August 15, 2018

Do Not Be Anxious

Matthew 6:25-34

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

—  Romans 8:28

Several times in these verses Jesus says, “Do not worry,” or “Do not be anxious.” Yet simply telling an anxious person to stop being anxious rarely helps. Does anyone who is anxious make the choice to be that way? Why, then, would Jesus say this? His words run much deeper than simply saying “Stop it.” He reminds us that there are things beyond our control that require us to trust in God’s care and provision.

I’ve had to learn this lesson repeatedly in life. I’ve never been in charge. Yet my humanness wants desperately to be in control. I don’t like being dependent on others. And I often give lip-service to my dependence on God. My insecurity drives my desire for control, and realizing that I’m not in control intensifies my insecurity—and the result is anxiety.

Jesus points out that God provides abundantly for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. God cares deeply for all of his creation. So we can be confident that God will certainly provide for us.

And with God’s providence comes his amazing power to reset our focus in life. We cannot get past our anxiety without knowing that God, who is in control, also loves us and knows what is best for us—­always.

Father, help us to let go of our worry and stop being anxious about tomorrow. Teach us to trust in you, knowing you will work all things for good, in line with your purpose and for your glory. Amen.

About the author — Lloyd Wicker

Lloyd Wicker has been a pastor for more than eighteen years and has served churches in Illinois, Washington, and California. He currently serves as a chaplain with the United States Navy in Sicily. Lloyd and his wife, Heidi, have three children.

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