The Futileness of Worry
CH(CPT) Keith J. Andrews
May 25, 2008
Ordinary Time/Second Sunday after Pentecost (Green)
All Scripture marked ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 6:24-34). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Let us pray
While I was in Seminary, I watched the last couple of seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation on a regular basis.
One of the alien enemies that are introduced to the viewer are “The Borg”.
The Borg are a collective of captured individuals that have been given cybernetic implants. They link each of the other Borg up to a collective network. When a person is captured and implanted with this hardware, the person has become “assimilated”. And, “Resistance is Futile”.
Resistance is Futile, because the Borg are so powerful that one can not escape their grasp. They will keep coming at you until you submit, and submit you will. There is absolutely nothing one can do to escape the Borg--Absolutely nothing, making resistance futile.
While the resisting the Borg is a futile action from a fictional TV show, we all too often engage in the equally futile action of worry.
This morning we are looking at Mathew 6:24-34. Here we see Jesus teaching about worry and tells us “do not be anxious”. Do not worry!
This is a part of a larger passage known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This is the most notable collection of Jesus’ preaching while he was here on earth. In this sermon, Jesus had just finished preaching on Giving to the Needy, teaching of prayer and fasting, and storing possessions in heaven rather than on earth.
With that tone, he moves to worry. I think Jesus may have sensed an uneasiness in crowd as he said in verse 19-20:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Mt 6:19-20, ESV)
I think he could probably hear the people hearts asking, “If this is true, what am I going eat? What am I going to wear? Or, where am going to live?”
So he responds with our focal passage of the day:
Look with me at Mathew 6:24-34:
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?7 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Mt 6:24-34, ESV).
Jesus takes all of the questions that they were asking and the questions that we ask day to day, and says “don’t worry about it!” “Don’t be anxious!” “I got it!”
Jesus makes his point that we are not to worry. It is a useless pursuit that produces nothing. He gives us three reasons why worry is futile.
First, he shows us that
1. Worry is futile because there is more to life.
Look at verse 25:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Mt 6:25, ESV)
We see in this verse that worry is futile because there is more to life than what we are worrying about. Life is so much more than food and clothes. We can look at life a different way and see that worry is futile.
In the Chattanooga Free Press Newspaper this week, reported Brian Lazenby wrote a story about a man who left the high-pressure corporate world for a slower paced life in small firms.
Martin Pierce led a distinguished legal career for more than 20 years. Recently, Pierce changed from the pressures of the large corporate law firms to his own private practice.
Mr. Pierce said:
“Now I can work for free or undercharge if I want to, ” he said. “ I just feel better about that. ”(www.timesfreepress.com, 21May2008)
Mr. Pierce saw the daily pressures of the American corporate machine. Sometimes this machine runs on worry and stress—always looking to produce more, do more, and grow more. He found out that there is more to life than the stress and worry and chose to work for less to achieve more meaningful results.
Too many times, we get wrapped up in simply living life that we forget how much more there is out there. This is particularly true about life here in Iraq.
While we can’t really get wrapped up in our decisions about clothes—we really don’t have a choice, we can get wrapped up in the fact that we don’t have a choice. Or we can get wrapped up in the fact that we are stuck here and can not go anywhere.
But we need to look at what is available. There is more to life than simply what clothes we are going to wear or where we are going to go.
As we see the futileness of worry, we need to look at what we can get out of life here in the desert.
We are apart of a historic operation to bring democracy to another country.
We do have time to spend developing ourselves.
We can take the time that we have to spend time developing our prayer life and other disciplines.
There is much more to life than just what we are going to wear, so take hold of it. Worrying is futile, so fill your time with something of purpose.
Jesus then shows that:
2. Worry is futile because we are valuable.
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:26, ESV).
We forget how truly valuable we are to God. God created us in His own image. We are his handiwork and we are precious to Him.
Worry is futile, because he looks after and cares for each of us.
My favorite hobby is collecting comic books. I would say that I am a novice, because I am not an expert by any stretch in the world of comic books, but I really enjoy reading them, stockpiling them and organizing them.
These books are precious to me.
When I get a book, I place it in a sleeve to protect it from dirt and wrinkles. I place a backing board in the bag along with the book to protect it from unwanted bends or creases. Then I organize these books by their title so I can find them easily and that they will be taken care of.
Comic books are precious to me.
But, how much more precious are my little children? I have three—a pair of twin girls and a little boy, who just turned one. I have looked at a list of my comic books once or twice while I have been out here, but, I have looked at my children’s pictures almost daily. I have talked to my wife about them daily—they are continually on my mind.
This is how the Heavenly Father looks at us.
We are not the birds who neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and the heavenly Father still feeds them.
We are much more precious than they.
Worry is futile for a person someone who knows how precious before an all knowing, all powerful God.
Then Jesus shows us that
3. Worry is futile because God knows our needs.
Let’s look at verse;
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
(Mt 6:32, ESV)
Our Father knows what we need, even before we ask for it. He knows our needs.
We are valuable to Him and he desire that we are taken care of just like I know the needs of my children, even more so does a Holy God know our needs.
On almost every web site that I go to, there is a page called “Frequently Asked Questions”. This is the page that should answer everything you need to know about the product or the computer program.
Too often, I go to these Frequently Asked Questions and don’t find what I need.
But God is different.
The Lord says in Isaiah 46:8-10
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
(Is 46:8-10, ESV)
He knows all things from beginning to end. He knows our needs
Jesus says earlier in the Sermon on the Mount:
In Matthew 6:8;
…your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
It is futile to worry because God already know what you need and has made a way for it to be prepared for you.
This morning, you may be sitting there worried. For some of you, you may worry day to day about your safety.
Let me make this clear. Worrying is different from being cautious and careful, again being cautious and being careful are good things—and in a big way apart of your job.
Do your job, but trust the Lord—do not be anxious about tomorrow—for today has enough trouble of it’s own.
Some of you may be worried about your kids back home. Be careful to plan, to select the right people watch them, and to make sure that they have enough money—but do not be anxious.
Some of you may be worried about your relationships. Take the time to make them feel a part of your life. Look for ways to solve disagreements. But, do not be anxious. Trust in the Lord to help the situation along and for him to be sufficient.
Jesus tells us to not worry. Worrying is futile it does no good.
Worry is futile because there is more to life.
Worry is futile because we are valuable.
Worry is futile because God knows our needs.
So what do we do about our worry?
Jesus says in verse 33
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mt 6:33, ESV).
We need to be constantly seeking the face of God in every situation. The first step to seeking the Lord God in every situation is when we accept His Son to be the sacrifice for our sin.
All of us are sinners—we have all sinned against God. We have turned our back to him, and the punishment for sin is death and hell. But, because we are precious to Him, he sent his son to take the punishment in our place so that we can live with Him forever.
All we must do is to accept this payment and begin to place His will before our will—to seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and then, all these things will be added to you.
This morning is your opportunity to turn your worries over to Him, be accepting Him as your savior. You can do that right in your seat as you ask him to take away your sin. If you do this let me know so that I may help you further on your journey. Turns to him today, do not delay.
Let us pray.