Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. — Matthew 6:34
Here our Lord is not invoking some conscious entity, called “tomorrow,” that actually “worries about its own things” (in a woodenly literal sense). Rather He is pointing out that God intends for us to keep our worries in what Lloyd Olgilvie has called “day-tight compartments;” since the challenges of a given day may evoke anxiety in us. Regarding the wastefulness of worry, Leo Buscaglia also opined (as best I remember): “Worry over what may happen tomorrow only robs today of its joy.” (Of course we may refuse to accept the Lord’s gift of Joy, and so betray the stubborn pride, the ingratitude, and or perhaps our suspicion about the sincerity of God’s love for us.) For us to worry about what may happen at a future time is really rather senseless for us, who purport to trust in a sovereign and caring God.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Jesus is well aware of the fact that we commonly must tackle troubles of one kind or another. Certainly Jesus himself had to face a lot of adversity – particularly from his opponents, who were bent on destroying him (Mt 12:14; Mk 3:6; Lk 6:11; John 5:18; 7:1, 19: 11:53). So in the course of daily life we should expect problems to crop up. Yet these are offset by the advanced provision God has made for us to successfully deal with them. We also have assurances that He is looking out for us; and we can choose to adopt a faith-engendered confidence that the Lord will give us what we need when we request His help. Perhaps we need a calm spirit, or the will to comport ourselves in a godly manner, or counsel for a difficult decision, or additional resources to augment our own limited reserves and capabilities.
Now we should not expect the peace of God to settle the churning of our hearts (Philippians 4:7) if we insist on violating the principle above, that our Lord has made so clear. So to combat worry, we have a twofold task: first, that we humbly follow the advice of Jesus, and second, that we not burden our fragile emotions and physical health with unnecessary anxieties. Then we’ll always have what it takes to face the problems of any given day. But a failure to take Jesus seriously predisposes us to approach each day anxiously.
As this week unfolds, may you and I do less advance-worrying and more trusting in the present as we each confront our daily allotment of troubles.