When we ask God to give us more faith, He usually does so by providing us with opportunities to trust Him more. He may ask us to trust Him for larger things, or He may ask us to wait longer for what we ask for and need. Faith building can be arduous, but it reaps huge rewards. Faith grows when it is exercised.
In the Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives his followers a counter-cultural talk. In a world where anxiety and concern is common, He tells them not to worry, and gives them reasons why worrying has no place in God’s Kingdom.
Our King loves His people. Psalm 13:5 speaks of His love: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Worrying and anxiety are forms of fear. I John 4:18 tells us that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Heartfelt understanding of God’s unfailing love drives worry away.
Faith building can be arduous, but it reaps huge rewards. Faith grows when it is exercised.
1. Life is more than what we eat and wear. (Matthew 6:25) Jesus wants us to focus on eternally important things. He doesn’t want us to waste energy chasing things that God knows are our needs and that He has already promised to provide. We can think about these things and plan for them, but we don’t need to fret.
The Greek word that Jesus uses for worry is merimnaó ((mer-im-nah’-o). This verb means to be anxious or over-anxious or distracted. We need not be concerned to the point of distraction about these earthly needs.
2. You are valuable to God. (Matthew 6:26) Jesus is telling us that we matter to God! That is news to many of us. This is early in Jesus’ ministry and He is saying a lot of things that are shocking to people. While the Old Testament is full of statements of God’s love, Jesus is reemphasizing a personal love and intimate concern that God has for each person. He looks at the crowds and tells them that each of them is valuable to God.
3. Worry doesn’t extend your life. (Matthew 6:27) Contrary to worldly thinking, not everything can be fixed through a thorough google search, the right lawyer, or the right doctor. We are not wholly responsible for helping ourselves or finding the right earthly help. We can get caught up in self-help advice, to an "unhealthy" spiritual degree, in fact. “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible! We should not be that self-important. Jesus is telling it like it is; worry is useless.
Rather than commanding that we help ourselves in order to get God's help, the Bible actually says that “... my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Worrying and trying to figure it all out on your own does not make us live longer. While it is true that God sometimes wants us to search things out (see Proverbs 25:2), He is the source of true wisdom and revelation and He wants us to go to, and depend on, Him.
“God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible!
Jesus is making a simple point: God created the universe in its vastness and complexity, so we can therefore trust Him to handle caring for us. Luke 11:10-11 says,
“For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?”
When we see God as the perfect Creator and loving Father that He is, we need not worry. He is willing and able to take care of us.
5. Trusting God increases our faith. (Matthew 6:30) God sometimes gives us just what we need at the 11th hour, but He always comes through. Remember that He is also concerned about our spiritual maturity, so He may give us “opportunities” to thank Him for what we already have, to trust Him for what we need, and praise Him, even in want.
God is glorified when we thank, trust and praise Him, and He rewards our faith, perseverance and hope. When our prayers are answered, we oftentimes are blown away by His extravagant answers and blessings. He adores us and loves to bless us, in due time.
God is glorified when we thank, trust and praise Him, and He rewards our faith, perseverance and hope.
In Matthew 8:20, after preaching about worrying, “Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Jesus used his own life to demonstrate God’s provision. Most of us have so much more than Jesus needed. God gives each of us what we need to do what He wants us to do.
7. When we seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first, everything else will be taken care of. (Matthew 6:33) Psalm 37:5 says, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” When we are about our Father’s business, God protects us. Psalm 5:12 say,s "Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." We should abide in peace knowing that we are cared for. Here is a secret to a peaceful life; put God first, live righteously, and worry has no place.
8. Jesus wants us to deal with today’s issues. (Matthew 6:34) Ask God for wisdom in dealing with today’s “troubles”. Taking care of a problem today, instead of putting it off, may actually prevent future problems. We can become overwhelmed when we borrow from tomorrow’s list of concerns. There is an element of self-discipline required here. Jesus tells un to not get ahead of ourselves, or ahead of God.
Taking care of a problem today, instead of putting it off, may actually prevent future problems.
Having looked closely at Jesus’ words, let’s read His teaching on worry as He gave it;
From Matthew 6
(v. 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 than food, and the body more than clothes?
(v. 26) Look 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?
(v. 27) Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
(v. 28) And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
(v. 29) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
(v. 30) If 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—you of little faith?
(v. 31) So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
(v. 32) For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
(v. 33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(v. 34)Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Hebrews 11:16 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Jesus says “Don’t worry” because pleasing God and worrying are mutually exclusive. He is worthy of our trust.