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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings.

Reflective Bible Study. Flashback Episode — Worry vs. Trust: Matthew 6:25-34

Listen to this episode and/or subscribe on Episode: Year in Matthew – Episode 11: Part way through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He turns His attention onto the topic of worry, and how worry is not valuable. Discover how what Jesus says is relevant for our lives regardless of what point in history we live. Join the discussion on the original episode's page: Click Here. Read the transcript: As we continue moving through Matthew’s gospel, and specifically through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus comes to a challenging message, but unlike some of the previously challenging messages, this challenge is about something that isn’t specifically a sin, but a challenge related to trust. Let’s read what Jesus told the crowd, before unpacking how this is relevant in our lives over 2,000 years later. Our passage is found in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 6, and we will read it from the New Century Version. Starting in verse 25, Jesus continued preaching, saying: 25 “So I tell you, don’t worry about the food or drink you need to live, or about the clothes you need for your body. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. 26 Look at the birds in the air. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. And you know that you are worth much more than the birds. 27 You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it. 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? Look at how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. 29 But I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. 30 God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today but tomorrow is thrown into the fire. So you can be even more sure that God will clothe you. Don’t have so little faith! 31 Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own. In this passage and message to everyone present, Jesus challenges us on the validity of worrying about things in our lives. Jesus basically says in these few verses that worry is worthless. Worry does not gain us anything positive. So then why do we worry if it isn’t productive or positive? I don’t have a good answer for this question, except to give the theory that worry comes from a lack of trust. For those who believe in God, worry comes from not trusting that God will have all the details worked out. For those who don’t believe in God, worry is simply not trusting that things will work out in the end. Sometimes this fear is warranted. Sometimes, God, or life, doesn’t make things work out for us. Sometimes bad things do ultimately happen. While this could be a great place to talk about why bad things happen to good people and bad people alike, I will resist the urge to do so here. Instead, our passage focuses us on the singular topic of worry. Jesus directly gives us the challenge in verse 27, “You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.Worry is not productive. Worry does not benefit our lives in any way. In contrast to worry, we might spend a few minutes planning some “what if” scenarios, but after we have decided on the various courses of action, then we move forward with life ready to take whatever action is planned out based on the outcome of what we are concerned about. This strategy balances planning and trust. If we are concerned about something we cannot change or affect, then worrying about it doesn’t do any good. Instead, we should plan what we will do when an outcome to the situation happens. Having a plan lessens worry. In contrast, the things that cause us to worry where we can change the outcome are not things worth worrying about. Instead, we must intentionally work to improve the situation and to bring about the change we would like to see happen. While most situations have more variables we cannot control than the variables we can, we must focus on doing only what we specifically can and then trusting God will work out the other details. There is no getting around trust being the antidote for worry. However, when we are tempted to worry, there is something else we can do can help grow our trust if it is weak. This other thing will seem obvious and maybe a little cliché when I say it, but that doesn’t change its validity. When we are tempted to worry, we should turn to God in prayer and ask Him for two things: We should ask Him to help the situation we are worried about in the best way possible from His perspective, and we should ask Him for help trusting that He knows best. While we might have an idea of what outcome we would like to see in any given situation, our perspective isn’t God’s, and it is better to defer some of the big decisions and big challenges to God because some of these things are better left in His hands. Remember that above everything else, God wants each of us to ultimately end up with Him in heaven. This means two things. First, this means that we have faith in Jesus and that we have a saving relationship with Him. Secondly, this means that we must actually want to go to heaven. While the first is obvious for most people, the second is where things get challenging. If God were to take every single piece of bad out of this world, there would be very little desire to go somewhere better. In a way that I don’t understand all that well, when bad things happen in this world, one outcome that is positive is that we are reminded that God has a better place in mind for our future, and that we can trust He will take us there when He returns. Remember that when bad things happen or when we are tempted to worry about a potentially bad thing happening, trusting in God is the antidote for our worry. We can mix this trust with a few minutes planning some “what if” scenarios, but after we have these plans in place, we trust God will work things out as He knows best. We can even pray for His best outcome to happen and that He will help us trust that whatever happens is for the best from an eternal perspective. Worry by itself is worthless. However, if worry prompts us to plan, act, and trust in God even more, then it accomplished what it was designed to do. Worry is only present to remind us we are not trusting God, and when we trust God, worry get’s pushed away. As we come to the end of another podcast episode, here are the challenges I will leave you with: As I always challenge you to do, continue to seek God first in your life, and when worry wants to challenge your trust in God, take your worry to God in prayer, asking for more trust, and asking for guidance moving forward. While we can make plans for what could possibly happen, regardless of what happens, we want to follow the path God knows is best when He brings resolution to what we are concerned about. Prayer is the best way to ask God for help with trust when worry wants to invade our lives. With our prayer, we should also be sure to regularly study the Bible for ourselves to learn how God has worked in the past and how He has promised us He will do the same in our lives. While our lives and our world are very different from the world and lives of those who lived back then, trusting God when challenges come is always relevant. And as I end every set of challenges by saying in one way or another, never stop short of, back away from, chicken out of, or be scared away from where God wants to lead you to in your life with Him! Listen to this episode and/or subscribe on this article on the web on it's official page: Flashback Episode — Worry vs. Trust: Matthew 6:25-34

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