Fear Not... because God
Every little thing, gonna be alright. ...Right? Right? We are constantly looking for assurance to this question. According to Bob Marley’s famous song, we don’t have to worry about anything. Sounds familiar? That’s because those exact sentiments are woven throughout scripture. God tells Joshua “Do not fear and do not be dismayed”. God reassures Gideon that “I will be with you”, God calls Jeremiah “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you”, the angel calmed the women when they found the empty tomb, “Do not be afraid”.
And yet it can be easy to be overcome by fear, worry, and anxiety. Jesus specifically teaches, “Therefore I tell you, DO NOT BE ANXIOUS about your life. 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 more valuable than they? Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”. (Matthew 6) To really unpack Matthew 6 would take some time. But I love that Jesus doesn’t just sit us down and say, “hey, just don’t worry ok? It’s all taken care of”. He gives us intentional illustrations and specific instructions on how to avoid worry.
First, he reminds us of our worth! That we are VALUED by God! We are chosen, holy, and dearly loved by God! When you value something, you care for it, you keep it safe, you keep it in tip top condition. That is how God sees us, we are his inheritance! He paid a heavy ransom to save us from darkness. We are VALUED and WORTHY in the eyes of God.
Second, he reminds us of God’s omniscience and sovereignty. God KNOWS all and SEES all. “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all (v.32)”. There are no surprises for God, he isn’t taken aback, or scrambling to catch up. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and all has been planned and predestined by him. We are allowed, even encouraged to come boldly into the throneroom to worship, honor, and to present our requests before him. How can we enter so boldly? Because he already knows what’s on our hearts and minds. The answer may not be YES-right now, it may not even be YES, but the answer will always be good and perfect and in his timing.
Third, Jesus encourages us to fix our minds on what is truly important. And it isn’t earthly matters. This passage is following the reminder to store up our treasures in heaven, because everything here on earth is temporary and will fade. The treasures here on earth are tied to emotions, the treasures in heaven are tied to our hearts. Jesus is reminding us that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”. We have the honor and opportunity to be used to further God’s kingdom here on earth. We are called to spread the gospel and to make disciples. This should be our focus, where our heart is tied to. That will bring reward, and not the treasure chest full of shiny baubles but the gift of eternal salvation for others!
So Jesus isn’t telling us to not work, to not try, to not simply exist. He isn’t saying, “hey don’t worry because life will be perfect”. (We wish, right?) Jesus is reminding us of the power of God, of the goodness of God, of the love of God, of the compassion of God. He is reminding us that every trial that causes worry or fear will be used to glorify and honor God if we keep our focus on who will sustain us through it. He is reminding us that humble hearts acknowledge that we simply cannot do life on our own, and that we need to approach each day with confidence knowing that we will be provided enough for simply each day by the heavenly Father.
He is reminding us that yes, “every little thing, gonna be alright”.