Worry Doesn’t Respond to Willpower

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

– Matthew 6:33,34

We’ve been talking a lot about worry in the last week and how we can work to minimize its impact on our lives. Today, I want to bring an encouragement to you — winning the worry war doesn’t happen by your own strength and willpower, but is a natural outgrowth of seeking God’s Kingdom above all else. As you put Him first in your life, a more peaceful existence will result.

Willpower doesn’t work when it comes to trying not to worry, and that is where many Christians get frustrated. If I tell you not to think about a purple elephant wearing a tutu with a sombrero on, I guarantee you that you are going to picture it, even though I told you not to. Why? Because the very suggestion of something will trigger your mind to create an image. Attempting not to worry just causes greater worry; the more you ruminate on the concept, the more it consumes you.

Friend, this is the beauty of salvation. If Christ is in you, you are a lot stronger than you know! When you receive Him, you are given something that is utterly limitless in its power. As His Holy Spirit takes up residence within you, you have a source of strength that has nothing to do with your own effort and everything to do with Him. This is why Jesus encourages you to seek Him first, with a promise that everything else will be taken care of. The “therefore” at the beginning of Matthew 6:34 is a reminder that not worrying about tomorrow is a direct result of desiring Him above other things in your life. As you narrow your focus to the priorities of His Kingdom, even a boatload of worries will be overshadowed by an unshakable confidence in His sufficiency! Isn’t that awesome news?


Jesus, thank you for simplifying the focus of my life. I want to stay connected to your power so I can trust you when I’m compelled to worry. 


How has seeking God’s Kingdom above all else helped you to subdue worry in your life?

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