provided? How many times have you not known what you needed and God gave you what you needed? God knows your needs.
Look at verse 32. The world seeks after their provisions, what they will eat, drink, and wear. God says you do not have to do that. God gives them to you. This knowledge is what frees us to be seekers of God and his righteousness. You see this point in verse 33. You are freed to seek God because God is going to take care of you. You do not have to worry about this world because God will take care of this world. You can seek the heavenly treasures because God is in control of the earthly treasures. Whatever it is that you are worried about you can give away because God is in control of it. Everything holding you back from trusting God and serving God is removed with this declaration. This was the whole point for Israel in the wilderness. They could just focus on God because God was taking care of their physical needs and concerns. They did not have to worry. It is interesting that we can read that in the scriptures and think how wonderful it must have been that we could just have God provide for us each day and not worry about what we would eat and drink. But what God offered Israel is offered to us now. You don’t have to look back and wish. This is God’s promise to you right now. Now we also need to think deeply about verses 32-33. If we are not seeking God first, then this promise is not true for us. God does not have to provide for us if we are not going to trust him. Worry can be cast away when we give our life to Lord and seek him first. Do not seek your needs. Seek the God who gives what you need.
Live Today and Let God Take Care of Tomorrow (6:34)
Jesus’ final word to overcome worry is in verse 34. Worry is often grounded in the uncertainty of our future. But listen to the hope found in verse 34. Tomorrow will worry about itself. God holds the future in his hands. You have grace for today. Rest in today that God has cared for you and give you your life and needs. He will do it again tomorrow. How many days has God done that for you? God has cared for me for more than 17,155 days. Should I think anything is going to be different the next day?
But notice what else Jesus says because I think it is important for us. Jesus says at the end of verse 34 that tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough troubles. Why bring tomorrow’s concerns and place them on top of today’s concerns? But what I love about this is Jesus is not saying that we do not have troubles and hardships. Jesus says that we do. Today has troubles. Tomorrow has troubles. Living a worry free life is not about pretending that we do not have troubles. That is not Jesus’ solution. The point is that God will take care of tomorrow just as much as he is taking care of today.
Tomorrow has its own problems and it is pointless to worry about those problems. The problems of tomorrow cannot be accurately anticipated. How many times has tomorrow been what you did not think it would be? Sometimes it is better than we thought and sometimes it is worse than we thought. Either way, worry did not help it and often our worry was wrong. Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow. You have God’s grace today.
So what are you worried about? Every day has its own troubles and problems. But if you have God then you know that God will take care of you, you are valuable to God, worry is ineffective, and God knows what you need. So enjoy today for what it has and do not destroy it worrying about tomorrow. Worry is what keeps us from seeking God first. Seek God and he tells you that he has the rest in his hands. Put your hope in him and watch your worry subside.