Seven reasons to not be anxious
We don’t have to live in a constant state of fear and anxiety no matter what our circumstances are or our personality type.
Anxiety is at epidemic proportions in our societies ranging from mild to severe. Looking at any internet search produces a host of articles upon it. Our health services are struggling to cope trying to help people. It is time we came back to the teachings of Jesus and the Bible because not only is He the Prince of Peace 1(Isaiah 9:6) 6 For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. but peace characterises the Kingdom of God 2(Romans 14:17) 17 for God’s Kingdom is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit..
Jesus was sitting on a hill and His disciples came to Him. He began to teach them and the record we have of this teaching is traditionally known as the ‘Sermon on the Mount.’ A whole section of this teaching is about not being anxious 3(Matthew 6:24-34) 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon. 25 Therefore I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you of much more value than they? 27 “Which of you by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan? 28 Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, 29 yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith? 31 “Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient..
Three times Jesus says, “Don’t be anxious” 4(Matthew 6:25, 31, 34). The word translated anxiety means to be distracted. As we live our lives it is important that we give healthy and diligent attention to the issues we are facing. This is Biblical and we must realise that trusting in God does not mean we sit back passively and do nothing in the hope that God will work a miracle for us. Proverbs encourages us to be diligent in all we do 5(Proverbs 10:4) 4 He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth..
Jesus is not saying don’t think about situations and what should be done in them. He is wanting us not to be distracted in our thinking. Anxious thinking is unprofitable, unhealthy and very distressing.
It is all very well saying don’t be anxious but anxious people need a very good reason to be at peace.
Jesus gives a number of reasons why His disciples should not be anxious. It must be pointed out here that those who are not followers of Jesus do not have these foundational reasons to be at peace. The root of peace is found in following Jesus and those who do not are in a very scary and unsettling place. It is quite wrong to take the promises of God to those who have trusted in Him and try to reassure others who have not. This teaching, therefore, is for Christians not unbelievers.
Here are seven reasons why we should not be anxious:
1. Jesus tells us not to be anxious
If Jesus tells us we have no need to be anxious then truly we do have every reason to be at peace. Again, and again the people of God are told not to fear and to be at peace. God is not a liar nor does He give inappropriate reassurances 6(1 Peter 5:7) 7 casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you..
2. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothing
The reality of the issues we face is not really about food and clothing. Every true Christian has been saved from eternal judgement and is being prepared for a life of everlasting joy. There are incredible promises for every Christian that is not only for the age to come but also for the here and now. Such promises are many and not just one or two.
“ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,” (Romans 8:28)
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
In light of this, our anxious thoughts about food and clothing should be placed in their proper context. God who has done and is doing such incredible things for us is not going to forget to provide us with our necessary food and clothing. We cannot worry big enough to even begin to think at the same level of need and threat that God has already totally dealt with.
3. God provides for the birds
If we were to stop and consider just how many birds there are in the world and how they are fed we would realise the vast resources that God gives to these creatures. If God so diligently looks after even the humblest bird He will certainly look after the people that His Son died to save. God is ever-present to provide for our needs 7(Genesis 22:14) 14 Abraham called the name of that place “Yahweh Will Provide”.. Jehovah Jireh one of God’s names means ‘The Lord will provide.’
4. We cannot make ourselves taller by anxious thinking.
Jesus is saying that worry is futile. The effort and energy we put into this kind of activity are totally unproductive. In any other area of endeavour, we soon stop our actions if repeatedly there is no profit in them. Let us be those who make good use of our time and energy 8(Ephesians 5:16) 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil..
5. God clothes the lily.
The best efforts of men are totally outclassed by what God does. Since God has promised to care for us He will do things far better than any scenario we could imagine in our anxious thoughts. We don’t cover everything in our greatest efforts. Even when we do everything we think we should we don’t get things perfectly right. Gods care for us is perfection delivered with perfect time and incredible skill and power 9(Ephesians 3:20) 20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,.
6. The Gentiles are anxious
The context of this is the Gentiles were not the people of God and were very fearful and anxious. The way they thought is summed up as 10(1 Corinthians 15:32) 32 If I fought with animals at Ephesus for human purposes, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, then “let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.” As Christians, who are the people of God and not of this world, should we be thinking like those who do not know God and who have not tasted of all the good things that God has promised us?
7. All things are added.
When someone bought something in Bible times it was often weighed or measured out. Sellers sometimes added an extra amount or weight deliberately. This overplus ensured satisfied customers and prevented any mistakes in measuring or weighing. God promises that those who seek Him and His Kingdom will find Him but also will receive the overplus of His help and provision in this life.
Ultimately worry and anxiety are a refusal to believe that what God says is true. We have to fill our minds with the Word of God and meditate upon this day and night. If we fill our minds with the truth we will give no place for the fears and lies of anxiety 11(Philippians 4:6-9) 6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition 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 thoughts in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report: if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Do the things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me, and the God of peace will be with you..
- How can we be at peace in a troubled world?
- Can you think of other reasons why we should not be anxious?
- Can you think of times when God provided for you or your anxiety was groundless?