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  • Lina Cole

O You of Little Faith, Why Are You Anxious?

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Matthew 6: 25-34: Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will 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 a single hour 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 you 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 after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In the middle of the account of the Sermon of the Mount, we find this passage where Jesus addresses anxiousness. Jesus knew the human heart… He knew how easy it is for humans to forget that God, their Father in heaven, is in control. In this passage, Jesus uses the imagery of the birds and lilies to portray how the Lord provides for his creation. The Lord feeds the birds their daily food and the lilies grow and flourish in splendor. They do not work for this, but rather the Lord is sustaining them. Looking at creation and seeing how it is being sustained by God every day, leads us to realize that we are not only part of that creation, but also more valuable than the birds and flowers on earth. However, we forget about the God who provides, and we become anxious when we are in need. Jesus connects this anxiety with lack of faith because we are letting our hearts be troubled when we are not in control rather than trusting in the One who is ALWAYS in control. The Lord knows our needs, and as a Father, He wants the best for his children. The only thing the Lord asks from us is to seek him first, and all our needs will be taken care of.

This passage about anxiety is at the end of chapter six of the book of Matthew. And in the verses before, Jesus gives us guidance on how to lead a life free of anxiety.

He tells us to live a life of generosity, a life that depends on God, and a life that is faithful to God.

Life of generosity


First of all, a life free of anxiety is a life full of generosity. Giving to the needy and caring for the poor is a theme that is highlighted throughout Scripture. In the Law given to the Israelites, the widows, orphans, and foreigners were to be taken care of. In the New Testament church, the members of the church sold their possessions to cover the needs of others. And in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he encourages people to give bountifully with a cheerful heart to the Lord. In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus does not command us to give, but He assumes we will give to the needy. His address is focused on what our attitude should be when we do give to others. He says, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”Jesus knows that we are tempted to give in order to be praised. He knows that we crave recognition, and we want others to see how good we are. However, the real reward is not the praise of man. The real reward, the reward that is everlasting, comes from our Father in heaven who sees everything we do publicly and privately.


When we give to others, let us do it in secret… let us restrain from the need to be recognized so God is the one who is praised and not us… because after all, what we have comes from him.

Moreover, when we give, we are also expressing our faith in the one who provides. In Mark 12:41-44, we see a beautiful example of faith in a widow who gives everything she had to live on. When Jesus sees this, he says, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” The Lord is not impressed by huge amount of wealth, but by a person who surrenders all they have to him. This is where our giving becomes a form of worship because we are sacrificing the means we have to live on and leaving behind the temptation to make money our idol.

When we give to the Lord, we are returning a small amount of everything He has given us, and we are saying, “Thank you Lord for everything you have provided this far, and I trust you… I trust that you will provide for my needs of tomorrow.”

Life of dependence on God


Moreover, a life free of anxiety is a life that depends only on God. Jesus moves on to a life of praying and fasting, and He gives the same commandment for both practices: they are to be done in secret and not for our fellow believers to see. Our intention when we pray and fast should be to grow closer to the Lord and not to show others how faithful and spiritual we are. Also, when we pray and fast, we are coming to our Father in intimacy, and we are laying down everything before him. Prayer and fasting are not supposed to be a bank transaction where we ask and God is obligated to answer the way we want him to, but rather, prayer and fasting are the means we have to grow closer to the Lord. Through these practices we find comfort in a God who hears our cries, and we allow God to speak to us as well.


In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray when he says,


“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”


This prayer is not supposed to be repeated as a ritual, but it informs us about how we should pray. In verse 9, the prayer starts with an exaltation to who God is and a recognition of God’s supremacy. In verse 10, we are asking for God’s kingdom to come and rule a place reigned by darkness. We are also asking for his will to be done not only on earth in general, but in each area of our lives as well. In verse 12, we are asking forgiveness for our sins. We should come before the Lord and repent of our sins by name. We should be conscious of our struggles and the sins we are fighting as we rely on the Lord’s strength and forgiveness. Once we understand the merciful and gracious forgiveness we received from God, we have a heart that is willing to forgive others. Finally, in verse 13 we are asking the Lord to keep us from temptation and evil.

While we are here on earth with our broken flesh, we will struggle and be tempted to sin. This spiritual battle needs to be fought everyday through prayer and time in God’s Word.

In the middle of the prayer, we have verse 11 where we ask God for our daily bread. Notice Jesus did not tell us to ask for food to fill our pantry for the whole month. There is nothing wrong with having the blessing of a full pantry… however, we tend to forget that our provision comes from God. We tend to put our security in the fact that we have the money to buy food instead of putting our trust in the God who provides. We see this portrayed in Deuteronomy 8 when the Lord warns the Israelites to not become prideful when they are enjoying of the blessings the Lord gives them. The Lord says, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth…”

We should thank and trust the Lord when there is abundance because it is through his power and strength that we are able to work and bring food to our homes, and we should thank and trust the Lord when there is need because we have faith that He will provide when there is nothing in the pantry to eat.

Wisely Agur said in Proverbs 30:8-9,


“Give me neither poverty nor riches;

feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”


Asking the Lord for our daily bread, means that we are trusting that the Lord will sustain us every day. We are asking for the Lord to provide for our basic needs, so we do not resort to our own sinful ways in order to bring food to the table. And we are also asking the Lord JUST for our basic needs, so we do not forget our provider when there is abundance at the table. Through prayer and fasting we are declaring that we depend on God, and we are growing in faith as we grow closer to him.


Life of faithfulness to God


Finally, a life free of anxiety is a life that is faithful only to God. In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus commands us to not lay up treasures on Earth for those are fleeting and temporal, but rather we should lay up treasures in heaven by serving the Lord above all for that treasure is everlasting. Jesus is calling us to make a choice of who we are serving: money or God. We cannot be devoted to both. Money itself is not bad, but the love of money is what brings forth greed, pride, and other sins in our lives. A life where money is god is a life that will strive to do anything in its power to obtain it, even if it means “bending” some rules from the Bible… in other words… sinning against God to obtain money. But why does this matter? Why would God care on how I obtain the means to feed my family?

It matters because our spiritual life is more important than any possessions we may acquire on Earth.

In Luke 12:15 Jesus warns the crowd that life is more than possessions. He goes on and tells the parable about a rich person whose crops are so plentiful that he didn’t have any place to store them. So, instead of giving the extra food away, he tore down his barns and builds new ones to store everything for himself and he said to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But that night was the night the Lord called him to Himself and called him a fool because although he was rich on Earth, he was poor before God.


Again, there is nothing wrong with acquiring possessions in life… what is wrong is to put that as our priority and worth. And how we know that we have made money our God is when the lack of it brings defeat and lack of meaning or worth. We live for God… we live to praise him with our lives of obedience and to share the wonderful love and grace He has extended to us. Our worth is not in what we wear, eat, or possess. Our worth is in the fact that God adopted us as his children, and we are called righteous because of the work of Christ in our lives. That is why at the end of Matthew 6 the Jesus says But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Jesus is calling us to seek the Lord above all… above our needs… and we have faith that He will provide and cover our needs. That is what this famous verse means.

Matthew 6:33 is not a promise that if we seek God, He will give us all our materialistic desires that only serve our pride. Rather, it is a promise that the Lord will cover our needs as we seek him… He will provide our daily bread.

So, yes! Our anxiousness about tomorrow’s needs is a sign of a lack of faith because we are not trusting the Lord who provides. We are trusting our own strength and we worry about being in need because we feel we do not have any control. But Jesus invites us to not be anxious! He says that anxiousness is not going to add a single hour to our span of life. Instead, let us seek the kingdom of God. Let us put our resources in God’s hands and bless the people around us and our local church. Let us have a life that prayerfully trusts in God’s providing hand.


Let us devote our lives to God and be faithful to him, for he holds our worth in His hands.

I want to leave you this time with the hymn, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” It’s a hymn that speaks of the faith we have in the fact that it is the Lord who sustains us; it is the Lord who watches over us.


His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged,

Why should the shadows come,

Why should my heart be lonely,

And long for heav’n and home;

When Jesus is my portion?

My constant Friend is he;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me.


Refrain:

I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free;

For his eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me.


“Let not your heart be troubled,”

His tender word I hear,

And resting on his goodness,

I lose my doubts and fears;

Though by the path he leadeth,

But one step I may see;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me.


Whenever I am tempted,

Whenever clouds arise;

When songs give place to sighing,

When hope within me dies,

I draw the closer to him,

From care he sets me free;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know he watches me.


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About Me

Hey there! I'm Lina Cole. 

I am a writer, songwriter, and singer. I have served as a worship leader, bible teacher, and writer and editor for different ministries and churches. 

I have a Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance, and I am currently working on my Master of Divinity in Worship Leadership at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

My prayer is that the Lord uses my writings and songs to bring His Word to people who need it and are blessed by it.

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