Summary: Worry is a natural part of our lives. We all do it. But what does the Bible say about worrying? It is time to put our worries into God’s 401(k) account.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “what shall we drink?” or “what shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I would like to ask you a question. How many of you have spent some time this past week worrying about something? Now how many have spent time this last week worrying about something that you can not change? Worrying seems to be a natural part of our lives at times, we have all done it. But why do we worry, what do we worry about, what does the Bible say about it, and how can we use this information and apply it in our lives today?
Today I would like to talk about that emotion called “worrying”, which Jesus called being anxious. The definition of anxious is “to be full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune”. I call it an emotion, because it is more heart felt than mind felt, or especially faith felt. I read a quote that said “the beginning of anxiety is the end of faith.” That quote worries me a little. After all, faith is what I am basing my eternity on, right? Faith that God’s Word is true, faith that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived here on earth, died on a cross to bear the burdens of all my sins, and faith that He will grant me grace of forgiveness by simply my asking and believing, and that through this faith I will live for eternity in heaven with the God who created all things. But if being anxious, or worrying, is the end of faith, we should take a look at what this is and then look at how we can avoid it as much as possible.
(Illustration) A boy was sitting on a park bench with one hand resting on an open Bible. He was shouting “Hallelujah, God is great!”, not caring that passer bys might hear him, or even what they would think. Soon a man walked by the young boy. Now this man had recently graduated from the university and was feeling very enlightened and wanted to share some of his learnings with others, so he asked the boy the source of his excitement. The boy answered, “I just read that God opened up the waves of the Red Sea and led the whole nation of Israel right through the middle!” The enlightened man chuckled, and then sat down and tried to “open” the boys eyes to the realities of the miracles of the Bible. “Modern scholars and scientific research has proven that the Red Sea was only about 10 inches deep in that location at that time of the year, so it would have been no problem for the Israelites to wade across, and the words “dry land” were a Hebrew word that there has been dispute about the meaning of anyway.” The boy was stumped as his eyes wandered from the man to the open Bible on his lap. The man, content that he had shared his enlightened wisdom with this poor naïve boy got up to walk away but he had barely taken 2 steps when he heard the boy shouting more exited jubilation and praise than before. He turned and asked the boy the source of this new found excitement. “Wow”, said the boy, “God is greater than I thought. Not only did He lead the whole Israelite nation through the Red Sea, but He topped it off by drowning the whole Egyptian army in only 10 inches of water!”
That is the type of faith we need to avoid worry, the faith of a child. In Mark 10:15 we hear Jesus say, “Mark this, unless you accept God’s Kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” This pure faith, knowing that we don’t have all the answers, knowing that we can’t do it all on our own, knowing that what the Bible says is true, that Jesus loves each and every one of us, is the key to avoid worry. Kids don’t worry, but at some point in our adult lives this changes, and worry seems to be what is expected of us. If we don’t worry about things there is something wrong with us, we’re not responsible or we don’t realize all the bad things that can happen, or we aren’t planning for our future.
In our scripture today, Jesus did not say don’t plan for the future, but rather He was saying, don’t worry about the future. We have to plan for the future, both our future here on earth, the future of our families, and our eternal future. If we don’t plan for these things, there will be disastrous consequences. Many of you may have a plan for your retirement future and to provide for the future welfare of your families, such as a 401(k). I have a 401(k) through my employer, and this is one of the ways that I am planning for the future. But today let’s take a little closer look at this type of planning, in the area of an eternal 401(k).