Worrying in Vain

Matthew 6: 24-34
2 Cor 12: 1-10 / Psa 34

. . . seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(Matthew 6:33)

Like the birds and the flowers be,
Contented in God’s provision;
Without money they’re worry-free,
All happy in God’s creation.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his regalia 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, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Only the pagans worry about these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.” (Matthew 6:24-34)

Reflection

Jesus tells us five times in this Gospel that we should not worry. The message that He conveys to us is that worrying about material things is an indication of our weak faith in the boundless providence and protection of God. Our Lord knows that being too anxious about temporal concerns will only lead us to “serve mammon” rather than to seek first His kingdom. We should feel more confident and assured than the “pagans, who worry about such things.” (Mt. 6:32)

Anxiety is one of the weapons employed by Satan to counter our faith and trust in God. No one is exempted from this spiritual warfare, from the moment he wakes up in the morning till the time he retires at night. And even in bed the battle rages.

Here in our renewal community, where we are urged to read the Bible every day, we discovered in God’s Word a powerful antidote against the tendency to worry or be anxious. In its pages we have discovered many passages of God’s assurances that, like the rays of the morning sun, disperse the mists of life’s anxieties.

Another antidote to worrying is the habit of praying. Prayer strengthens our faith because constant communication with God draws us closer to Him. A stronger faith reduces our tendency to worry. Belief is a very powerful force. No longer does medical science take its efficacy for granted. Much research on the subject have shown that people who attend religious services more than once a week live, on average, seven years longer than those who do not.

On the other hand, scientific research has also indicated that people who are more materialistic tend to have shorter life spans. Quite obviously, people who put their trust in temporal possessions are more pessimistic in their long-term outlook of life, and are therefore more likely to make worrying a regular preoccupation. Jesus said, “It is the pagans who set their hearts on these things” (Mat. 6:32). People of faith definitely have an edge. They have the confidence of children who know they always have a loving Father to turn to when all the chips are down. If you are God’s child, why should you worry?

Lord, we take comfort in Your promise, that “God Himself will provide you everything you need, according to his riches, and show you His generosity in Christ Jesus” (Ph.4:19). Thank You, Father for dispelling all our worries. Amen.

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