Worried Sick

Tom Pennington • Matthew 6:34

  • 2020-03-15 AM
  • Sermons

PDF

We want to turn to the Word of the Lord together. And I really thought a lot and prayed about this week - where we should go together to find a way to think of all this biblically. I'm assuming that there are going to be a couple of weeks for me to sort of unfold some of that. So, we might look at the reason that God brings these things into the world and into our lives. Next week, or the following week, but just know that, at this point, I want to specifically to go to a text that is an enriching, encouraging, comforting text because I think most of us need that.

I think as we've seen the events of this last week unfold, we have been reminded of the uncertainty of this world. We've been reminded of the fact that we, as I prayed, are not in control. In fact, the worldwide upheaval over the coronavirus the past two weeks, I think we have to admit, is unparalleled in modern times. Perhaps you'd have to go all the way back to WWII to see the entire world in such upheaval. For some, all of this has led to panic of their getting a serious form of the virus or perhaps someone they love getting it. But I think for many of us, a far greater concern is not really about the virus itself. It instead is, about where all of this might lead. I mean we've all experienced what the upheaval looks like. There are hour long checkout lines at the grocery store and at Costco, panic shoppers emptying shelves of food and other essential items. It's impossible to find hand sanitizer or wipes. It is hard to find some staple food items and, amazingly, it's even hard to find toilet paper. I have to say my favorite meme this last week was (someone posted this) - "Back in my day there was so much toilet paper, people used to literally string it up in the trees of their enemies!"

We've watched, on a more serious level, we've watched the financial markets plummet around the world. Our own stock market has declined in two weeks' time or did decline by 25% which is equivalent, essentially, to the crash of 1929. Internationally, borders have closed. People have been isolated for two-week quarantines. International air travel is down, they say, some 25% and it's still falling. Entire countries, like Italy, have been confined to their homes or apartments for weeks.

When you think about all of that, in light of all of those circumstances and other things of course that have unfolded over this last week, it becomes very easy for us begin to worry; to worry about own future and the future of our kids, and the future of our grandkids. Is this just a two-week blip on the timeline of history and it will soon be a long, forgotten memory? That's certainly possible. Or is this the beginning of radical changes? Is this one of those momentous times in human history when life, as we have known it, is dramatically altered forever?

I want you to understand this. For followers of Jesus Christ, it doesn't really matter which of those is true. Whether we're talking about the next two days, or the next two weeks, or the next two decades - worry about the future is never justified. It's never right. In fact, I would argue that it is far deadlier than the coronavirus. We as believers in Jesus Christ, have to deal with our temptation to worry. And the way we do that, is we follow Jesus' own diagnosis and we follow the prescription that He has laid out. And that's what I want us to do this morning.

As I thought about where we should study, my mind kept coming back to some incredibly comforting words of our Lord's; words that are so important and so essential for us to have in the forefront of our minds during these times. So, I want you to take your Bible and turn to Matthew 6, Matthew 6. In this text Jesus is explaining how to overcome materialism. In verses 25 to 34 of Matthew 6 He addresses one of the root causes of materialism which is the sin of worry. A question comes up. Will I have enough? Will I have enough of the necessities of life? Will I be able to live? Will I have what I need? Those, of course, are questions that, in some small way, we find ourselves asking now and, some, in fear of the future or looking at a larger version of that question even in the months ahead.

So, let's see what our Lord has to say about this. Again, take your copy of the Scripture and read with me, beginning in Matthew 6:25. These are the words of our Lord to us. "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

This paragraph is truly a remarkable one. It opens with Jesus' command not to worry about the needs of this life. You see that in the first half of verse 25. He simply says, "Don't worry!" And then, beginning in the middle of verse 25 and running down through the end of the chapter, Jesus presents a series of arguments for not worrying about the needs of this life. He begins with the argument from God's character. He says, Listen you don't need to worry because you can trust your Father. Look how He provides for His creation - those who are not made in His image, those who are not His through me, Jesus would say, through His life, and death, and resurrection. If He cares for the birds, if He cares for the spring wildflowers, then isn't He going to care for you? You don't need to worry.

By the way, let me just say, I know that this terrible, worldwide event is encouraging some people to take life seriously who should take life seriously. Maybe, you're worshipping with us this morning and you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, and you know in your heart that is true. Listen, this passage is not for you. You should worry because, frankly, the Scripture is clear that this is just a preview of coming attractions; a very, very small preview of what God will do on this planet and to those who are not willing to accept His gracious offer of His Son. And so I encourage you to think about your life; to take serious stock of the fact that whether it's through this little virus or whether it's through some other means, some day you will leave this life and you will stand before the Lord. And if you have not accepted His one provision for your soul's rescue from its sin, and that is His Son, then you will pay the penalty for that sin forever. And so, I plead with you this morning to be aware. If God is not your Father, through Jesus Christ and repent and believe in Him, let this circumstance sober you to turn from your sin and to accept the one place of rescue and that's Jesus Christ. In fact, our Lord said, In Me you can flee from the wrath that's coming. Not from this. This is even filled with mercy, as God does in so many times, with the things He brings on this planet. But some day there will be judgment with no mercy and Jesus says, Flee from that. Flee from that in me. And I hope you'll do that even today.

Another argument that Jesus gives for not worrying about the needs of this life, not only God's character, but also kingdom priorities. Verses 31-33 says, listen you now live for God's kingdom. Those are important arguments but today, in light of what's going on around us, I want you to think with me for just a few minutes about the last verse of this chapter; Jesus' final argument. And it's an argument from simple logic. You can only live in today. Look at verse 34. "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Now let's admit that, at first glance, that almost seems anti-climactic. It seems rather obvious. But, of course, our Lord never wastes words. This isn't a throwaway verse tacked on to an otherwise profound passage about dealing with worry. Instead, this verse is filled with deep theology and with rich practical insight to help each of us deal with the worry that we can all be tempted to have in our own hearts, including worry in these unsettled times.

So, let's look at it together. First of all, I want you to notice with me the relationship of verse 34 to its context. The little word "so" is the word that connects it. That's the Greek word that's usually translated "therefore" in the New Testament. So, verse 34, then, is building on what our Lord has already taught in the rest of this paragraph we just read together. Jesus was saying, In light of God's character, as the gracious generous Father, who always will provide for you just as He has provided for the rest of His creation, and in light of the kingdom priorities, these new priorities you have and now live for, in light of those things, I have one more important point I want you to consider, Jesus says. That's the linkage of verse 34 with the rest of His thought.

Secondly, I want you to consider the repetition of the command "Do not worry". Notice in verse 34, "So do not worry..." The Greek word, here, used for worry is used in the New Testament to describe two different things. It's used, first of all, to describe our legitimate cares and concerns; those things that are our responsibilities. For example, Paul uses this word when he talks about his care for the churches. The other way this word is used is for sinful worry or anxiety about anything. Here, obviously, that's how Jesus is using it. Now, I want you to notice in this text, this is the third time that Jesus has commanded not to worry. Verse 25, "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life". The implication of the Greek construction in that verse, could be read like this, Stop worrying! So, in verse 25 it's stop worrying. That's something we're all tempted to do. In verse 31, He says, "Do not worry then saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' There, the original language implies, Don't every worry! It's not a matter of stopping. It's a matter of don't let it enter into your life ever again. And verse 34, the third time, He says, "So do not worry". The structure in the original language is the exactly the same as verse 31. So, He's saying again, Don't every worry!

But notice the change in verse 34. He's not simply repeating what He has already said. He says, don't ever worry about tomorrow! Now I know some of you have legal minds and you're thinking, "Well does that mean it's okay to worry about today?" And the answer is, of course not! In fact, in Luke 10:41, Jesus rebuked Martha for worrying about that day's tasks. So, it's not okay to worry about today, nor is it okay to worry about what's going to happen next year or a long time from now. Instead, I think you understand, the word tomorrow is a figure of speech. It's where the part of something stands for the whole. And so, tomorrow here, stands for the entire future. So, Jesus in verse 34 is expanding the prohibition of worry beyond food, beyond drink, clothing, the other necessities of life, and He makes, instead, this sweeping, all-encompassing command. He says, don't ever worry about anything in the future. That is an incredible command. And if you just stop and think about that for a moment, it is sobering because we all are tempted to do this. And Jesus says to us, as His disciples, don't ever worry again about anything in the future.

Now the world is filled with those who live in the past. There are those who are filled with sad regret, with self-pity over sins committed, opportunities squandered, bad decisions made. But for all of those who live in the past, I think there are far more tempted to live in a state of worry about the future and that's why our Lord says what He says here. We're tempted to import tomorrow's troubles in to today; to live under the weight of what might happen, putting ourselves under the emotional burden of things that have not yet occurred. Let me ask you honestly. And ask yourself specifically this, in light of the circumstances we find ourselves in as a nation and as a world, what do you worry about? Really, what do you worry about? What wakes you up at night? What worries occupy your mind during the day? What are the things you worry about the most? Is it health? Is it the virus? Is it financial? Is it family issues? Kids? What's wrong with worrying about those things? Well, our Lord says here, that worrying about the future is sin. He completely forbids it. Why is that? Why is worry so bad?

Well, let me just give you a couple of things to think about. Worry is wrong, first of all, because worry is self-destructive. Worry creates physical and other spiritual issues in our lives. Proverbs 12:25 says, "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down". Worry has its effect on us in both spiritual and physical ways. In fact, when the Westminster divines wrote the Larger Catechism, they actually included worry in the sins forbidden by the sixth commandment. Yes, that's right, the command against murder! Why? Well, listen to what they wrote. They wrote that the sixth commandment forbids all distracting cares because it, along with the other things that they listed there, (listen to how they word it) "tends to the destruction of the life". "Distracting cares tends to the destruction of the life". It's self-destructive.

There's another reason worry is wrong and that's because worry is unbelief. Simply put, it's unbelief. The cause of worry is a lack of faith in God - verse 30 - "You of little faith!" Jesus diagnosis the ultimate source of, the cause of, the root of this sin of worry as a lack of faith in God. It's a failure to trust Him.

Another reason it's wrong is because worry, in the end, is dwelling on things that are simply not true. You know Philippians 4:8, "...brethren, whatever is true...dwell on these things." The things we worry about simply aren't true and most of them never will be. In fact, one theological resource, The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, defines worry and anxiety this way. It says, "anxiety anticipates non-existent dangers in the future and helplessly dwells on how to reduce them". You see our fears are usually liars. They steal from us the joy of today. In fact, it was the Roman poet Horace who wrote this, "If you spend your life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine". That's, in essence, why it's sin. So, our Lord tells us, listen you need to understand, you are not permitted to worry again about anything.

Now next He explains here in this passage, in verse 34, the reasons not to worry about tomorrow. The first reason He says we are not to worry about tomorrow is there in verse 34 - you are not responsible for tomorrow. Notice how He puts it - "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself." This is one of those times in the New Testament when Jesus uses humor. In fact, if your Bible has a marginal note there (the NAS has a marginal note) that notes that what Jesus literally said was this, don't you worry for tomorrow will worry about itself. He personifies worry as if it's a person who's given to worry and it's ringing its hands and He says, you let Tomorrow do all the worrying about tomorrow.

Now, on the face of it that's, of course, just good and obvious advice. But there's more here that our Lord is implying. What He's actually saying is it's wrong for us to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow is not our responsibility. It's not one of your legitimate cares or concerns. Whose is it? Well, it's God's! This is a call to trust God's providence for tomorrow. I mean, think of it this way. If God worried - and, of course, God never worries but if He worried - we might paraphrase what our Lord said here as - you let God worry about tomorrow. But better than putting it that way would be to say this - you let God care for tomorrow. It's not your business. You leave tomorrow alone. You just respond biblically to what He's chosen in His Sovereign providence to bring into your life today, and you acknowledge His providence over the future.

In fact, I think that's an important point for us to remember. Turn with me to James. James makes this point that we live in uncertainty. That's part of the human condition. That's part of life in a fallen world. And so, notice in James 4:13. He gives us this admonition. He says, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.'" Wow, we've been reminded how uncertain such plans can be, even this week! "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, (doesn't mean you have to say this every time. It means this what you have to think) 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.' But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil." When you don't take God into account about your future and its plans, then it's boasting and it's evil. And it is in that context, it's in the context of not recognizing God's providence, His control over your life and its future that verse 17 comes. "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." So, acknowledge God's providence over your future, over your tomorrow, over your next week, over this next year. So, the first reason not to worry about tomorrow is that it's not your responsibility and it's not under your control. Let God manage tomorrow, next week, next year, the rest of the future. Trust in God's daily providence.

Go back to Matthew because earlier in Matthew 6, our Lord made this very point. Matthew 6 and in the Lord's Prayer, verse 11, He says, (pray like this) "Give us (notice what He says), this day our daily bread." I think for many of us, in light of the drive on the grocery stores, it's the very first time in our lives we've had to even think about making sure we had the food we needed. But this verse reminds us that we depend on God every day and He does supply. Why pray give us each day our daily bread? Because, God is the one who supplies us, and He does. He cares for us and He will care for His own.

In fact, that's the point of the verses before our text. Go back to verses 25-33 and Jesus there says, Listen, if God feeds the birds, aren't you worth so much more than they are? The obvious answer is, Yes! You're made in God's image. He's going to care for you. If God clothes the wildflowers of spring - we're about to see them burst out all over the hills here in North Texas - do you really think if God's clothes them like that, and they're here today gone tomorrow not made in His image, that God isn't going to care for you, His child? What kind of a Father do you think you have? You can trust Him. He's going to care for you each day. And that's the important part to remember. God wants us to trust Him for each day. In the wilderness He taught the people that object lesson with the manna. You remember, just one day at a time, that's all they had and they had to gather just enough for that day, trusting Him that He would provide what they needed for the next day. That's how He wants us to live as well. Jeremiah 17:7-8 puts it this way,

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

And whose trust is the Lord.

For he will be like a tree planted by the water,

That extends its roots by a stream

And will not fear when the heat comes;

But its leaves will be green,

And it will not be anxious in a year of drought

Nor cease to yield fruit."

When hard times come, the man who trusts in God stands firm in His trust and God cares for His own. So, you and I must learn to trust that God in His providence brings the circumstances into our lives that He does and He means them for good and whatever He brings He will give us the grace and the wisdom and the strength to face that day.

Jesus gives us a second reason not to worry about the future. And that is, you can only live in today. You can only live in today. Notice again verse 34. Each day has enough trouble of its own. By the way, Jesus here, openly contradicts the prosperity gospel. He says My disciples are going to deal with trouble. Like Solomon said, man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward. We have a life that's filled with joy but we also face trouble. It's a constant reality. And Jesus says here, don't borrow from tomorrow's trouble by worrying today. Just deal with it. Deal with today. It's like the Old English proverb that we sometimes misquote, but the proverb says this, "Never cross a bridge until you get to it." That's great sage advice.

Now what is Jesus' solution for living in fear of the future? He says don't ever worry about tomorrow because tomorrow is going to worry about itself. God's in control of that, you're not. And each day has its own troubles. What He's really saying is this, Live in today! I like the way John MacArthur in his commentary puts it. He says, "God gives you the glorious gift of life today. Live in the light and full joy of that day, using the resources God supplies. Don't push yourself into the future and forfeit today's joy over some tomorrow that may never happen." Now don't misunderstand this concept of living in today. Jesus is not telling us to live for today as if that's all we have. He's not endorsing here some cynical or epicurean lifestyle. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 condemns that lifestyle that says let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die. No, what Jesus is saying, here, is we are to live not for today, we are to live in today. We must learn to live one day at a time. I love the way Lloyd Jones puts it in his commentary on the Sermon On the Mount. Listen to his words. "According to our Lord, the vital thing is not to spend every day of your life adding up the grand total of everything that's ever likely to happen to you in the whole of your life and in this world. If you do that", he writes, "it will crush you. Rather, you must think of it like this, there is as it were a daily quota of problems and difficulties in life. Every day must be lived in and of itself. Live day by day. Live a life of obedience to God every day. Do what God asks you to do every day."

So how exactly can we do this? I just want you to think with me for a moment. How can we live in today? Let me give you several ways. Consider these over these coming days. First of all, deal with today's troubles today. Verse 34 says that each day has enough trouble of its own. So, deal with those troubles but only the troubles of today. Don't add yesterday's troubles. Don't carry them into today. And don't add tomorrow's troubles; carry just today's. I love the illustration John Newton gives about this. He said, you know, think of the years of troubles as a huge bundle of sticks; much too heavy for you to carry. But God in His kindness doesn't give you all of those sticks at once and put them on your shoulder. It would absolutely crush you. Instead, He simply gives you today's stick to carry and it's small enough for you to do so with His strength; with His grace. So, carry that stick. He says, Newton writes, "If we would only take the burden appointed for each day, we might easily manage. But we choose to increase our troubles by carrying yesterday's stick over again today and adding tomorrow's burden to the load before we are required to bear it." Jesus says don't do that. Live in today in the sense that you deal with today's troubles today.

Secondly, He says, pray about all your legitimate future cares and responsibilities today. This is another way to live today. Deal with today's troubles today. But as you look at future legitimate cares and responsibilities, it's okay to pray for those today. In fact, you should pray for those today. So many texts make this point but Philippians 4:6, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." 1 Peter 5:7 says, "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." That's a beautiful picture. He's just said submit your life to God's providence. Put yourself under. Humble yourself under His mighty hand. And, as you go through whatever He's brought, cast all of your care upon Him in the process. Whatever is a care to you, throw on God, roll on God. It comes from that beautiful picture of the Psalmist of rolling our cares on the Lord and He will sustain you because He cares for you. So, it's okay then to deal with today's troubles today. You need to do that. And to pray about tomorrow's legitimate cares and concerns today.

That brings us to a third way, though, that we can live in today and that's this - plan and do what ought to be done today about your future legitimate cares. In other words, Jesus isn't saying just ignore the future. Maybe you're one of those people who doesn't plan ahead. You don't think about the future. You like to pretend nothing bad is ever going to happen. This passage isn't for you. That's not what Jesus is saying here. Scripture tells us it's wise to prepare for the future. In fact, in Proverbs 6, the ant is praised by God for taking care for the future; for storing up when you can store up; for preparing for the reality of what's coming. So, ask yourself this question. What do I need to do today to be reasonably prepared for that future legitimate concern? Is there something I should be doing today to prepare for that future concern? And then do that. Do it today; whatever it is you ought to be doing today to prepare for that concern. If for example you're unprepared for retirement, then create and build a savings plan. Create a plan and work towards solving that problem. Do that today. Do that as soon as you're able to get it on your calendar. Don't worry about it. Act on it. If you haven't been a reasonable steward of your health, then again, create a plan and begin putting that plan into practice. If your career path is drying up, then don't ignore the inevitable. Begin to plan toward that reality. If you haven't made legitimate preparations as the government is urging us to, in light of this current crisis, then of course do that. But understand that's what you can do. And that is, do what's required today. Living in today doesn't mean ignoring the future. It means doing what ought to be done today regarding that future legitimate care. But and here's where it becomes a problem, if there's nothing that ought to be done today but you, instead, are simply turning that concern over and over in your mind, becoming increasingly anxious about it, then understand that is sinful worry. When you find yourself concerned about something, ask yourself this question. Do I need to pray about it right now?

Secondly, is there something I need to do today about that thing? And, if not, then you need to dismiss it from your mind. You need to move on. Once you are dealing with today's troubles, once you have prayed about the concerns of tomorrow that have made you anxious, once you have done today what you ought to do in preparation for those concerns, then stop thinking about tomorrow's possible troubles. Recognize it for what it is. At that point, it's worry.

One of my daughters who just returned back from Masters for spring break was sharing with me that she heard a very helpful illustration about this very issue in a recent chapel there and I just have to share with you because I thought it was so helpful; so insightful. Here's how you can discover if you're responding correctly to a legitimate concern in your life or not. Is your response to that concern like a thoroughfare? Or is it like a cul-de-sac? If your concern about that issue creates a thoroughfare that leads you into God's presence in prayer or a thoroughfare that moves you to actually do something about the problem and resolve it, then that's a biblical response to a legitimate concern. But if, on the other hand, your response to that problem, that concern, is like a cul-de-sac, that pulls you into your own mind, isolates you from God and from prayer and causes you simple to withdraw and again and again in your own mind stir this issue up, then it's a cul-de-sac and its sinful worry. We're told to deal with the issues of today - that's true and right. We should do that. We're to pray about the future concerns we have and we're to plan and do whatever we can do about tomorrow's concerns today.

But there's one other step that we can take to truly live in today. And that is constantly remind yourself that God only gives grace for today's troubles. This is where we often go astray. We think that somehow, we can deal with tomorrow. If we do that, we're on our own because God only gives grace for today; one day at a time. Isaiah 33:2 says this, "O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their strength." Here's the prayer for God's people. Be their strength every morning". Be their strength every morning; strength for the new day. We sang about it this morning in that great hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness. God's strength is only there for today, not for tomorrow. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "The Lord's lovingkindnesses (the expressions of His steadfast love) indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning" - new every morning. It's like manna. You can't get those expressions of God's steadfast love for tomorrow until it comes. Great is His faithfulness.

As you think about whatever it is you are facing perhaps way beyond the crisis the world's in the middle of right now, you're in your own personal crisis in your own life, your own health, your family - whatever it might be. In the end, your hope is found solely in our Lord. I love the way it is recorded for us in 2 Corinthians 12 where Paul is talking about his own thorn in the flesh; this terrible thing in his life and we're not absolutely sure what that thorn was and I think that's probably a good thing because it allows it to be interpreted more broadly. But whatever that thorn for Paul was, he said this, "I implored (asked) the Lord three times that it might leave me (to remove it)." It's what I wanted. Lord take it away. Don't let it be like this. Don't let my life be like this. Don't let me face this trouble. And you remember the Lord's response to Paul. He said, "My grace is sufficient for you". That's His response to us with where He has us now individually and as God's people in the midst of this trouble. His grace is sufficient. Our Lord will give you and me the grace we need to face this trouble in a way that honors Him. And that's our ultimate hope. In the end, ultimately, in the middle of storms, like the one in which we find ourselves, there is as we sang together, only one anchor for our souls. And that's Christ the sure and steady anchor. He will give us His grace but only for today.

Matthew Henry, great Puritan commentator, puts it this way. He says, "This present day has trouble enough attending it. We need not accumulate burdens by anticipating our trouble, nor borrow perplexities from tomorrow's evils to add to those of this day." The conclusion of this whole matter then is this - that it is the will and command of the Lord Jesus that His disciples should not be their own tormentors nor make their passage through this world more dark and unpleasant by their apprehension of troubles than God has made by the troubles themselves. Live in the today. Live one day at a time in the strength and grace and steadfast love that God provides in that day. You've been around our church anytime at all, you probably heard me recite this poem before. These lines were engraved on a sundial at Wells College in Massachusetts and I think they capture the spirit of this text for us:

The shadow by my finger cast

Divides the future from the past:

Before it, sleeps the unborn hour

In darkness, and beyond thy power:

Behind its unreturning line,

The vanished hour, no longer thine:

One hour alone is in thy hands,

The NOW on which the shadow stands.

Again, our Lord says to us, so do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Let's pray together.

Our Father thank you for these incredibly comforting words from our Lord. Thank you for the reminder of your goodness and generosity. Lord, even as our Lord reminded us, You know we need all these things. You know what we need to live here in this world. And You are generous and gracious and caring Father. Forgive us, O God, for doubting you, for forgetting Your provision, Lord, for not believing You, not trusting You, not having confidence in Your character. Lord, help us to live day to day, trusting You, doing what we need to do today for tomorrow but living in today, praying about tomorrow and leaving tomorrow, ultimately, to You. Father, thank you that it is not in our control; that it is not our responsibility, except to make wise and adequate provision to plan; but, Lord, not to live it today. I pray that You would now take these truths and comfort our souls. Lord, for everyone who has heard this message this morning, who is in Christ, truly comfort them. Help them to take these admonitions to heart from our Lord and to apply them to this current crisis. And Father for those who've tuned in who are not in Christ, Lord, help them to see that they cannot take these words as their own because You are not their Father. But Lord, today, may they come to You in repentance and faith; crying out for the forgiveness that's found through the life and death and resurrection of Your Son and, in an act of instantaneous grace, become Your adopted son or adopted daughter today. And then, are able to live in the light of these words. Lord, do that work of grace in their souls even now. Bring good out of this worldwide trauma for the glory of Your Name, for the exaltation of Your Son, for the advancement of His kingdom. And, Lord, may our trust be the one place our souls truly find anchor. We pray in Jesus' Name. Amen!