Jesus tells us to “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [what you eat, drink, and wear] will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Unlike the pagans who “run after all these things” and “worry about tomorrow,” believers are told to follow Christ, live a radical life of faith, and trust God to provide (Matthew 6:25-34).
In this passage, Jesus says that God cares for the birds. Yet birds aren’t created in God’s image. Christ didn’t die for birds. The Holy Spirit doesn’t indwell birds. Birds won’t reign with Christ. But we will! So Christ asks his disciples, “Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26). If he takes care of the less valuable creatures, will he not take care of us, who are far more valuable?
Of course, the birds provide for their immediate future through labor—building nests and obtaining food for their young. But they don’t maintain one nest in the mountains and another at the beach. Neither do they fill their cellars with freeze-dried worms. Birds do the work that God created them to do; they sing when they work, they don’t hoard, and they instinctively trust their Creator to take care of them. Should we who know God’s grace do any less?
Jesus says, “Accept my sovereignty and goodness, and you won’t have to worry about tomorrow. Trust me.” All of us trust in something. The more dependable the object of our trust, the less we need to worry. The stock market isn’t God, the Wall Street Journal isn’t the Bible, your asset manager isn’t your priest, and financial experts aren’t prophets. (Prophets were put to death when their prophecies didn’t come true!) That doesn’t mean the stock market is bad, but it does mean it’s not trustworthy. It may do well for a day, a month, a year, or even a few decades. But because the stock market is uncertain, it can only produce anxiety when it becomes the object of our trust. God is the only totally trustworthy object. Therefore, he’s the only one who cannot betray our trust.
Why is this truth so hard for us to accept? If we believe that God can create us, redeem us, and bring us through death to spend eternity with him, why can’t we take him at his word when he says he’ll provide for our material needs?
If God calls on you today to share your resources with another, you must not say, “I can’t, Lord, because I don’t know where my own provisions are coming from.” Yes, you do know where they’re coming from. They’re coming from God. You may not know the form this provision will take, but you do know the Source. Like the poor widow who had no cash reserves, you know that God will take care of you, even if there are no visible resources.
If God has control of everything, and God takes care of his children, and God gives everything necessary to those who walk with him; and if you are his child, and you are walking with him—why worry? Worrying never helps anything anyway—but has hurt plenty.
photo credit: Colibri dans son nid via photopin (license)
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.