"Do Not Worry" (Matthew 6:25-34) - #1
by Don R. Hastings

Jesus said, "Be not anxious for your life." The New King James Version reads, "do not worry about your life.” This is a command that most of us have failed to keep. It is easy to say, "Don't worry," but it is very different to keep ourselves from worrying. We can learn from God's word how to overcome anxiety of mind! What a great and wonderful accomplishment! Jesus would not command us to do something that we didn’t have the ability to do. It can be done. We must do it!

          Anxiety is forbidden because it is evidence of a great lack of faith in the goodness and care of our heavenly Father. While we claim to believe that the word of God is truth, our minds being troubled with apprehension and anxiety proves that our faith is either very weak or dead Heb. 11:6. How can we rely on the mercy of God in the hour of death if we are afraid to trust Him in life?

          Jesus is not forbidding our giving thought to obtaining the necessities of life. We must provide for our own (1 Tim. 5:8). We should give some thought and care to the physical body. Jesus is forbidding our being overly concerned, full of care, troubled and upset with dread, so that: we do not have peace of mind; we are not able to rest; all joy is taken out of this life; we are blinded to our blessings and, therefore, fail to give thanks for them; our spiritual life is choked out and we are made useless in the Lord's service. "The worry which wears out the mind wears out the body along with it. Worry affects a man's judgment, lessens his powers of decision, and renders him progressively incapable of dealing with life. ‘Let a man give his best to every situation - he cannot give more - and let him leave the rest to God’” (The Gospel of Matthew, William Barclay, Vol. 1, p. 263). We must have the proper view of life and that is being far more concerned about our spiritual life than our earthly life Col.3:14.

          Jesus had just told his disciples not to lay up "treasures upon the earth" and not to let riches be their master Matt. 6:19-24. Some of you may be thinking, "I am not in bondage to riches. I possess very few material riches." Jesus points out that we are a bond servant of riches if we are worried about possessing them. Our great concern to possess them makes us their servant. We are giving our time, energy and thought to obtaining them. Are riches your master?

          In our text, Jesus gives us seven valid reasons which prove why we must not worry. We must not be anxious because:

          I. God Has Given Us Our Lives and Our Bodies, Text; Acts 17:24; Gen. 2:7. Jesus asked, "Is not the life more than the food, and the body more than the raiment?" The answer is, "Yes." Jesus reasons from the greater to the lesser. Since God has given us our life and body, we can trust him to give us food which will sustain life and clothing to cover the body. Do you trust Him for these things?

          II. God's Consideration of Inferior Creatures Assures Us of His Great Concern for Us, Text. Birds are not worried about the future, but sing cheerfully. Elizabeth Cheyney penned this poem, “Overheard In An Orchard.”

    Said the robin to the sparrow,
    "I should really like to know
    Why these anxious
human beings
    Rush about, and worry so?"

    Said the sparrow to the robin,
    "Friend, I think that it must be
    They have no heavenly Father
    Such as cares for you and me."

          The birds do not serve "mammon," or riches. Since God doesn't forget even the sparrows, but feeds them, surely we can count on him to give us our "daily bread" Lk. 12:6,7. Brother A.W. Discus wrote these words, which he set to music, "Lord, I believe, yes, I believe, I cannot doubt or be deceived; The eye that sees each sparrow fall. His unseen hand is in it all.”

          Jesus asked, "Are not ye of much more value than they?" The answer is, "Yes." We are made in His image Gen.1:26-27. We are the recipients of his redeeming grace Ps. 111:9. He sent His Son to die for us Rom.5:8-11.

          III. Worrying Is Useless V. 27 KJV, footnote in ASV). Worrying about your height is vain; it won't help you grow taller. It wouldn't do any good to worry about it. I am 5'8" and I have always been short. I tell people, "Dynamite comes in small packages."

          Some people worry themselves into a state of depression because they are not content with their appearance. It is senseless to be overly concerned about our physical appearance. It is senseless, for regardless of the attention, time, or money spent on our
bodies, they will return to the dust of the ground Gen. 3:19; 2 Cor. 4:16. It is the beauty of the heart that is important in the sight of God 1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Pet. 3:3,4. Jesus asked, "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" The answer, "No one!"