What does the Bible say about anxiety and worry?
Jesus directly addressed the issue of worry and anxiety in His Sermon on the Mount: "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day" (Matthew 6:25-34, Revised Standard Version).
"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life -- whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:25-34).
The issue here is faith. If we have faith in God, worry and anxiety about the details of our lives will be put into the right context. We’ll trust Him to take care of us now and later. One saying, similar to Jesus’ admonition about today's trouble being enough for the day, says, "To borrow from tomorrow is to be in debt to time." If we are wondering about tomorrow, we lose the blessings available today.
Another principle in the biblical book of James reveals the ineffectiveness of worry and anxiety: “Look here, you people who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog -- it's here a little while, then it's gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:13-15).
Being in the Lord’s will is the safest place for the believer to be. If God sacrificed His Son for our sin, will He not do the best for us? Therefore, our hope -- a confident assurance rather than "I hope so" -- should be in God's will. Then, we will not waste our time being unduly anxious about what tomorrow may or may not bring.
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