Because we are unsure of the events of tomorrow, worrying about them will do us little good.
Many Christians struggle with worry. Individuals worry about things that happened yesterday, things that may happen tomorrow. In each instance, their anxiety is fruitless. Rather than worrying about past actions or words, we might seek to make right our wrongs and trust God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Instead of worrying about the things happening around us currently, we should resolve to control what we can and trust God to do the rest. When tempted to worry about the future, we should remember the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” ( Matthew 6:34 NKJV). Let’s notice three important lessons from this verse.
Christians out not to worry. Three times in the Sermon on the Mounts, Jesus told His listeners, “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:25, 28, 34). If Scripture said nothing more about the subject, this would be enough. Worrying about the past prevents us from pressing “forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:13). Worrying about the present hinders us from using our abilities to meet momentary challenges. Worrying about the future distracts us from the God who knows just what we need (Matthew6:32). Wendell Winkler put it well: “Yesterday is buried and tomorrow is unborn. So, live nobly today. In fact, the best way to prepare for tomorrow is to fulfill the duties of today.” Do not worry!
Christians do not know what tomorrow will bring. James made this point when he wrote, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will to to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:13-14). Because we are unsure of the events of tomorrow, worrying about them will do us a little good. Instead of fretting about what will happen in the future, we ought to focus on what we can control. At the same time we must return our cares and burdens over to God in prayers. As Paul commanded, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Christians must recognize the challenges of today are sufficient. Whether you are worrying because of grief, a physical illness, an addiction or about getting back upon your feet, you must stop. Worry will not solve your problems. Today is the day you must face and address. It is all you have. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. Nevertheless, today is here. Its challenges truly are difficult, but thankfully, the mercy of our God is sufficient. Jeremiah reminded us of this truth when he declared that God’s “compassions fail not. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). As you seek to face each new day without worry, remember the words of Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Chad Ramsey, February 2020, Gospel Advocate
Reprinted with permission, Gospel Adovcate