DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT THE NECESSITIES OF DAILY LIFE

A devotional by John Piper

All These Things Will Be Added to You

The seventh reason not to be anxious is that when you seek the kingdom of God first, he works for you and provides all your needs. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).

“All these things” does not mean everything we think we need, but everything we really need. And real needs are determined by what God calls us to do, not what we feel like doing. God will give us “all these things” that we need to fulfill his calling on our lives.

Tomorrow Will Be Anxious for Itself

The last argument is, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Matt. 6:34). In other words, God has appointed to each day its portion of pleasure and pain, as the old Swedish hymn says, especially in the last two lines of this verse.

Day by day, and with each passing moment, Strength I find, to meet my trials here; Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear. He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure Gives unto each day what He deems best— Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.

So don’t misappropriate God’s allotted troubles for tomorrow. That is, don’t bring them forward into today in the form of anxiety. Believe that God will be God tomorrow. Tomorrow there will be grace for tomorrow’s troubles. That grace is not given today. The main point of all this is clear and unmistakable: Jesus does not want his followers to be anxious. He does not secure his kingdom by keeping his subjects in a state of worry. On the contrary, according to Matthew 6:33, the more primary and central his kingship becomes in our lives, the less anxiety we will have. Since Jesus believes that reasons delivered in words (we have seen eight of them) help to overcome anxiety, it would make sense that we keep these reasons before our minds and seek to make them part of our mental and emotional life. I think this implies that it would be wise to memorize Matthew 6:25-34. I know of no way to weave these eight counter-anxiety realities into the fabric of our minds and hearts that omits remembering them.

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