“Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” advice that is constantly given out whenever one person wants to encourage another… but would it surprise you that the first person to offer such advice was actually Jesus? And He doesn’t just tell you to not worry and be happy, but He actually gives you the reason why you can safely and securely cease your worrying and have both joy and happiness, because of the truth of Christ and the fact that you have a Heavenly Father who actually loves and cares for you.

You see, the message of “don’t worry, be happy” really doesn’t carry its full weight, until you understand precisely why you can do those things. Without the foundation, it will often crumble to the daily stresses of life. So what I want to share with you today, is what Jesus said about letting go of your worry, and how to be truly happy.

To begin with our study today, we have what may be a very familiar block of scripture… Matthew 6:25-34:

Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?

And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Why, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.

But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.”

Now, we see right in verse 25, that Jesus begins with a Therefore, and the typical rule is that it is always beneficial to examine the previous verses to see why it is “there for” (cheesy joke, I know!). And as we look at the verses prior to 25, we see that Jesus is talking about what you focus on.

He talks about storing up treasure in Heaven in verses and 21, having a single eye (one that is narrowly focused) in verses 21 through 23, and the inability to serve two masters (God and money) in verse 24.

So the entire context of what Jesus is saying here, His point, is about what we are focusing on, what we give our attention to. He’s basically saying, don’t look at all of this other stuff… and then we get to verse 25, where He says Therefore, I say to you, take no thought for your life. In other words, don’t worry.

Now Jesus doesn’t just leave it there – first He goes on to mention four things; four things which most of us worry about on a regular basis: Life, food, our bodies, and clothing. And just for good measure, we can also include what He said above in verse 24, and add money to the list as well.

As I mentioned in the opening however, Jesus does not just leave it there…. He doesn’t just tell you not to worry without giving you the reason why not to worry.

First, in the rest of verse 25, He places things into proper perspective first, by saying Isn’t life more than food, isn’t the body more than clothing? And also so that it is more clear, it may be helpful to know that the Greek phrasing here makes use of the word πλέον, meaning quality of life and quality of body. Jesus is asking a rhetorical question: Isn’t a quality life more than just food, and a quality body more than just clothing?

Not to say that food and clothing are unimportant, but that these things shouldn’t be things to worry about or be in anxiety over.

Of course the obvious objection to this is: That’s easy for Jesus to say, He never needed to worry about food!

Ah! Yes! that’s a good point, and Jesus is about to teach you why He never worried about such things, and why you need not worry about them either. Take a look at verse 26:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?

Do you see what Jesus is doing here? He is establishing you in your identity. Not the identity of a nameless nobody whom God has abandoned; not the identity of a vagabond who must hunt for scraps to survive; but the identity of a Child of God. The very specific wording here of your heavenly Father really drives the point home. You are much more valuable than the birds, and He even feeds the birds!

In verse 27, Jesus makes a stunning point of pure logic… who by worrying can add length to their life? (the word for stature, is actually age of life)

It’s an interesting question, because most worries come because we are trying to preserve or enhance or otherwise protect our life – but in reality, worrying actually reduces life! And Jesus by asking this question, exposes that fact and puts it right in-front of our face.

Then we have verses 28 through 30, in which Jesus basically makes the same point about clothing that He did with food earlier – even going as far to say that even Solomon, the richest man who ever lived, was not dressed to the quality that the lilies are beautified. And at first this seems to be a reversal of His earlier point, that now we have flowers being treated better than people! However we need not get all worked-up because Jesus also said in Luke 11:31 and Matthew 12:42, that One greater than Solomon is here (speaking of Himself) and today our new identity is in Him (Colossians 3:3).

And notice both here with clothing and in the example with food and the birds also, that in both cases, neither of them worked for it! Neither of them used self-effort to attain the provision, but both were given their provision as a free gift of love from the Father! He cares for His creations… how much more does He care for His own children? This is the point which Jesus is making.

In verse 31, Jesus gives us another important detail… Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

These kinds of thoughts, these kinds of worries trouble many people every day, but we have the option to receive them or not. We have the power to either agree with these thoughts, and speak them, and repeat them, or not. We can either acknowledge them, or refuse them.

Jesus says to take no thought, saying… Take no thought, wondering where your provision will come from. Because the Gentiles (in this context, those without a covenant, to which God was not a father), they chase after all these things. However you, should remember that you have a heavenly Father, and He knows that you need all of these things.

Again, the realization of your identity, your relationship with God is the key focus here. It is the reason why you can be secure and free of worry.

Verse 33, But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Note the detail here, the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness. It is His righteousness, that we are to seek. Not our own, not by our works or efforts, but His righteousness.

And then finally, we have verse 34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.

My friend, if we would truly learn this truth and accept this, our lives would be a whole lot easier! There are so many people projecting into the future, worrying about things off in the distance, using their gift of faith and belief, in a negative way, fueled by their own thoughts and imaginations instead of the truth of Christ and the reality of a loving God who cares for His children.

Jesus basically says here, each day has enough evil in it… (and notice that the troubles and cares are plainly called evil, not tools created by God to test you!) – but each day has enough evil in itself, don’t burden yourself by projecting into the future!

So many people add additional worry to the worry they already have until they are so overloaded and stressed out, and it’s all needless effort – when Jesus said don’t worry about any of it!

What we have seen here today, is divine advice. Don’t worry, Be happy, not just a useless platitude anymore, because you have a Heavenly Father who cares and provides for you in Christ.

Be blessed.

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