April 26 – Sermon on the Mount – Anxiety

Read Matthew 6:25-34

The fear of the unknown.

Anxiety can be crippling and paralyzing. When its hands are around you, you feel short of breath and like you’re holding a heavy weight on your shoulders.

Some may have been taught that we experience anxiety when we don’t trust the Lord or that anxiety is real but you shouldn’t give it too much of a place in your life.

Would it help to know that Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, taught about anxiety? Why would Jesus talk about it unless people were struggling with anxiety and worry all those years ago?

In our reading today, Jesus outlines areas that people often worry about and asks a simple but piercing question:

“Isn’t 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?”

God’s got you. He loves and cares for His creation and promises to care for you.

I remember the first time I experienced true anxiety. When our son, Mattie, was born, it was a whirlwind. People were in and out visiting. Doctors were in and out checking on both Kelly and Mattie. The time finally came where the last person left and the three of us were alone for the first time.

Kelly was getting rest and I was pacing the room with Mattie in my arms. I remember looking down at his sleeping face and my chest got tight and I became short of breath and tears came flowing down my face. Part of me was overwhelmed with love for my son but also, I was incredibly fearful.

How on earth are we going to do this?

Are we even prepared for this?

What makes me qualified to raise this boy in today’s world?

Jesus tells us not to worry about physical things but that our focus should, instead, be on the eternal:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Instead of worrying about what we are dealing with on earth, we need to focus on His Kingdom and living our lives to honor and glorify Him.

When I came to the realization that my goal was to raise Mattie into a boy who fears God and wants to honor Him with his life, the anxiety lowered and my confidence grew. The day to day tasks would come and go and we would continue to learn how to parent.

Are you susceptible to anxiety and worry?

In what way would a change of perspective help you? How can you use your season and your struggle to honor the Lord and tell others the hope that you have in Him?

Jake Lawson

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