Description / Transcription
Father in heaven, thank You for Your Word, every bit of scripture is breathed out and is profitable, and some very immediately so, and this is one of those passages. So help us to listen and speak to us just what we need to hear. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I know something that is true about virtually everyone in this room, maybe every single person in this room. Not because I’m spying or have special pastor prognostication, but because I know God’s Word. This is what I know about you – you’re worried. You’re worried about something. It could be one thing, it could be a hundred things, but virtually every single person in this room, watching at home, listening to this sometime later, we know it to be true. You and I are anxious.
You wake up 10 minutes later than you had hoped and anxiety starts to creep in. What if I’m late? What about traffic? What’s the weather like? You pass by the mirror in a hurry and you catch a glimpse of yourself and you’re not really sure you like what you see. You’re worried about the streaks of gray in your hair, or maybe a different stage of life, the acne on your forehead, or the wrinkles on your skin or the pounds around your waist. You brush your teeth. You start to worry about all you have to do. Immediately the to-do list drops down in your head – the applications, the running around, everything, how are you going to get it done. You’ve no margin for error.
Before you’ve even brushed your teeth, probably you’ve checked your phone. Wow, that’s a bad idea. Lots to worry about there. Already e-mails, already people asking you for things. You already see the news – war in Ukraine, mass shooting somewhere, inflation, moral degradation in our culture.
Or maybe, this is particularly true of those who are in their teens or young adults, you look at your phone and you see the pictures bouncing back and forth between your friends and you so often feel ugly or friendless or like you aren’t measuring up.
You haven’t even got to breakfast yet, and if you have kids you make them a quick breakfast and you worry about all the things that they’re eating and you think, “Well, I know Pastor Kevin eats Fruity Pebbles, but I just don’t feel good about it for my kids.” Is sugar really good for you? And wait a minute? Am I? I forget, am I supposed to eat eggs or I’m not supposed to eat eggs? It keeps changing. Fat or no fat? And I don’t even know what I’m going to make for lunch or dinner.” That’s the thing about meals. There’s more of them every single day. Have you ever said that, moms? Why do these kids need to keep eating?
As you get the kids ready, you realize one of your boys didn’t do his homework again. One of your daughters is missing a shoe. You worry will your kids ever get their heads screwed on straight. You drop the kids off, you worry they may fall in with the wrong crowd, or if they’re younger they may just fall off the big slide.
You get home. You pull up Facebook. You just need a little mental break. There you read about how unbelievably awesome everyone else’s life is, all the amazing cupcakes they make, all their friends who look good all the time, going to interesting places, kids succeeding at everything, and you feel like a failure. Later in the morning you walk around and you realize, “Yeah, my back still does hurt.” You have some other lingering pains and you remember you’ve had sort of a scratchy throat for the better part of a month, and actually your headaches have been a little worse this season and you decide to check the internet. Ah, the internet will give me good medical advice, and it turns out you are sick with everything. Every disease fits some or all of your nondescript symptoms.
At the end of the day, just hoping to unwind, you turn on TV. Who knew there was so much bad news out there, that everything was so bad. All right, turn off the cable news. Maybe you talk to your husband, but he seems kind of distant, doesn’t seem very happy at work, and actually the more he talks, he’s not sure what will happen to his job and the insurance coverage that goes with it. As he talks to you, you realize he’s had some sort of stomach issue for two months.
So you decide enough of this day and you head to bed and even though you are utterly exhausted, what happens? You lie there, wide awake. You can’t sleep. You rehearse everything that went wrong in the day, everything you should have said differently, everything you have to do tomorrow. You start rehearsing things that you would have done differently for years. You worry about your kids, because as someone once told me, once you have children, it’s hard to be happier than your least happy child.
A few hours later you wake up in the middle of the night and you want to go back to sleep but you can’t, which just increases your worry about the next day and how tired you’re going to be because you’re not sleeping right now and you’re just worried about the last day and worried about the next day to come, and you wake up, tired, exhausted, ready to start the whole cycle again.
Can you relate? To at least some of that description? Not a made up day for many of us. Can you relate?
Here’s the good news – Jesus can help.
Here’s what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 6. Follow along, beginning at verse 25: ““Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.””
Worry, or as the ESV translates it here, anxiety may be the most common sin among quote/unquote regular people in the church.
Now let’s add a few qualifications here, just so we don’t misunderstand what this sermon is about. Worry is not the same as mere disappointment. This passage is not saying that you can’t be disappointed with life, or you can’t lament, or you can’t wish or hope that things would be different. Worry is not mere disappointment. Nor is worry the same as desire, hoping for things, wanting things, or even having some butterflies.
I remember, it’s sort of cheesy, but it stuck with me all these years, I took a public speaking class when I was in college and I remember the professor saying that if you have butterflies in your stomach, that’s good. It means that you care and the big idea is to get the butterflies to fly in formation. Okay, kind of, make a poster of it, but it still stuck with me.
So to care about things and have some jitters, that’s not what Jesus is talking about.
We should also say that worry, or anxiety, overlaps with but what Jesus is talking about here may not be exactly identical to a medical diagnosis that you can receive. We are complicated people, body and soul, and our bodies play a part and many times we might say run of the mill anxiety is really a matter of faith, what Jesus is talking about here. Then other times it is true that all sorts of things get out of balance. So it isn’t to say that you can’t be prescribed things, you should trust your doctors and listen to them as no doubt many Christians struggle with not just ordinary, low-level, but debilitating anxiety or depression.
Now Jesus has something to say about that. It’s not less than that, but sometimes there are factors that are more than that.
So what is worry, or anxiety? Here’s one definition, I’ve given it to you before – Anxiety is living out the future before it arrives.
Isn’t that worry? What if this happens? So there’s another definition. Worry is being weighed down by the what ifs. Worried is being weighed down by the what ifs.
Well, what if we don’t have a kind? What if he does get hurt? What if the job doesn’t go well? What if that conversation goes terribly? What if I get sick? What if the test results come back poorly? What if the surgery doesn’t go well?
Weighed down by all of the what ifs of life.
Now a sermon like this could be very discouraging. You see what Jesus says right in the middle, verse 30, “O, you of little faith.” You may be thinking to yourself, “Great, I worry about everything. I resonated with everything you described in that opening illustration, Kevin, and now on top of my regular worrying, I’m going to feel bad that I’m worrying because I know that Jesus says I don’t have enough faith. Great, you just made it worse.”
But think of it this way. Here’s the encouragement. If worry is just a part of your personality, and it’s true, some people by all sorts of upbringing and personality are prone to worry about everything and some are pretty easygoing in life. So our personality plays a part. But if that’s all to blame, then there’s no guarantee that you can be helped. If it’s just a personality, well, you know, I’m not going to change your blue eyes to brown, I’m not going to change your black hair to blond, that’s who you are.
But if worry is not just a part of our personality or a part of being what we call a mother, then God has remedies for us. He means to help us. If worry is evidence of little faith, then God forgive us and He can help us overcome it.
Three times in this passage Jesus gives us the big idea.
Verse 25 – Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious.
Verse 31 – Therefore do not be anxious.
Verse 34 – Therefore do not be anxious.
Jesus is making the preaching of this sermon real simple. It’s right there, three times. Here’s the big idea – don’t be anxious.
But Jesus does more than that. That would be true counsel but maybe not very helpful. Just stop it.
There’s that old Bob Newhart sketch where the person comes in and has all these fears and he just keeps saying, “Well, stop it.” Just… You got problems, stop doing the things that are bad. And sometimes we think of God’s Word as just a big “stop it.”
Well, Jesus does more than just say, “Don’t be anxious.” He wants to get at our hearts, and so He gives us reasons. He’s applying medicine to our sin-sick souls. He’s applying the healing balm of His Word to help us overcome anxiety. He gives us seven reasons. We’ll move through these, some quickly and some we’ll slow down.
Seven reasons. Have your Bibles open. You can see this for yourself.
Here’s reason number 1. The antidote for anxiety, why you should not worry, Christian, number 1 – Life is too important.
You see that in verse 25? Do not be anxious about your life, what you eat, drink, your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food? And the body more than clothing?
What Jesus is doing is help us to get our priorities straight. Don’t live your life for food and clothes. How easy it is. Now, here it may be just very dire circumstances – will I have anything to wear? For us, that’s usually not the worry, but it’s, well, how do I look? Do I have the right thing? What does the tag say? Do I look nice? Even people who try not to look nice are often in the grip of worry. They just have a different sort of person that they’re appealing to. They want to look a certain way.
I remember when I was in junior high school. Isn’t it often the case? We remember embarrassing things and we go back to junior high school. Well, this will mark me as child of the 80s and the 90s, I guess. It was all the rage that, and I’m going to come out from the pulpit here, you had to, you had to roll up and peg the bottom of your jeans. Very, very cool. The cool kids would roll it really tight and roll up and peg your jeans. That’s what they did in our school in Michigan. I’m getting blank stares – maybe you weren’t so enamored with it down here.
Well, I went to school and I just thought this is the dumbest thing. Why would I want to roll and cuff and peg my jeans? I don’t need to do this and I withstood the looks and the people and what are you doing? You know, all of the cool kids walking through with their Trapper Keepers, have their jeans pegged and cuffed. Then finally, after sort of enduring this all for a year or two, I thought, “Fine, this is ridiculous, but everyone’s doing it,” and so I did it, and wouldn’t you know it? I kid you not, it was like the next day somebody said, “Nobody does that. What? Are you waiting for a flood, DeYoung?” “Yeah, I know, it’s dumb, but everyone was doing it.”
And you get anxiety and we grow up out of those things and yet we realize maybe I don’t grow up out of those things so much. Your anxieties get socialized hopefully in some better directions, but you still think about what, “What am I going to wear?” What did it amount to? What did that moment of middle school anxiety amount to? Nothing. Clothes do not make the person, although it does remind me, parentheses, that famous saying by Mark Twain, “Clothes do make the person, naked people have very little influence in our society.” So, okay, that’s true. But after you wear something, what you wear does not make the person.
Jesus says, “Look, you’re going to die someday. You’re going to look back and wish you had been more fastidious about your clothing choices? Isn’t life more than that? Isn’t life… You’re more than a clump of cells trying to get sustenance, trying to just survive and look good. Life’s more than food. Don’t you see that?”
Most people in the history of the world have worried about whether they will have enough to eat. That’s probably what Jesus is thinking about. We worry about whether we will eat too much.
Now be smart, listen to your doctor, eat in moderation. But don’t live your life for the label on your food. Let’s remember that life is more than food. The body is more than clothing.
As I said before, I once heard it remarked that it used to be in generations past there were lots of rules about sex and very little rules about food, and now in our culture it’s switched. Sex is whatever you want, with whomever you want, whatever floats your boat, and there’s a lot of rules about the foods you can eat. You’re worried about food and clothes. Jesus says, “Do not be anxious about what you will eat or what you will drink. Your life is too important.”
Here’s the second reason, verse 26 – Not only your life is too important, you are too important.
So we not only insult God when we worry about food and clothes and money, we insult ourselves. Always worrying if we will have enough. When we are fretting over houses and cars and bank accounts, we proclaim to the world, “I am not valuable.” That’s Jesus’ argument. You proclaim to the world you don’t think your worth very much. Why? Because God provides worms for the birds. Whenever it rains in the spring or the summer and you have that after rain sort of smell and for whatever scientific reasons, all the worms come out and you have sort of the wormy smell and all the birds have a great feast. God knows how to provide for the birds. He feeds them.
Yet Jesus says you are clinging on to everything. Listen to those sweet chirping, sometimes early in the morning annoying birds and think, “God loves me more than them.” He made you in His image. You’re more important.
One of the good lessons I learned from my first pastoral charge in Iowa, being surrounded by good, hard-working Dutch farmers is a certain sort of resolute faith, especially the ones that have been doing it a long time and learned that you get some good rains and some bad ones and some scorching heat and some frost. I would ask them, “Well, it hasn’t rained for a month,” or “There was a frost last night. What do you think?” Mostly they’d say something in a very sort of taciturn, Dutch farmer sort of way, “Well, God’s been good. He’ll take care of us. We can’t control the weather, so we just have to trust Him.”
There’s something very profound in that resolute, simple trust, that you are more important. Do you believe that?
These first two points, life is more important, you’re more important, are the foundation for what we need to overcome worry. There have been all sorts of reports. You’ve probably read them over the last few years, and especially during the pandemic, indicating that rates of anxiety have been skyrocketing, especially among students and young adults. There’s all sorts of theories. Why are young people more anxious than ever before? Could it be that they’re told that they’re fragile and so they reflect that fragility? Are they not getting outside enough? Is it the social pressures, when your life is lived in front of the screen and you see and you live for a “like” button or a “heart” button? Is it fewer resources in the family to cope? Is it that we’re exposed to bad news all the time?
Well, it’s probably a constellation of all of those factors, but the rise in anxiety is real. There’s no simple fix, but it starts with good theology and good anthropology, meaning it starts, “Do you know who God is?” and “Do you know who you are?”
Do you know that God is a heavenly Father who loves you? And do you know that you are more valuable than birds?
Here’s reason number 3. So life is too important, you are too important. Reason number 3 – It doesn’t do any good.
Verse 27 – Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Do you ever look back on a situation and think, “Hmm, I don’t know how I made it through that. That was really hard. I don’t know how I made it through except that I really worried.” “Money was tight, but worry really pulled me through.” “High school was tough, I wish I could have worried about more things.” “I wasn’t sure about the diagnosis, but then all my friends gathered ’round me and said you just need to worry a little more.”
Does anyone, after the big championship, interviewing the MVP, “Congratulations. How did you do it?” “Well, I studied the film, I gave it 110%, I worked so hard, and I worried as much as possible. I worked hard in the off season, but I constantly worried if I might break a leg, if I might fumble, if I might do something really dumb, and I can’t tell you how much that worry really paid off.”
Of course no one says that. It doesn’t do any good.
Your doctor never comes in, says, “Well, all we can do now is worry.” I hope not, doctors.
No. I want you to think, right now, think right now, just get well-lodged into your head, your car payment, if you have one, your mortgage, if you have one, your insurance, a test coming up, what’s going on with your kids and grandkids. I want you to put it all there, right now, and I want you to just concentrate for about 3 seconds, and I want you to worry about it. Okay, go…. Did that help?
Jesus said it didn’t help at all. You didn’t make anything get better. No one lives longer now. Your kids didn’t just make better choices. The diagnosis didn’t get better.
You can not make your life better with worry. We don’t know our time.
Jeremiah 10:23: “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own, it is not for man to direct his steps.”
Or Psalm 139:16: “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
Of course, don’t be careless, but in the absolute sense of God’s sovereignty, until your days run out, you’re invincible. Think about that. And when your days are up, no medicine can save you.
We need to admit that we are powerless over many things. Sometimes we need to stop, take a deep breath, and realize the world does not fall apart without you or without me. We think, “Well, there’s a lot of things I’m powerless over.” No, that’s not quite right. Virtually everything you’re powerless to change.
You can’t make someone believe the Gospel. You can’t raise the dead. I can’t nail, hammer a nail straight. You can’t sit at the crib all night and make sure the baby is breathing. You can’t live one nanosecond longer than God has planned for you. Jesus says, “Don’t be a fool. Worry doesn’t help anyone. No one lived an hour longer because they worried about when they were going to die.”
Reason number 4 – God cares about you.
You see in verses 28 through 30. We’re hitting some of these same themes again, moving from animal life, cares for the birds, to plant life, consider the lilies of the field. Look at the flowers. Think about Solomon, the richest man in their history, at the pinnacle of Israel’s power, with all of his gold and all of his might, and Jesus says, “You can go out and look at the wildflowers and they’re more beautiful than that.” It’s true.
Then He even says grass, verse 30, “alive today, tomorrow is thrown into the oven.” The grass is coming back, I know, because I hear the mowers, and our mower is out again. The grass is back. Wonderful. Green grass. Give it several months, it’ll be brown again, and yet Jesus will give you more green grass next year. Because He clothes the field and your lawn with splendor. He’s God. He’s creative. He’s powerful. He wants people to enjoy them. He cares about flowers, he cares about grass.
And He cares about you so much more. He takes care of wild animals, He takes care of wildflowers. Will He not take care of your wild children?
This is what He says: “O, you of little faith,” verse 30. Yeah, that’s a shot between the eyes, but it’s good medicine for us. Worry is an insult to God’s character. When we worry, we are not believing the truth about God. We are doubting that He sees, that He knows, that He cares. That’s why we’re not to be worrywarts. Not just that it’s bad for you or it’ll be bad for your health or it makes you miserable. It impugns the character of God.
Faith is a very practical way of looking at the world, which should extend to all of life. Not merely to the salvation of our souls. Faith is not merely the thing that you check, all right, got it, I trust in Jesus, I have faith, I’m justified, I’m going to heaven. Faith is the way you live your life, and some of us are practical atheists.
When we worry, we tell God, “I’m not sure you know what You’re doing,” or, “I’m not sure You’re really in control,” or “I’m not sure that You really care about me.”
It’s a wonderful time of the year in Charlotte. Love to see the green on the trees, the flowers along the path, and they’re almost all back. It’s almost all green again. How did they get there? Did you save the leaves from the fall? Did you… I should say, well, yeah, I did, I never raked my yard, okay… Well, did you go and save them? Do some sort of reverse process of photosynthesis? Get them green again? Get out your ladder, staple them up to your tree? Who put them there? You didn’t do it. God did it again. He’ll do it next spring again. He made the trees blossom again. No one had to tell Him to. He knows what He’s doing.
And God knows how to take care of you. So you don’t have to hoard your money or your dreams or your health or your kids or your cars or your house. The trees don’t clutch their leaves in the fall. They know they’ll get them back. God knows what He’s doing.
You see, we don’t just live life. We don’t just live life passively. We’re always interpreting the life that we live, and that’s what Jesus is helping us to do. Do you understand that this God who is running the universe is your heavenly Father and He cares for you? Don’t just live life. How are you interpreting life?
I’m sure you’ve all seen this before. You’ve had it happen to you as parents, maybe you remember some episode of this when you were a kid, but I’ve seen it many times. One of my little kids who can barely see about somebody’s knee will be looking and they’ll cling onto some other person’s long, skinny legs, and in that moment, and it’s happened to me with your kids, and in that moment they are misinterpreting their situation. Because they’ve interpreted it as this is their loving parent, they feel calm. It’s not really their parent. Now hopefully we’re still loving, but the reverse happens. They get turned around in a crowd and they feel lost, and they cling onto your leg, and you’re the parent, but they don’t know where they are and they can’t see all the way up to see that they got the right face, and so they’re crying and they’re terrified, but they shouldn’t be, because they have not interpreted their situation correctly. They don’t know to whom they are clinging. They have to believe, though they can’t see all the way up to the smiling face, they’re down there at the ankles, that this is mom or dad and they love me and will take care of me.
As you cling to God, are you interpreting your life correctly? Do you know to whom you are clinging? It’s your heavenly Father.
God cares about you.
Reason number 5 – Jesus says pagans worry. “Do not be anxious,” verse 31, ‘What shall we eat or drink or wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them.”
This is what pagans do. Being overanxious shows no sign of discipleship. Again, just to add the caveat that there are sometimes very psychosomatic reasons and things imbalanced that need to be addressed with our anxiety, but Jesus is certainly true. As a spiritual condition, to run around life as if no one is looking after you is what the Gentiles do. See, a pagan isn’t someone who worships idols and sacrifices frogs. A pagan is someone who thinks life is about what you eat, what you drink, what you will wear. That’s a pagan. That’s all that life is about. Pagans think their life consists in the abundance of their possessions. That’s what the Gentiles do.
Now some of your out there are realists, as you hear this sermon, and you think, “Well, wait a second. This sounds all really good, about God loves us and cares for us, but isn’t it the case that sometimes Christians are persecuted? Don’t Christians have their homes broken into, or cars stolen? Don’t Christians get diagnoses or car accidents? How can we have this blanket statement that, ah, don’t worry, as if Jesus is saying, ‘Yeah, everything will always turn up roses.'”
Well, we know that’s not what Jesus is saying, for the very simple reason that we worship a crucified Savior. He died as a young man. So Jesus is under no illusion that you just have faith and everything works out just fine.
In Luke 21 Jesus says, “You will be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of Me, but not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.”
Now how does that work? They will put you to death; not a hair on your head will perish. Is Jesus just saying, “Well, they’ll kill you in some other way but your head will still be nice”? No, the implicit promise is that nothing can happen to the very hairs of your head apart from the will of your Father who is in heaven. So, yes, they could kill you, but they can’t do anything that God Himself has not willed for His glory and for our good.
So we don’t need to just spiritualize everything – well, God takes care of the souls and our bodies may be terrible. The question is whether we can count on God or not.
Well, come back to the Sermon on the Mount, because remember the context. When Jesus says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all,” verse 32, He’s not saying He knows that you need them all, all of your dreams coming true. He’s talking about the necessities of life – food, drink, clothes.
I think what Jesus is saying in a very simple yet deceptively profound way is that God knows our needs and He will provide for us every single thing we need to live so long as He wants us to live. He knows that you need clothes and food and drink to live. So He’ll give you all of the clothes and food and drink that you need to live until it’s His plan that you don’t live. In other words, God sees you, He knows you, He isn’t going out to lunch, He isn’t taking a nap, He doesn’t lose a child in one part of the grocery store. He’s always for you as His child. He doesn’t promise all your wildest dreams come true or that you never have suffering in life. What He does promise is He will give you everything you need to glorify Him and live out all of the days He has written in His book.
Now that may sound rather anticlimactic, but I think it is profound, because it means Jesus is saying there’s more life than to staying alive. There’s more to life than staying alive. Do we believe that as Christians? We’re going to die. If you make it, you’re overarching goal in life, to stay alive, you all fail. We all fail at that goal. That’s what pagans do, and they all fail. Because everyone dies.
Life is more important than food and clothes. So if you want to be consumed about something, don’t be consumed about fashions and fads and diets, or even consumed with staying alive, because you are here to do more than avoid death. Jesus says, “I’ll give you all you need for that, and when I want you in heaven, I’ll get you in heaven, but I put you here for a reason bigger than just to stay alive.” That’s why He says, in verse 33, “Seek first the kingdom.” You’re not a pagan, after all.
Which is the sixth reason – The kingdom matters more.
See, even if we have cars and boats and timeshares or tractors or houses, we worry about them. Jesus says, how about a better treasure? It’s not that to have all those things is wrong, but Jesus wants to have a pilgrim mindset. If we were to pack our bags and somebody says, “You need to walk from here to San Diego,” first of all you’d pack light, second of all you wouldn’t build a castle along the way. You would know that I’m heading somewhere else. In fact, you’d want to send ahead your greatest treasure.
So Jesus says don’t get rid of all pursuits, but replace your pagan pursuits with pious pursuits. Seek first the kingdom. Make that your priority, the reign and rule of God, introducing people to the King, getting more people in the kingdom, training people to live according to the kingdom. You do that, and that’s going to be a good life.
Therefore, He can say at the end, “Do not be anxious,” because if you are pursuing kingly goals and kingly passions, then you can’t lose. It’s what Jesus said at the very beginning of this sermon – If you are poor in spirit, congratulations. Yours is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you.
So the final reason why you should not be anxious this week – Tomorrow will be anxious for itself, Jesus says, reason number 7.
Now that seems like a strange concluding argument. Cheer up, don’t worry, tomorrow could be terrible. But that’s not exactly what Jesus is saying. Here’s the point – Today’s grace is sufficient for today’s trials. Tomorrow’s grace will be there for tomorrow’s trials. God will have new grace for you when you get there. That’s why He says the famous line “sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” That expression, “don’t borrow trouble.”
Anxiety is living out the future before it arrives. You’re living in the troubles from Wednesday when you haven’t gotten to the graces of Wednesday. You’re living in the trials of three years from now when you haven’t got to God’s mercies three years from now. His mercies are new every morning.
So what will happen tomorrow? A thousand things could happen – good, bad, otherwise. Diagnoses, accidents, jobs, tests, babies, awkward conversations, tremendous jubilation… We don’t know. But here’s what we do know – there will be new mercies from the Lord when you wake up tomorrow. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, and that is ultimately why Jesus can tell us, “Do not be anxious.”
It’s not a self-talk. It’s not just the power of positive thinking. It’s Jesus talk. Look to Jesus. He sees, He knows, He cares, He’s a sympathetic high priest, and He will never leave you nor forsake you. Whatever trials or troubles may await you in the morning, know this for certain, beloved – Jesus will meet you there. So you do not need to worry.
Let’s pray. Father in heaven, we give thanks for Your wonderful Word which means to rebuke and then to heal, to correct and then to comfort. No one did that like Jesus. So in the morning when we rise, give us Jesus, for all of our troubles. In His name we pray. Amen.