Summary: Life can be troubling and even scary sometimes. There will be times that we just don't believe anybody is going to be there for us... or that anybody cares. But the Bible says there IS someone who is there and cares. Do you know why that matters?
OPEN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltaFMO3BaNQ (a video clip from the TV series: “This Is Us”)
It’s a dark and stormy night.
It’s scary and Kevin is all by himself. His brother and sister are nowhere to be found and so he does what any little boy would do in that case… he goes to his parents bedroom hoping to get into bed with them. But when he gets there, his brother and sister are already in bed, and there’s no room for Kevin. He doesn’t fit. He’s alone… he’s afraid … and he’s looking for comfort. And as he grows older - things don’t change all that much. Kevin may “look like” a guy who has it all together… but he doesn’t.
ILLUS: In the clip we saw, Kevin’s mother admits that “I remember Randall clinging to my leg and Katie crying. But you… you just waltzed right in. And you didn’t even look back. And your father and I were like ‘Wow. Look at our brave little boy.’ And I remember telling the other two ‘Now, you have to learn to be just like Kevin.’ (PAUSE) I never worried about you. Because I didn’t think that I had to. But now I realize I was wrong.”
She was wrong. Even when grown up, Kevin was still that same little boy - a little boy who’s insecure and filled with doubts and fears and anxieties. And he’s just like everybody else. Just like the series title declares: THIS IS US.
Henry David Thoreau observed that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
And that’s still true. There’s a lot of people out there who are still filled with insecurities and doubts and anxiety.
ILLUS: Max Lucado once observed that “we fear being sued, finishing last, going broke; we fear the mole on the back, the new kid on the block, the sound of the clock as it ticks us closer to the grave. We have sophisticated investment plans, create elaborate security systems, and legislate a stronger military” and yet – with all that – we’re still insecure… we’re still anxious. (The last words, outside the quotes, are mine).
That has ALWAYS been true. That’s why the Bible is so filled with God telling us not to do that. There’s over 140 different verses in Scripture telling God’s people: Not to worry; Not to be anxious; Not to be afraid.
• Back in the Old Testament when Israel was trapped between the armies of Egypt the impassable waters of the Red Sea, and facing certain death - Moses says ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.’ Exodus 14:13
• Later, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was preaching to the crowds at the Sermon on the Mount: “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? 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? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Matthew 6:24-27
• And, of course our text today says: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Someone once observed that “NOT ONCE does the Bible say “Worry about it.” “Stress Over It.” Or “Figure It Out!” But over and over it clearly says: “Trust God.”
(Pause) Well, that sounds simple enough. I think I could do that. How about you? Do you think you could do that? Of course you could. But if it’s that easy, WHY are so many people so filled with doubts and fears and anxiety? Well, here’s what I think is happening: I think that when people get overwhelmed by anxiety, and they are faced with scary situations they can’t control - they believe that no one is there, and they believe there’s no one who cares.
ILLUS: Did you notice in the video clip this morning? There’s a terrible thunderstorm outside. Kevin wakes up … and he’ scared. Why is he scared? Because there’s no one there. He’s all alone! So, what’s his solution? He goes to find someone. But not just any someone. He goes looking for Mom and Dad. Why go looking for his parents? Because he KNOWS he’ll be safe with them.
ILLUS: When I was a boy, my favorite pet was our dog Trixie. Trixie was a beautiful white terrier with a brown saddle and brown ears and she was almost always a happy dog. Now, I don’t know how you deal with your pets, but Dad had a rule – Trixie was not allowed in the house. She could stay in the basement… but not in the house. If she tried to come upstairs Dad would punish her if she came upstairs and shoe her back down to the basement. So, Trixie was afraid of Dad and never ventured into the house itself… until one night.