therefore, do not worry

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’.
For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them…” (Matthew 6:31-32)

When we are told not to worry about material things, the reason that’s often given to us is that it makes us like the pagans. The Bible tells us that is true – “do not worry…for [because] the pagans run after all these things” (v. 32). But what we often forget is what’s recorded in the second half of that verse – that God knows our needs, and that is also reason not to worry.

Far too often we live at either extreme, worrying about all these things (like the pagans), or trying to say that we don’t need these things (which, ironically, often results in us trying to live without God’s help) – food or drink or clothing or shelter. But we do. And God KNOWS that. He’s not expecting us to go without them, though we might, for a while. At least in this passage, the emphasis seems to be less on us needing to deny ourselves than on us needing to learn to trust God (though the both undoubtedly go hand in hand).

God is asking us to trust Him, to trust in His provision, to trust that He is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. He wants us to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (v. 33), because though we need food and drink and clothing, they are not the reason we exist. We exist for Him, for the sake of advancing His kingdom. And we must trust that He will provide for His soldiers like a good general. And His storehouses never run dry. :)

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