Faith and Care

Matthew 6:30

FOUR times in Matthew our Lord uses the expression “O ye of little faith,” and each time the application is to a different problem. The first occurrence of the phrase is in Matthew 6:30: “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

This is part of the well-known passage from the Sermon on the Mount dealing with our daily anxieties. Nowhere is faith more needed nowadays. Many Christians seem to think of worry as a “white sin,” as though God had made an exception in that case and we were allowed to fret and grieve, with no provision being made for our relief. People think they simply must worry, but God’s Word is explicit that we are to be anxious about nothing (Phil. 4:6), casting all our care upon God (1 Pet. 5:7)—letting not our hearts be troubled (John 14:1). Why did Jesus say “Let not your heart be troubled” if we cannot help it?

So our Lord tells us: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink” (v. 25). Of course, we know that “thought” here means anxious thought and not the forethought and planning that are necessary for any business. It is not work, but worry, that kills—the feverish tension and uneasiness that soon wear down mind and body. The man who lives in the will of God need never worry about food, clothes, and the vexations of daily experience. It does no good, it is positively forbidden in the Word, and God has promised to supply all the believer’s needs (Phil. 4:19).

The Lord Jesus speaks in this passage of the birds and the lilies as illustrations of God’s care. Here cynics have objected that the sparrow falls just the same. But the idea is that no matter what happens, we are in God’s care. The mistake is in limiting His care to temporal welfare—but God does not guarantee to save us from trouble and danger. His care goes beyond that: come what will, our lives are hid with Christ, and no matter what happens to our health or our money, we ourselves—our spirits—are safe in Him.

The heart of the whole matter is found in verse 33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” We make “all these things” our chief concern but Christ makes them merely incidental. These things should be marginal and God central in our lives, but we put them on the main track and God is switched to the sidetrack, to be called upon only in trouble.

“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Each day has enough troubles of its own. But we insist upon borrowing from tomorrow and crossing the bridge before we reach it. No Christian should worry. His sole business is to know the will of God and do it. Whatever his occupation may be, it is only to pay expenses while he is about his real business. But we reverse the whole matter and make our trade the main business with God’s will an outside affair that is considered now and then, if at all. Consequently, when trouble and vexation come we fret and worry.

Our “little faith” shows up daily in this matter of care. The believer who has gained through faith the conquest of care has found life here, even in this troublesome world, a blessed experience. Truly, the peace of God will garrison the hearts and minds of those who are careful for nothing but thankful for everything.

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