Summary: Part 1 of the series: Facing Your Fears.
Today I am beginning a new 5-part sermon series called Facing Your Fears. This series will include the following sermons:
• Facing Your Fear of the Future
• Facing Your Fear of Failure
• Facing Your Fear of Rejection
• Facing Your Fear of Death
• The Key to Facing Your Fears: The Fear of God
People have many fears. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld says, “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy” (SeinLanguage, p.120).
Today’s sermon is Facing Your Fear of the Future. Or, I could have called the sermon Facing Your Worries about the Future.
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Three times in these verses Jesus say, Do not worry. If you have a King James Version Bible, you’ll notice that is says, “Take no thought for your life.” From that translation, you might get the idea that Christians shouldn’t plan for the future. But, of course, that’s not true. Back when the King James Version was published “Take no thought” meant “Don’t worry” or “Don’t be anxious.” There is a difference between being concerned about the future (and making preparations and taking precautions) and being worried about the future.
ILLUSTRATION: If you were to go away on a trip, you would lock the doors of your house, activate the security system (if you have one), maybe ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your place, etc. Those would be reasonable precautions to take. Worrying would be going to extremes in preparing your house for your departure (for example, ). Or worrying would be obsessing about your house the whole time you’re away, thinking it might burn down or be broken into (even though you took the normal precautions for its safety).
The English word worry comes from an old German word meaning to strangle, or choke. That is exactly what worry does; it is a kind of mental and emotional strangulation, which might cause more mental and physical afflictions than any other single cause. And worry might be the sin that Christians commit more frequently than any other. Jesus gives us four reasons why worrying is wrong.
1. Worry is unfaithful because of your Lord (v. 25).
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
People in Jesus’ day worried about the necessities of life: food, drink, and clothing. We in the Western world worry about other things, such as cancer, terrorism, losing our jobs, our children’s safety, etc. Jesus’ words apply to our worries as well.
Notice that the verse begins with the word therefore. When you come to the word therefore in the Bible, you should always ask the question, “What is it there for?” Therefore takes us back to the previous verse: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Jesus declares that a believer’s only Lord (Master) is God. When the Bible says that God is our Lord, it means that He controls our lives, not us. When you worry, you stop trusting God and start trying to take control of your life. But God’s Word promises, God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).