Renewing Our Minds
In Matthew 6, Jesus prescribes the remedy for anxiety. Having diagnosed the underlying problem of unbelief, Jesus proceeds to write a prescription for the worried mind. He fundamentally seeks to renew the disciples’ minds by grounding them in the truth about God and his relationship to them.
We get anxious when we allow our minds to dwell on things that are not God-centered or Christ-exalting. We worry when our minds are divided between faith and unbelief, between today and tomorrow. Moving toward a mind settled upon truth requires two steps.
Reassess Your Value System
First, Jesus prescribes a reassessment. He asks, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6: 25). And then he directs them to “Look at the birds of the air.” Why? He explains, “Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (v. 26).
His argument is simple: worry arises when we put high price tags on the wrong things. In essence, Jesus corrects his listeners for overvaluing the temporal and undervaluing the eternal. They were worried about food and clothing instead of about their life and walk with God. So they needed to reassess their values. They needed a fresh understanding of what God treasures, and they needed to be convinced of their own value to God. If they really grasped these, they would cease their fussing and fretting.
Remember Your Heavenly Father
If God takes care of nature, will he not take care of human beings? Jesus’ point is this: among those whom God has created are those whom he knows in relationship, as their heavenly Father. Believers are those who should remember his lovingkindness and faithfulness. Therefore, we have no need to be anxious. Our heavenly Father knows what we need.
Worry should not characterize God’s children because our heavenly Father will be no less for us than a good earthly father would be for his children.
The point is this: we have a Father who knows the things we need, and like any good earthly father, he’ll see to those needs.
Just as good earthly fathers protect, clothe, forgive, discipline, and lead their families, so God will care for his family. In fact, we don’t even need to inform him about our circumstances. We don’t need to rouse him to come to our aid; he is already predisposed to that. He knows our needs before we even tell him, and he can be counted on to faithfully supply our needs in his perfect time.
If you have turned from your sin to Jesus Christ in faith, you are an adopted son of God, or daughter of the King of kings. Do you believe this? Does it show up in your demeanor? Does it impact your response to the difficulties of life? Your Father is the best father ever. He knows what you need before you even tell him, and he can meet your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 19). Let this comforting truth settle into your mind so that the stability of God’s peace will reign in your heart.
Excerpted from Help! I’m Anxious by Philip de Courcy, part of the LifeLine Mini-books series.