AN OLD AND A NEW VACCINE
Worry and anxiety are two of the biggest emotions we face at this point in history. For the past eight years, prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Google search rates for anxiety have more than doubled every year. The YouVersion Bible app has over 415 million users. The most popular Bible verse searched is Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything…”
Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 6:25-34. While we are working on a new vaccine for COVID-19, Jesus offers His old vaccine that is tried and true for dealing with worry and anxiety.
- Perspective – vs. 26-29 He uses the birds as an example. They don’t plant or store up food, yet God feeds them. He reminds us that we are far more valuable than the birds. He then talks about the flowers in the field. If God is going to take care of them, won’t He surely take care of us? He asks, “Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (v.27) Perspective is a choice – how we look at something determines what we see!
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”
Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.”
– Elizabeth Cheney
- Promise – vs.30-33 He says, “If God cares so much about the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, doesn’t He care more for you? Don’t worry about having enough food and clothing, your Father already knows that you need them. He will give them to you.” He can make that promise because He is in total charge. He doesn’t have to get approval from anybody. He owns everything. God can deliver on any promise He makes!
- Proposition – v.33 His promise carries with it a big “if.” If requires a response. He will give them to you, if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to. (v.33) It’s your choice. The promise can be received by us if we give Him first place. Giving Him first place causes us to focus on Him and all that He does rather than on the circumstances of life and things that cause us to worry. “If” is a huge word – but it is the key to living without worry and anxiety! He deals specifically with our first place struggle between God and money. He knows that money is the source of much of our worry and anxiety. Jesus says, “You cannot serve two masters, God and money – either you will hate one and love the other or else the other way around.” (v.24) Jesus says, “Don’t store up treasures here on Earth because they erode and can be stolen. If you put them in heaven, they will never lose their value and they are safe from thieves (and stock market fluctuations).” (vs. 19-21.)
- Plan – v.34 Don’t be anxious – don’t worry about tomorrow – live one day at a time. Peter says, “Cast all of your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7) God meets all of our needs daily. We pray for our “daily bread.” If God could feed two million Israelites every day for 40 years, He can certainly supply everything we need each day. Just live one day at a time.
We don’t yet have a medical vaccine for COVID-19. We do have a vaccine for worry and anxiety. Pray daily we get a vaccine for COVID-19 soon! Practice daily receiving Jesus’ vaccine for anxiety and worry!