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But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. - Matthew 33-34 (ESV)
Worry is becoming a pandemic in this country. We worry about our past and our future; money and finances; spouses and our kids; work and school; American idol and dancing with the stars"it never ends! I have a friend I was driving with one day and she saw her son getting ready to cross a busy street. As we were driving away, she called him to make sure he crossed the street successfully. I guess this would be ok if the child wasn't 19 years old! The statistics tell the story. Generalized Anxiety Disorder now affects over 7 million Americans. The symptoms Generalized Anxiety Disorder are persistent, uncontrollable worry. All anxiety disorders combined now affect over 40 million Americans, or 18% of the entire population. This costs the United States over 46 billion dollars annually. Worry is parasitic in nature as it feeds off of the willing host. Worry becomes fear and fear breeds anxiety and anxiety can lead to panic. Worry may sound the lesser of these terms but it is the feeding ground for the enemy to plant more and more doubt in your heart against the knowledge of God. It is the soil the enemy looks for to plant his lies. The dictionary defines a worrier as;
"Someone who torments oneself with or suffers from disturbing thoughts; troubled; plagued."
The definition however reveals the true nature of worrying. The person is troubled. They are plagued. They are suffering from self-inflicted torment. Remember the enemy only presents you with something to consider -- he cannot make you do anything. The considering itself is self-inflicted. It is only reinforced by the world system. The world constantly reinforces the need for therapy for your past, that your present is never satisfying and the utter doubt of your future. The object is never for relief, only for continual worrying. The therapies of the world are geared to help you cope -- that is -- live with your problems. It is not geared for releasing them. That is the difference. The world wants you to learn to live with your problems while Jesus takes them from you:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -- 1Peter 5:7
Jesus does not say cast your cares on your psychiatrist. He does not say to medicate your cares away. He says to cast them upon Him. This is the backdrop as we close out the teachings from the Sixth Chapter of Matthew's Gospel.
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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? - Matthew 6: 25 (ESV)
Is not life more than? You can fill in the blank anyway you want and Jesus is still asking us this question today. Is not life more than food and clothing? Is not life more than fame and fortune? Is not life more than finding a spouse? Whatever it is that we spend endless time worrying about is what sucks the very life out of what life should be about. Some spend time worrying about material needs and others about wealth and poverty. Some spend time worrying about relationships and loneliness. Yet at the end of the day, Jesus is saying is not life more than what we worry about? After all, what can worrying do for us?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? - Matthew 6: 26-27 (ESV)
Worrying cannot add a single hour to our life span beloved but it sure can take hours away. Look at the next imbedded question here - are you not of more value? Consider that for a moment. Are you not of more value than the birds of the air? Are you not of more value than maybe your parents or loved ones showed you? Are you not of more value than you even consider yourself? How valuable are you to God? Valuable enough to send His only Son to die on an old wooden cross to pay for your sins!
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5: 6-8 (ESV)
This is how valuable we are to God beloved. He sacrificed all for us when we were still living in complete rebellion to Him. We need to hold this truth close to our heart the next time the enemy wants to whisper in our ears about our worth. The next time we find ourselves worrying and anxious. The next time we are tempted to devalue what God paid the ultimate price for.
Is not life more than?
Are you not of more value?
Having painted a word picture for us about these matters, Jesus elevates the teaching to cut to the heart of the matter. These issues are not a product of chemical imbalance, as if God would make a mistake. These issues are not a product of society. They are always for believers a product of our faith: