As we head into this new year, many things are unknown. That can be unsettling to people, but it should not be for the believer. Unbelievers have something to worry about, but believers have a greater God than anything, and He promised to be with us in 2022.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus teaches His disciples about worry. He begins in verse 24 by saying that we cannot serve two masters. He continues to teach us about the master of fear. The master of worry can, and often does, keep us from obedience to Jesus. The first thing that Jesus teaches us is not to worry about life. Matthew 6:25 says, “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Jesus told us not to worry about life. The word that is translated as life is psyche. It is translated in many verses as the soul. We understand that Jesus is not just talking about the material things of our lives. He adds to that the stress of having to worry about those things. Jesus fully understood us. He was one of us but without sin. He never worried about what He was going to eat or wear, and He tells us not to worry.
Then He tells us to look at the birds. When Jesus says to look at the birds, He says to consider them. Think about these little birds. To the Jewish mind, He was saying these insignificant little birds. The Jewish people put little significance on birds. To them, they were not a concern. Jesus is telling His disciples, you may not be concerned about these birds, but My heavenly Father is concerned. He feeds them. Jesus then asked this question, are you worth more than they?
In verse 27, Jesus asks another question: Can worry add to your life’s length? Jesus is trying to get us to understand that worry cannot change anything. Worry can cause us to submit ourselves to it and become our master instead of Jesus. Worry cannot add, but it can take away. It can destroy our peace, joy, and love. It can harm us physically and emotionally. Jesus then asks, why are you worried about what you will wear? He tells His disciples again to look at or consider the lilies. The lilies that Jesus was talking about were wildflowers. They were not cultivated or cared for by a farmer. Jesus compared these flowers to Solomon. King Solomon was known for the way he dressed. He had the most beautiful robes. Many people were jealous of the way he dressed, but the wildflowers of the fields were dressed even more beautifully. These flowers are here for only a short time. God will cloth you!
Verse 33 is a verse that many of us know by heart. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When we take this verse in context, Jesus is saying that instead of worrying and seeking what we will eat or how we will dress, He tells us to be thinking and seeking the kingdom and its righteousness. Worry will take the place of the Lordship of Jesus, the Kingdom.
In this new year, don’t worry! Instead, set your heart and thoughts on the kingdom of God.