I love the King James Version of the above scripture which says, ‘take no thought.’ Other versions say, ‘do not worry,’ or ‘do not be anxious.’ Jesus was teaching the sermon on the Mount and spoke about anxiety and worry. He started by saying, don’t worry about what you are going to eat or wear. This is because the body is more important that food or clothes. Jesus also asked us to consider the birds, who do not labour, yet God feeds them. None of us can add any value to our lives from worrying. He also said, why should we worry about clothing? The lilies of the field also do not work, yet even King Solomon, with all of his wealth was not as well adorned as them.
If God can take care of the grass that is here today and tomorrow withers away, why would he not take care of you? Jesus described this type of worrying as lacking in faith. “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed” (Matthew 6:31)? It is the people of the world who seek after these things. However, our father in heaven knows what we need. What should be our position? We seek the kingdom of God first and then everything else that we need will be added. We seek the kingdom by doing the will of God and work to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’s final statement on this matter was; do not worry about tomorrow but let tomorrow worry about itself. How many of us even know whether or not the world will end tomorrow? Sometimes life takes such significant and even catastrophic turns, that some of what we worry about now pales in existence. I don’t believe that people who are caught in the middle of a war for example, are as concerned about the latest fashion. They’re primary concern will be to survive. The pandemic brought some of these things into focus and for a while, people focused more on relationships. It has perhaps created other challenges, such as soaring energy prices.
Many people are worried about energy companies and the increased cost of living. While I am not nonchalant about the issues, I don’t watch the news. This is because I do not need any additional reasons to be anxious. We bear in mind that the same God who provided yesterday, last week or even last year, will continue to provide for us. He will never leave us or forsake us. Prayer reduces anxiety. When I get really anxious about something, then I know that I need to spend some time praying about it. Generalised anxiety is sometimes an indication, of an area that we have not fully surrendered.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).