Don't Worry Be HappyJesus comes in the flesh as an itinerant rabbi – traveling throughout the region of Judea/Palestine declaring that the kingdom of God has arrived. This kingdom is not a place where one goes after they die – but is a way of life in the here and now. Jesus demonstrates what a life lived under the rule and reign of God looks like. It is a victorious life of faith. Matthew, the first perspective of this message from Jesus, is written to the Jewish people who had been waiting anxiously for the one promised by the prophets. According to Matthew, Jesus was that one they had been looking for. After validating this by listing how Jesus fits into the lineage of King David, Matthew then shares various teachings of Jesus through a Jewish lens.

Beginning in chapter 5, there is a section of teachings entitled the “Sermon on the Mount” (because they are given on the side of a mountain). Dealing with various practical, every day issues, Jesus reveals how an individual who is in alignment with God will go about their normal life. One of those teachings, near the end of chapter 6, deals with a major source of stress even for us today, that is worrying. We all battle this inclination to worry and stress about our provision, our future and our decisions. In fact – it is tempting to claim this as a normal part of being human. But that is not how Jesus sees it…

 

“Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life.  And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”– Matthew 6:25-34 AMP

 

Jesus teaches that people who are living under the rule and reign of God (in His kingdom), should not worry, be fretful, or over-anxious about their lives.

Reasons to not worry:

  • Life is more than what you eat (v 25)
  • Your body is more than what you wear (v 25)
  • Men are greater than material goods (v 25)
  • Men are worth more than birds – whom God takes care of without their worry (v 26)
  • Worrying cannot change your body (v27)
  • Men are worth more than the plants – who don’t worry (v 28-30)
  • God takes care of all creation, not just the birds and plants (v 26-32)
  • Worry is useless and sinful and most not be tolerated (v 33-34)

We (as God’s people) should work overtime to quit worrying. It isn’t noble nor is it healthy.

What worry really is:

  • Sinful and produces fear
  • A disease causing other ills
  • Borrowing trouble that cannot be paid back
  • Brooding over what may not happen
  • Creating trouble, misery, death
  • A burden borrowed from tomorrow and others who should carry it
  • Weight that kills prematurely
  • Mental and physical suicide
  • A grave-digger that has no sympathy
  • Needless and wasted time and effort that should be spent on worthwhile things
  • A robber of faith, peace, and trust in a never-failing, heavenly Father
  • A stumbling block to others
  • A disgrace to God and should never be indulged in by Christians
  • Anxiety over what is nothing today and less tomorrow, in view of faith
  • Anticipating troubles which seldom come to those who trust God
  • Torment over something that will likely be a blessing if it comes
  • Living like an orphan without a heavenly Father
  • A crime against God, man, nature, and better judgment
  • Mental cruelty to self and others
  • Foolish, for whatever is going to happen cannot be stopped by worry; and if it doesn’t happen, there is nothing to worry about. Should adversities actually come, one may still be victorious by trusting God.

Don’t worry – be happy!

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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