Lately, it seems as if there are more opportunities to worry than ever before. As you wake up, you can feel the weight of problems trying to attach themselves to the very top of your shoulders. There are days when the sheer weight and number of these problems are trying so hard to weigh you down, it can even affect your very posture and how you carry yourself.
The things that are going on around us are very real and very tangible, and they also carry power in the spirit realm to press on people’s hearts and minds. Jesus said in the last days that men’s hearts would fail them for fear (see Luke 21:26) — even the physical heart can be affected by the pressures that are in the world.
But Jesus said these things would happen (see Matthew 24:6) — and even more will happen before His return. We are also told by Jesus that when these things do happen we are to look up and lift up our heads because our “redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). So how do we simply handle living day to day? That is exactly what I want to talk to you about in this letter, and how we are to live with our heads up — every day — without worrying and fretting or being overcome and overwhelmed by the bombardment of negative thoughts.
Let’s take a look at Matthew 6:25-32 where Jesus was giving a lesson on worry to the multitudes on the hillside.
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, 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? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Jesus’ words are very clear — He said, “Do not worry.” Even in Philippians 4:6, we read, “Be anxious for nothing.” That word “nothing” in the Greek language means no one, none, nothing — that means that down to the smallest, most minute detail, we are to worry about NOTHING! Wow, that’s a big assignment! So let’s take a closer look at Jesus’ teaching on worry.
Matthew 6:25 begins, “Therefore I [Jesus] say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on it….” The things Jesus mentions are very small, basic necessities for everyday life. And if we are not to worry about these things, these small things, what about our future — the bigger things? How many of us have asked ourselves these questions: Will I be successful at my job? What if my plan fails? What if I’m wrong in what I am pursuing? Will I ever get married? There are so many questions and possibilities for WORRY! Here are a few more thoughts that can bring worry and care to our hearts: Is that person ever going to change? Am I stuck with this situation? This is not fair! I don’t deserve this! Again, WORRY. Worry is fear-based, and fear has torment.
Then in verse 26, it says, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns….” I would like to ask you a question about this verse. Have you ever seen a bird sitting on a telephone wire having a nervous breakdown because it was worried about what to eat? Is that what we see when we look at the birds? No, it’s not!
The next part of verse 26 says that our Heavenly Father feeds them and takes care of them. And then Jesus asks, “…Are you not of more value than they?” That means God cares for us. First Peter 5:7 confirms, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” In the Amplified Classic version, it says “He cares for you affectionally.”
God can do a much better job caring for us than we can do trying to care for ourselves.
So what good does worry do for us? Matthew 6:27 asks, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit [18 inches] to his stature?” Let’s say, for example, your mind is involved in worrying about 3 hours a day. You’re busy doing other things throughout the day, but several times a day, the question pops up, What if…? If you spend 3 hours a day, 7 days a week, entertaining that question, that’s 21 hours a week of worry. There are 52 weeks in a year, so this part-time activity of worry has now taken 1,092 hours of your energy, mental calmness, and your valuable time. If you continue this pattern of worry for 3 years, that’s about 3,276 hours of your precious time consumed with worry, exhaustion, and maybe even opening the door to impatience and anger. Jesus gave this example about increasing our physical stature to emphasize that worry doesn’t accomplish anything — it’s a waste of time and it doesn’t work.
So what is the answer to worrying? We find the answer and much-needed wisdom in the next two verses: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”(Matthew 6:33,34).
Friend, if anyone could have worried about tomorrow, it was Jesus. He was constantly criticized, doubted, accused of having demons, kicked out of cities, and ridiculed by religious people who were also plotting His death. His disciples, who followed Him the best they could, really didn’t understand who He was. And weightiest of all, Jesus knew His purpose was to come and give His life as a ransom for the sin of the world. He knew the penalty of death was the only payment that would be accepted for our freedom.
Jesus had every reason to worry. The Bible says He was tempted in every way, just as we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Yes, Jesus was tempted to worry just like you and me. He never sinned, but He identifies with us, and His answer for not worrying is to live one day at a time and to do everything we can each day to work hard, serve people, and enjoy life. It may sound simple to some and very difficult to others, but He has given us the Holy Spirit on the inside of us to help us live one day at a time and not be encumbered, overcome, and defeated by worry.
Dear friend, I want to pray the following prayer with you. As you read this, let your heart agree: Father, I thank You for the Word of God and Your instruction to us not to worry. And I thank You for the help of the Holy Spirit — the ultimate Helper. Right now, by my own will, I receive Your help to live this day to the fullest and not worry about tomorrow as Jesus commanded. It’s in His name I pray. Amen.
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Thank you for spending this time with me. I am hearing from many who have read my new book Unstoppable, and I am so thankful for each and every response and comment. I also want to invite you to watch my program TIME With Denise Renner on YouTube, Facebook, or Telegram! Let’s live each day one day at a time!
Moving forward together,