Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Don't Worry! - Jesus

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

You've probably heard the saying, "I would worry if I didn't have anything to worry about". While this saying is somewhat humorous, anxiety disorders affect 40 million Americans. Mark Twain said, "My life has been filled with calamities, some of which actually happened." As you know most of what you worry about never happens. If you doubt that, guess what? A now famous University of Cincinnati study found that 85% of what we worry about never happens. Moreover 80% of people handle what happens to them in ways that turn the situation around and make them better people.

While we think this is a modern problem, apparently there was worry in Jesus' day too. Jesus teaches us some valuable lessons on worry in just one sentence. He says simply, "Why worry about tomorrow when you cannot control tomorrow?" And earlier in the passage Jesus teaches us that at the heart of worry is not trusting that God will provide us what we need for just today. Of course, there is a place for appropriate worry in terms of being prepared, but this worry spoken of here is about things we cannot control. This is why we pray, "Give us today our daily bread".

Jesus doesn't say "don't worry" as a suggestion, but as a command. This is why some describe worry as a "sin". Reinhold Niebuhr American Theologian said, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." This is often quoted in A.A. as an antidote that causes many to drink or use substances to calm their anxiety.

So what do you worry about? First, does it do any good? Does it help lessen the risk of what you are worrying about? Does this worry cause you to trust in God less, or more? How can you turn your worry into surrender to God to lead you to a deeper level of trust in what He provides on a daily basis? We have all kinds of things to worry about today. But every worry we have is an opportunity to trust God with our whole lives? While we can't control many things, we can control what we think about most. As we think about Jesus' words today, we can replace the worries we have for tomorrow, with the work He has for us today.

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