Matthew 6:27: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Trouble and worry go together like an old pair of shoes. Quoting from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, a former tax collector by the name of Matthew wrote in his gospel (Matthew 6:34):

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew the tax collector was despised by the people. As time went by he grew tough and stopped caring about the hateful comments he heard almost every day, but the life of a public enemy was lonely. He did not grow up dreaming of a career as a tax collector. The job was offered to him by the Roman authorities who occupied Israel at the time Matthew was alive. His financial situation may have left him little choice, so he accepted – who knows? What we do know about Matthew is his instant attraction to Jesus when He came along. And Jesus, who knows human hearts, read him like a book.

Inspired by Matthew’s heart, Jesus told a story. In His story a Pharisee, overly impressed with his own accomplishments, is contrasted with a tax collector who humbly asks God for mercy.

And suddenly it dawned on him: The hero of the story was a tax collector. Wow, someone like him – a hero? Jesus’s story cut Matthew to the core, and he wanted to be near this man for the rest of his life. He got up and left his tax collector’s booth for good. Even though he just barely knew Him, Matthew trusted Jesus completely. Following Jesus, he threw all of his worries overboard and began to live one day at a time.

Trouble is a common byproduct of living in this world. There is no such thing as an untroubled life for anybody. What Jesus offers is peace in the midst of adversity. God won’t take away our troubles, but He is well able to take care of our worried minds.

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