What is it that causes you to be anxious? Is it worrying about what you’ll eat or what you’ll wear? That likely isn’t your major concern if you live in America, but it certainly could be true for those in Ukraine and impacted by the war there. More than likely, your anxiety — like most Americans at this point in history — is caused by other things. It could be your health, your finances, a major decision you need to make, your loved ones, or even the state of our nation or the world that keeps you troubled and awake at night. Most importantly, did you know that if you’re anxious about any of the above — or anything else for that matter — that God has the cure for your anxiety? God wants us to know that we do not ever need to be anxious about anything. No anxiety. No worry. Ever.
Jesus gives us the cure for anxiety in Matthew 6.
Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25 AMP)
His first instruction to us is to … STOP! To STOP being worried or anxious. In the amplified version the meaning of the word anxious is embellished with the words, being “perpetually uneasy, distracted” … as in, uneasy due to doubt regarding God’s provision and distracted from trusting in God. Do you STOP yourself when you begin to become fretful and anxious? Or do you continue on the path of feeding your anxiety and worry?
Second, He calls our attention to His marvelous creation.
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?…. And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! (Matthew 6:26; 28-30 AMP)
Do you regularly take time to consider God’s amazing handiwork — like the birds of the air or the flowers in the fields — and how God continually and faithfully provides for their every need? Do you stop to ponder that they are fed and clothed even though they never worry? And that you — being created in His image and a soul He died to save — are worth far more to Him than all of the birds in the air or the flowers in the field? Why would you doubt His ability to meet your needs when you think of all that He has created and sustained by His power and love for His world. By fixing your gaze and thoughts upon God’s creation all around you, you’ll be reminded of God’s faithfulness to creatures less important to Him than you are, and you’ll be reassured that you too can trust Him.
Jesus also challenges us to consider whether there’s anything good that comes from being anxious and worried.
And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? (Matthew 6:27)
Have you ever gained anything positive in your life by worrying? What has it cost you? A good night’s sleep? Peace and calmness? Money for anxiety medication? Perhaps even harmony in your relationships? I encourage you to take the time to truly consider those questions since Jesus thought it was important enough to address the question of whether you can add to your life by worrying about things of this world.
In light of what Jesus has said in the verses above, He then states:
Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, “What are we going to eat?” or “What are we going to drink?” or “What are we going to wear?” For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them (Matthew 6: 31-32 AMP).
We have been called to “be holy” as God is holy, which in essence is “separate from” and “other than” the world (1 Peter 1:16). However, when we are anxious and worried, instead of demonstrating to the people of this world that we can trust the one and only true and faithful God, we indicate to them that we are no different than they are. Why would they want what we say we have — a Savior and Lord — if they don’t see the impact of our relationship with Him in our life? Lord, forgive us when we malign Your name and character with our anxiety and worry! Thank You that you know our needs and are able to meet every one of them!
In conclusion, Jesus gives us the ultimate prescription for anxiety and worry:
But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also (Matthew 6:33 AMP).
Is seeking Jesus and His kingdom and His will your highest priority in life? Do you seek to do things His way? By that I mean, is it your desire to be loving, kind, compassionate, full of grace and mercy, and yet never compromising when it comes to the truth since it is the truth alone that can set people free from bondage to sin and deception? Are you one who is committed to keeping your word like our covenant-keeping Father in Heaven?
If you choose to make the wisest decision in your life — which is to seek God and His perfect, eternal will above everything else that this temporal world has to offer — you can be cured of your every worry, anxiety, and fear. Because in seeking Him with all of your heart, you will indeed find Him — He made that promise to you! — and when you truly know Jesus, you will know for certain that He is always “faithful and true” and that He can be nothing other than that (Jeremiah 29:13; Revelation 19:11).
And if you ever doubt that absolute truth, stop and consider the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. They will always testify of His unfailing goodness.