Let me close by using some illustrations how battling unbelief overcomes anxiety.
Here in our text we have the illustration of anxiety over food and clothing. Even in our country with its extensive welfare system, anxiety over finances and housing can be very intense. But Jesus says in verse 30 that this is owing to unbelief: “O you of little faith.” And so this paragraph has at least half a dozen promises in it to battle that unbelief.
For example at the end of verse 32 he says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” That is a spectacular promise. In everything you do at home and at work, put God”s purposes first, and he will provide all you need to live for his glory. Believe that promise, and financial anxiety will evaporate in the warmth of God”s care.
Paul applied the promise to anxiety in Philippians like this. In 4:6 he says just like Jesus, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God.” And then in 4:19 he gives the promise like Jesus, “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” And so we follow today the pattern of Jesus and Paul. We battle the unbelief of anxiety with the promises of God:
- When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32.8" rel="nofollow">Psalm 32:8).
- When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us who can be against us!” (Romans 8.31" rel="nofollow">Romans 8:31).
- When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise that “tribulation works patience, and patience approvedness, and approvedness hope, and hope does not make us ashamed” (Romans 5.3-5" rel="nofollow">Romans 5:3-5).
- When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46.4" rel="nofollow">Isaiah 46:4).
- When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself; if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die we are the Lord”s. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living” (Romans 14.9-11" rel="nofollow">Romans 14:9-11).
- When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promise, “He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ” (Philippians 1.6" rel="nofollow">Philippians 1:6). “He who calls you is faithful. He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5.23" rel="nofollow">1 Thessalonians 5:23). “He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7.25" rel="nofollow">Hebrews 7:25).
So I urge you in your warfare, take up the book of God, ask the Holy Spirit for help, lay the promises up in your heart, and battle on.