Saturday, 27th February 2021
Topic: The Ineffectiveness of Worry
Author: Pastor Andrew Lim
Translator: Sharon Moo
Matthew 6:25-26; 30-31; 34 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? 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? 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? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
We have been particularly stressed out and worried about our finances. Some are in financial distress because it seems like they never have enough. But some are really worried about how to make ends meet. Many people rely on their monthly income, which may be just enough to support their livelihoods—to pay for car lease, mortgage, children’s education, and daily necessities. Many are also under the pressure to maintain a luxurious lifestyle. On the other hand, there are some who are nervous and worried because they simply do not believe that God will provide for them.
The word, “worry”, does not mean to fret about an issue, nor does it mean to care about something. It means being overly anxious. Anxiety is an abnormal condition, causing insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, a series of body discomfort and even depression. The more serious consequence is that depression and anxiety are contagious and affect the next generation’s educational and physical growth. Without faith, a person is anxious about what he or she encounters and worries over the trifles of everyday life. To be honest, anxiety will not turn a bad situation around.
Jesus said, “You of little faith! 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?” What sort of adornments did God cloth the field with? “Not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Jesus was referring to the flowers that are all over Jerusalem—they are beautiful, but they last for a brief moment. They bloom in the morning, only to wither away at night. After they have withered, they are of no use and are thrown into the fire. People in Jerusalem often stand by the fire in their homes, and when they cook, they throw the withered flowers into the fire. Jesus said the flowers are dressed more beautifully than Solomon in all his splendor. This is a way of telling people to cast away their concerns, to open our eyes and look at wild lilies—How do they grow? What are they dressed in? Do you see how they solely depend on God? Although they have no value in the eyes of people, God still cares about them. Jesus said, “Are you not much more valuable than they? “
If God is willing to dress the flowers that are here in the morning and gone tomorrow, will He not care more about us, those who fear him? In fact, living in the midst of a pandemic, I have not stepped into a department store for at least a year now, and I have not bought new clothes, pants, shoes but I am just as well able to live my life. I do not feel like I lack anything.
We can think about the lives of the Israelites in the wilderness. They did not farm in the wilderness, they did not harvest any crops, but God fed them every day and they gathered daily manna. They did not have to knit or sew but God supplied them their clothing. In the course of their 40 years in the wilderness, they had no shortage of food or clothing. For the Israelites, they did not harvest nor spin, but they experienced divine grace and His complete supply, and they lacked nothing in the wilderness.
Why put them through the mill for 40 years?
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not.”(Deuteronomy 8:3) This is the lesson that God wanted the Israelites to learn. He wanted them to understand this truth: Life is not defined by the abundance of one’s possessions, but by the eternal God.
None of us could possibly lead a life that is worse than the Israelites, with no land to grow, no crops to harvest, no garment to sew. They had to look up to the heavens for every meal.
God told the Israelites: I have led you in the wilderness for 40 years. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell. He is also speaking to us today. This is the miracle: 40 years of clothes and shoes that did not wear out. A journey of 40 years, yet their feet did not swell. For 40 years, they did not grow crops, but they had food every day. This is God’s work! This is what God had done for the Israelites, and it is a testament that whether we live in poverty or abundance, we will be joyful only when we depend on God. But when the Israelites arrived in Canaan and were provided with food, clothing and dwellings, they grew distant from God. They eventually failed in many areas of their lives because they deemed food, clothing and dwellings as most important in life.
So our confidence should not be placed in food, clothing, or dwellings, and we need not worry to the point of extreme anxiety. Instead, “we should cast all of our worries on God because he cares for us.”
Prayer: Our loving Heavenly Father, we thank You because You love us. You do not want us to be afraid, which is why You want us to cast all of our worries on You. Lord, help us, so that we can see things from Your perspective, and learn to submit to You all of our concerns, because You can handle all things, and You care for us, even before we have yet to pray to You, You’ve prepared for us in advance. Thank You for being so good to us. We pray all this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
耶稣说：“你们这小信的人 哪！野地里的草今天还在，明天就丢在炉里，神还给他这样的妆饰，何况你们呢！”神给了什么装饰呢？“我告诉你们：就是所罗门极荣华的 时候，他所穿戴的还不如这花一朵呢！”耶稣说的这种花在耶路撒冷遍地都是，生得很美，但是花期很短，早晨开放夜晚凋谢，花谢后没有其它用处，只能用来生火。耶路撒冷的人经常在家中火炉旁边备用这些花草，做饭时随手拿些花草扔到火炉里生火。耶稣说，花所穿戴着的比所罗门极荣华时还要漂亮。这是在告诉人们消除忧虑的一个方法，让我们睁开眼睛看一看野地的百合花，它们是怎么生长？又穿戴什么？它们怎么依靠神生存？虽然它们在人的眼中没有任何价值，但是神还顾念 它们的穿戴。耶稣说：“何况你们呢！”
神昔日对以色列人说 ：我领你们在旷野四十年，你们身上的衣服并没有穿破，脚上的鞋也没有穿坏。”今天也对我们说。这就是神迹: 穿四十年衣服没有破，鞋没有破。 走了四十年的路程，脚没有肿。四十年他们不种不收但是却每天都有吃的。这是神的作为！这就是神在以色列民身上的作为，让我们历世历代的人看到，我们无论生 活在贫穷还是富足中，需要常常依靠神，才能有一颗知足喜乐的心。但是当以色列民进到了迦南地之后，有食物吃，有衣服穿，有房屋住，却远远的离开神。因为觉得这些才是他 们生命当中更重要的，结果导致生活上非常的失败。