The Gospel of Matthew: Perspective on Worry.  

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:31–34 (ESV)

I came across an article on worry by Christian author and Pastor Paul David Tripp. The following are excerpts from his essay entitled Thinking Biblically About Worry.

“Worry—it really is everywhere. Perhaps it is the one experience that all of us have in common. What about you? How much is worry of some kind a regular part of your daily thought life? How much does worry shape what you do and what you don’t do? How does worry interact with the faith that you hold dear? Could it be that worry is a greater influence in your life than you have typically considered it to be?”

“Maybe worry is one of the dirty secrets of the church. Perhaps it renders us timid, passive, and doubtful when our theology tells us we have every reason to be courageous, active, and confident. Could it be that many of us live with a huge gap between the theological confidence that we celebrate on Sunday and the street-level fear, worry, and anxiety that accompanies us the rest of the week? Why do so many of us worry so much? Why do we not experience the rest that the gospel is meant to give us? Why do we have sleepless nights, nervous stomachs, and fretful days? Why does worry so often enter our door?”

“Psalm 3 and 4 are morning and evening psalms, written when David was fleeing for his life and from those who would take his throne. You know the back story. It was David’s son Absalom who was out after his throne. He had already won the hearts of the people of Israel, and now he was after his father’s kingdom. David knew what this was about. This was a monarchy: for a son to permanently take his father’s throne, the father would have to die. So, David flees for his life with a small band of loyal men and is hiding in a cave. Perhaps there is no more heart-wrenching story in Scripture: sin ripping a family apart, sin resulting in sedition and possibly death. In this story, you’re seeing the fallen world at it worst. But in the middle of it all, David isn’t paralyzed by panic. He isn’t driven by worry. He isn’t captivated by the “what ifs.” No, David is remarkably restful. Look at what he writes from the cave: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4:8). David is experiencing the full weight of the disappointment and danger of life in this fallen world, but he is not riddled with anxiety. His heart is at rest and his body is able to sleep, even in the middle of what would break the heart of any father.”

“David’s story and David’s psalm confront us with something important. It is what we will be unpacking for the rest of this article. Here it is: The difficulties of life in this fallen world are the occasion of our worry, but not the cause. To understand the cause, you have to look deeper. David was in a circumstance that could be the occasion for much worry, yet he was not fearful or anxious. His rest points us to where help for our worry can be found. Worry is not caused by what exists outside of us. No, worry is caused by what is going on inside of us.”

What is going on inside us? That is what Pastor Tripp will explain in our next installment of His Word Today. I trust you will make an effort to join us.

Soli deo Gloria!

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