“Do not worry about tomorrow,” said Jesus in His great Sermon on the Mount, “for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). For the third time, Christ gives His disciples this command not to worry, repeating it perhaps because He knew the universal human tendency to do just the opposite—to anxiously focus on future cares rather than on the God who holds tomorrow in His hands (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 23).
In this segment of His sermon, Jesus teaches the disciples not to be anxious about what they will eat and what they will wear. These two things represent basic human needs. Jesus urges His followers to trust in God as their provider. The faithful kingdom servant who is wholly committed to the King does not need to worry or be distracted by the cares of everyday life. Putting our confidence in God means trusting that He will take care of us and provide everything we need.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus expands His lesson, challenging the disciples specifically not to worry about concerns that may crop up in the future. He had just taught the disciple to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:11). Servants of God’s kingdom must live in the present. God looks after His servants today. He gives them their daily bread and anything else they might need for today. They do not need to worry about tomorrow because God will be there with them to deal with any concerns in the “today” of tomorrow (Matthew 28:20; Psalm 73:23–26).
In the wilderness, God taught the children of Israel the same principle of depending on Yahweh for the day’s provision. He fed them with just enough manna to sustain their lives for that day. When they worried about tomorrow by storing food for the next day, that supply of manna would rot. Each day and every step of the way, God’s people must depend on His faithful supply.
The Lord knows we face many circumstances and situations that can cause anxiety in this fallen world. So how can we follow His command to stop worrying about tomorrow?
Philippians 4:6–7 presents our most potent weapon against worry: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT).
Whenever we find ourselves feeling anxious or worrying about tomorrow, we can take our concerns to the Lord in prayer. We can live in that moment, acknowledging that God is right there with us. As we tell Him what we need, we thank Him for all He has done. A thankful attitude suggests an expectation of His continued provision and care. As we spend time in the presence of our heavenly Father, pouring out our concerns, He responds by giving us supernatural peace that guards our hearts and minds. When we remember to turn to the Father in prayer, He instantly comes to help us through our anxious moments.
Rely on God’s Grace
The apostle Paul endured a thorn in the flesh that caused him considerable anxiety: “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:7–9). Paul took his concern to the Lord in prayer. When the problem persisted, the apostle relied on the Lord to provide him with the grace to carry on.
God’s grace gave Paul the ability to see how the Lord would be glorified in his infirmity: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). We can eradicate our worries about tomorrow by seeing God with us in the future, providing the grace we need to get through. When tomorrow comes, the Father will be there with grace to meet our every need.
Discipline the Mind
After praying and receiving God’s peace, we must discipline our minds: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, NLT). It’s hard to worry when our thoughts are centered on God’s true and faithful promises. Lazy, undisciplined thinking produces worry. Instead, we need to train our minds on the Word, which tells us that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV).
We cannot be wholly dedicated to God if we’re devoted to worrying about tomorrow. Worrying about tomorrow is a failure to trust in God and accomplishes nothing (Matthew 6:27–29). Peter wisely advises, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7, NLT).
Sometimes obeying the Lord’s command not to worry about tomorrow requires action: “Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9, NLT). If fears about your tomorrow are consuming your today, consider doing an in-depth Bible study specifically on the topic of concern. You may even need to seek counseling from a leader at church. Take steps to create a biblical plan of action that will quash your unfruitful, destructive worrying.
The Lord’s command, “Do not worry about tomorrow,” is a poignant reminder for kingdom servants to live in the moment and put their trust in Him for every circumstance and situation. No difficulty is greater than our great God. Worrying about tomorrow is looking at our future as if God will not be there to take care of us. But Jesus teaches us to live in God’s presence one day at a time and deal with each problem when it comes—through prayer. Our heavenly Father will be with us tomorrow to care for us.