These words of Jesus touch my soul: “Be not therefore anxious, saying, what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or how shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek” (Matthew 6:31-32).
Jesus is warning about the heathen tendency to worry. He tells us that worry – over our job, our family, our future, our survival – is a heathen’s way of living. It is the attitude of those who have no heavenly Father. They do not know God as he desires to be known: as a caring, providing, loving Father in heaven. To all who believe, it is not enough to know God only as the Almighty, the Creator, the Lord of all. He also wants us to know him as our heavenly Father. “For your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things” (verse 32).
“Take therefore no thought for tomorrow” (verse 34). With these plain words, Jesus commands us: “Do not give a thought, a single worry, to what might or might not happen tomorrow. You can’t change anything. And you can’t help anything by worrying. When you do, you’re only doing as the heathen do.”
Jesus then says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (verse 33). In other words, we are to go on loving Jesus. We are to move on, casting all our cares on him. And we are to rest in his faithfulness. Our heavenly Father will see to it that we are supplied with all the essential things of life.
I wonder if the angels are baffled by all the worry and anxiousness of those who claim to trust in the Lord. To those celestial beings, it must seem insulting to God that we worry as if we had no caring Father in heaven. What perplexing questions the angels must ask among themselves:
“Do they not believe the One who loves them? Did he not tell them he knows about all their needs? Do they not know the Father sends us to take charge of them in times of danger? Do they not believe that he who feeds the birds, the fish, the whole animal kingdom will feed and clothe them? How can they fret and worry when they know God possesses all power, all wealth, and can supply the needs of all creation? How can they accuse their heavenly Father of neglect, as if he isn’t true to his Word?”
The birds sing, while we complain and speak of fear and anxiety. The lilies of the field stand tall in their glory, while we wilt and bend before the smallest wind of adversity. The following poem puts it succinctly:
The very birds reprove thee with all their happy song;
the very flowers teach thee that fretting is a wrong.
“Cheer up,” the sparrow chirpeth. “Thy Father feedeth me;
think how much he careth, oh lovely child, for thee.”
“Fear not,” the flowers whisper; “since thus he hath arrayed
the buttercup and daisy. How canst thou be afraid?”
Then don’t you trouble, till trouble troubles you.
You’ll only double trouble, and trouble others too.
You most definitely have a heavenly Father. Trust in him!