“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?”
If God covers with so much glory things of no farther value than to serve the meanest uses, will he not take care of his servants, who are so precious in his sight, and designed for such important services in the world?
The question at the heart of these few verses could not be posed any better than the way it is above. The answer to that question is, of course, God cares so much more about his servants than anything else in creation. He has set his affection on us and will crown us with his grace and provision.
Unfortunately, a lot of us struggle with believing and trusting God to provide for us and take care of our tomorrow. We are some times too anxious about our future, that we fail to rest in His abiding grace. We act as if God is going to abandon us or forsake us. For this we doubt God’s promises. When we act like this, we show an attitude of unbelief, doubt and fear.
The proper meaning or translation for “do not be anxious” is the phrase “take no thought” and it means to not be anxiously careful. Prudence is good but anxious solicitude ends up distracting and dividing the mind – causing what James calls a double-minded man (James 1:8). To be unsettled, have a doubtful mind or to have an anxious concern about your future can cripple your faith. You can almost hear it in a nagging child’s voice – “are we there yet?”
Here are some compelling examples and arguments against worry. Let’s explore:
1. The Birds of the air…
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? Verse 26
2. The grass of the field…
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin… Verse 28
The point here is simple. The birds are provided for by God, and if He takes care of them, how much more will He take care of you? God even takes care of the grass of the field, so He will certainly take care of you. All He needs you to be concerned about is seeking Him and putting Him first. That is the secret to a worried free life. We are to be concerned with the right things; the ultimate issues of life – and we leave the management (and the worry) over material things with our heavenly Father. For He cares for us so much more than He does birds and fields.
In conclusion, look with me at what Paul tells the Philippians to do with the problem of worry: Philippians 4:4, 5, 6, 7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Wow! This is one of the greatest passages in scripture. He says rejoice always, because Paul knew that God is always in control. He says be reasonable – look at the birds and look at the fields. If God takes care of them, how much more you? He says be anxious not – take it to the Lord, He answers prayer. But as you wait for Him, be thankful because you know He is good. In fact stay in that attitude of thanksgiving because it is the very thing that will usher in the peace of God. And that peace will lift your burden and shift your mind from worry to praise. In a matter of time, you will find your heart and mind strangely guarded in Christ
Do not be Anxious about anything!