Do Not Worry
25"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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look 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? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
“Don’t worry. Be happy.”
The words of an older popular song seem trite and condescending when compared with Jesus’ loving call in this passage to leave your worries behind and trust in God. He’s not giving another hard-to-keep law to live by so much as He’s giving you an invitation to trust.
After rehearsing the things people generally worry about—daily needs like food and clothing—Jesus asked His listeners a rhetorical question, one with an obvious answer. Can you add one hour to your life by worrying? Can you bring about anything purely by worrying? The obvious answer is, nope, not a thing. In fact, if you think about it, you can actually remove hours from you life by worrying, with the emotional and physical damage worry can cause when it goes unchecked.
What is at the root of most worry? Jesus answered that question clearly, forthrightly, with a little diplomacy or care for the feelings of those listening. At the root of worry is a lack of faith in God’s ability to provide. Ouch.
In the last two verses of this passage, Jesus made a shift from worry itself to the lifestyle differences the worrier and the truster evidence. Those who trust God reveal it be their concentration on the significant rather than passing things of life. Rather than focusing their lives on the temporary, which is what the “Gentiles” [NKJV], the “pagans” [NIV], do [another ouch!], they focus their lives on the things that last, God’s kingdom and the righteousness to be gained through faith in Jesus.
Without a doubt you’ve had lots of times when you’ve worried about something. Maybe you’ve even had lots of times, times when worry has taken the place of trust and belief in God’s power to provide what you need. Perhaps you’re in one of those times right now. Maybe you simply need to adjust the level of your trust in God by spending more time with Him. Or perhaps you’re in the midst of a time of suffering or extreme difficulty, when God seems distant, unable or unwilling to meet some need. Those times are tough. There are no ready answers. But one thing is sure: God is just the person in those times as when you feel Him near. All the worry in the world won’t change a thing. But trusting God? With that you can change the world! Borrowed from The Women’s Devotional Guide to the Bible by Jean E. Syswerda.