Red, & all.
When my head hits the pillow, I'm out like a light. I almost never wake up until time to get up. My internal clock is set to go to sleep at 11pm and awaken at 4:45am. This is what I do every day of the week. I have no time to worry or fret; life is much too short to waste any of it on things beyond my control. I place all trust in the hand of God.
To follow up on Elbee's posts, here is a study of a few verses from the Gospel of Matthew: (probably too long for most to read)
The phrase, "Do not be worried" or "Take no thought" (KJV) appears four times in this passage. All of us have to admit that worry is a part of life. It is a favorite pastime for most people. It occupies their thinking for a great portion of their day. However, worry is a very dangerous thing; it takes a severe toll on people. In addition, the Bible says that worry is a sin for a child of God. Worry is the equivalent of saying, "God, I know You mean well by what You say, but I am not sure You can meet my need." Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise and the providence of God; yet we do it all the time. We do not worry about anything as much as we worry about the basics of life. We are not any different from the people to whom Jesus spoke. They worried about what they were going to eat, drink, and put on their bodies (Matthew 6:25). They were worried about the basics. If you want to legitimize your worry, there is no better way than to say, "Well, after all, I'm not worrying about extravagant things, I am just worrying about my next meal, a glass of water, and something to wear." That is forbidden for the Christian because it is sinful and foolish.
As you read the Sermon on the Mount, the Gospels, and the Epistles, one thing you learn is that God does not want His children preoccupied with the passing things of the earth. He wants us to set our affection not on things of the earth but on things above. He wants us to lay up our treasure in heaven and to seek first the kingdom of God. In order to free us to do that He says, "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" (Matthew 6:25).
Jesus recognizes that man, in his covetousness, tends to devote his whole life to caring for the externals. However, His point is that life is more than the externals. The body is not the end of everything; life is not contained in this body, life is contained in the very nature of God. We live, not because our body lives, but because God gives our body life. Life is more than the body, more than food, more than clothes. You will never convince people in our society of that, but it is true.
In verses 26-32, and 34, Jesus gives three reasons why we should not worry. One, it is unnecessary because of our heavenly Father; two, it is uncharacteristic because of our faith; and three, it is unwise because of our future.
First, it is unnecessary to worry about finances, the basics of life, and what you eat, drink, or wear because of our Father. For example, our children do not worry about where they are going to get their next meal. They do not worry about whether they are going to have clothes, a bed, or something to drink. That never enters their minds because they know enough about their father to know he provides for them, yet how often we fail to believe that God is going to provide for us.
Jesus uses three illustrations to prove His point.
First, verse 26, "the birds of the air."
Every bird that lives in this world lives because God gave it life. Birds have no self-consciousness, no cognitive processes, and no ability to reason. However, God has planted within birds something called instinct so that they have a divine capacity to find what is necessary to live. Now, if God is going to take care of irrational birds who cry out to Him through their instinct, is not God going to take care of His own children?
Verse 26, is not an excuse for idleness. God feeds birds through an instinct that tells them where to find that food and they work for it. They are busy searching, gobbling up little insects and worms, preparing their nests, caring for their young, teaching them to fly, pushing them out of the nest at the right time, migrating with the seasons, and so on. All this work is done if they are going to eat and yet they do it by instinct and never overdo it. They do not say, "I am going to build bigger nests. I am going to store more worms. I am going to say to myself, "Bird, eat, drink and be merry." They work within the framework of God's design for them and they never overindulge themselves. Birds only get fat when people put them in cages.
Unlike the birds, men are the ones who have enough, continually stockpile, and hoard. They ignore God's priorities and promises. The birds do not worry about where they are going to find the food, they just fly until they find it, and God provides it. Birds have no reason to worry. If they do not worry, why are you worrying about what you will eat, drink, or wear? Are you not much better than a bird? No bird was ever created in the image of Christ, no bird was ever made in the image of God, no bird was ever designed to be a joint-heir with Jesus Christ throughout eternity, and no bird was ever prepared a place in heaven in the Father's house. If God sustains the life of a bird, He will take care of you. Life is a gift from God. If God gives you the greater gift, which is life, He will give you the lesser gift that is the sustaining of that life by food, so do not worry about it.
So, just as God provides for the bird through instinct, so God provides for man through his effort. Jesus is not saying to do nothing, but through your effort, God will provide.
You ask, "Why do we read about nations where millions are striving," for example India. India has plenty of food to feed its people, but there is starvation there. If India has plenty of food, why is starvation there? They allow sacred cows to eat twenty percent of all their food, and the rodents and rats that they believe are reincarnations of their ancestors eat fifteen percent. That is thirty-five percent of their food. It is not that they do not have the resources; they just do not have the spiritual connection to God that puts them in the place of blessing. Their religion destroys them.
Why do hundreds of children in this nation go to bed hungry? Could some of, if not most of the problem be the fact Daddy and Mommy use what resources they have to purchase drugs, tobacco, and booze.
Verse 27 is the second illustration Jesus gives, the future.
According to the King James Version, "Which of you can add one cubic unto his statue?" According to The New American Standard Version, "Who of youcan add a single hour to his life?"
We live in a day when people are in a panic to lengthen their life. We spend a literal fortune joining spas, buying vitamins by the ton, visiting every doctor in sight to get a physical, following every special diet conceivable, and all we want to do is lengthen our life. We do not want to die; we want to live longer and longer. You are distrusting God, when you worry about how long you are going to live and how to add years onto your life. God has given us the gift of life because He wants us to live for spiritual reasons. In the Old Testament, it was in response to obedience that God promised to give long life. As we live, a righteous life there is a reason for us to be alive. God bounds our life by His sovereign decree and He wants us to live life to it fullest. Exercise and health help because we are kept alert and alive to the limits of our capacity while we are living out our span. However, we cannot worry ourselves into a longer life. You will experience life to the fullest if you are obedient to God.
Verses 28 -30 are the third illustration, clothing.
In our society, people live for clothes. They manifest a carnal, selfish, worldly, materialistic care for clothes. It is not so much that they are afraid they will have nothing to wear; it is that they are afraid they will not be able to look their best. Lusting after costly clothes is a sin in our society. We have made a god out of fashion. We sinfully indulge in a money-mad spending spree to buy ourselves things to drape all over this body that have nothing to do with the beauty of the character. We worry that we do not have enough and do not look good enough when the Lord Jesus, who owned only what He wore on His back, was the loveliest who ever lived.
Jesus said, "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 them" (Matthew 6:28-29).
Look at the little flowers in the field. They do not spin and toil, yet there is a beauty about them. You can take the beautiful clothing of Solomon, put it under a microscope, and it will look like sackcloth. However, if you take the petal of a flower and put it under a microscope you will see the difference. Man with all of his ingenuity cannot even touch the texture, form, design, substance, and color of the lilies of the field.
Even Solomon, the greatest, richest, and wisest, had no garment that could compare to the beauty, of the lilies of the field. When you have done all you can to yourself, you cannot do what God can do with one little tiny flower. Why do you spend such an effort for such a result?
In verse 30, Jesus asks an interesting question, "But if God so clothed the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?"
Do you know what they used to do with that old grass? The women in that part of the world had little hearths where they cooked. They had a thick clay oven with a little door that could be placed on top of the fire. They would let the fire heat the oven, open the door and put in whatever they wanted to cook in the oven. However, if the fire had grown low or they were in a hurry and could not wait for the inside to heat up, they would start a fire on the inside of that little oven. The historians tell us that they would go into the field and find the dried grass that had become brittle and the flowers that had died. They would then gather the little stalks of the flowers and grass to put into the oven in order to start a fire on the inside that would meet the fire coming from the outside to heat the oven.
Jesus said, do not worry about what you wear, do not worry about how long you live, do not worry about what you are going to eat and drink, God takes care of all that. A God who would lavish such beauty on a flower will lavish the necessary clothing on one who is His eternal child. The Lord will give you food and clothing; He will determine the length of your life and sustain it. The key is to put your heart and your treasure in heaven and God will take care of all the earthly things.