“When I set God at the center of my life, I realize vast freedoms and surprising spontaneities. When I center life in my own will, my freedom diminishes markedly, I live constricted and anxious.”Eugene Peterson
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)
How much time and energy does worry consume of your thoughts each day? Lately, there have been many concerns in the news to add to the worry list – inflation, war, gas prices, and of course Covid. Many of our concerns we have no control over, and yet we still worry. In these verses Jesus warns about worry because He knew that worry will cause people to falter in their relationship to both God and others.
Jesus understood people have needs in life; food, clothes, jobs, etc. And He also understood we have a human tendency to worry about such things. But He points out that worry cannot add a single hour to life. We expend a lot of energy and it usually solves nothing. In other words, worry has a cost associated with it and offers little in return.
With the words “But seek first…..” Jesus is re-ordering our focus and priorities in life. It is a challenge to change our “life focus” from worry to faith. Let’s face it, walking by faith is not easy but most life altering challenges aren’t. But when you consider who has your back, the path becomes a whole lot straighter. If God can part the Red Sea and cause the sun to stand still, He can surely take care of us. Give all your worries to Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NLV)