Standing Firm in Fearful Times

The Futility of Worry

Sep 3, 2023

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27, NIV)

In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addresses one of the most common human conditions: worry. It’s an emotion that can consume our thoughts, affect our physical health, and compromise our spiritual wellbeing. The fear of the unknown, the anxiety over potential problems, and the dread of possible pain all contribute to a mindset of worry. Yet, Jesus asks a simple, pointed question, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Worry doesn’t extend our lives; instead, it diminishes the quality of the life we’re living now. It distracts us from the present blessings and opportunities God has given us. It robs us of the peace and joy we should have in Christ. Worry is, in essence, a futile exercise, providing no benefits while imposing significant costs.

Jesus is not saying that life is without trouble. Earlier in this same sermon, He says that “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But in that statement, He also encourages us, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Our peace comes not from a trouble-free life but from placing our trust in the One who has conquered all trouble.

Jesus, in His wisdom, reminds us that worry is an unproductive use of our energy. Instead, we should focus on seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). By shifting our attention from our anxieties to God’s sovereignty, we realign our hearts with His will, reducing the room for worry to thrive.

Jesus is not dismissing our concerns or minimizing our feelings. Instead, He’s urging us to re-evaluate our perspective and remember who is in control. As we move forward in our walk of faith, let’s endeavor to replace worry with trust, knowing that our heavenly Father cares for us and is in control of all things.

Wonder in the Word

How can you shift your focus from worry to trust in God, and what steps can you take to seek His kingdom and righteousness first in your daily life?