The words “Do not worry” are some of the most calming and reassuring words that we can ever hear. These words come from the lips of Jesus Himself, as recorded in Matthew 6, where He gives “The Sermon on the Mount.” In fact, three times in chapter 6, Jesus repeated the statement, “Do not worry.” Yes, three times. Friends, He really means it.
However, at this moment, there are many people, perhaps some of you who are reading this article, who are worried about many issues ranging from the breakdown of a family, violence, unemployment, political corruption, diseases, vaccine requirements, and artificial intelligence, just to name a few. “What?” You might be asking, “Are people actually worried about artificial intelligence?” Yes, just the other day my friend told me that she is worried that her job will be eliminated soon because of artificial intelligence. I hope I didn’t just give you something new to worry about! But we all know that many people today are worried and troubled, so Jesus’ words “Do not worry,” are still incredibly relevant.
So let’s read exactly what Jesus commanded us to do about worry. He says,
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life.” Matthew 6:24 (NKJV)
This was not a suggestion. It is a command from Christ. He means to stop doing it. The literal meaning of the word He uses here is “take no anxious thought.” Instead, we are to take anxious thoughts immediately captive and put them next to the promises of God. In Colossians 3:2, it says,
“Set your mind on things above and not on things on earth.” (NKJV)
And Psalm 37:8 says,
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.” (NKJV)
I don’t know about you, but this is hard for me to do. Thankfully, we can ask Him for help, and that’s exactly what I do. I pray, “Lord Jesus, you tell me not to worry and to take my thoughts captive, and I need your help to do that. Please help me to do that.”
Jesus goes on to get really specific about what we are not to worry about. He says,
“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?” (Matthew 6:25, NKJV)
He asks us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air whom God respectively clothes and feeds.
He reminds us that we are worth so much more to our Heavenly Father. And for me, the most powerful part of this section of His sermon is the reminder, “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:32, NKJV)
And let’s remember what Paul wrote to the church at Philippi which thankfully still applies to us today, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NKJV).
Jesus encourages us to trust in God’s provision and to remember that He knows what we need and He will never fail to provide it. So let’s turn any worried thought about provision today immediately into prayer. Let’s simply pray, “Lord, You know what I need. Thank you that You are going to provide it. Help me not to worry.”
So what is the ultimate remedy for worry?
What is the cure for anxiety?
Our Jesus, who loves us and cares about us so much, ends this portion of His sermon by telling us exactly what to do. Instead of worrying, Jesus tells us to…
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)
This is the cure. Seeking His kingdom first means that we are to make a daily, consistent choice to prioritize God’s kingdom and righteousness in our lives, making it a habit in our lives to seek God’s righteousness and His kingdom first. And then He’ll take care of the rest. Again, let’s ask God for help in this. Let’s simply pray, “Lord, show me today how to seek your kingdom first.” He’ll faithfully answer that prayer.
I want to end with more powerful words of Jesus to help us remember that He desires for us to have peace. He says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” ( John 16:33, NKJV)
I love this quote from the famous Holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom. She was absolutely right when she said,
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.
If you look within, you’ll be depressed.
If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”
Friend, today, let’s cease worrying and look to Christ.
Annie Boyd is a co-founder and contributor at The Gingham Apron, an online place of encouragement and inspiration. She is the co-author of The Gathering Table: Growing Strong Relationships through Food, Faith, and Hospitality. Annie lives in southern California with her family, enjoying both the mountains and beaches.