Summary: Jesus tells us not to worry, but to trust God.
Good News For the Worry Wart
Text: Matt. 6:25-34
1. Read Matt. 6:25-34
2. Illustration: The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. George Muller Massena, one of Napoleon’s generals, suddenly appeared with 18,000 soldiers before an Austrian town which had no means of defending itself. The town council met, certain that capitulation was the only answer. The old dean of the church reminded the council that it was Easter, and begged them to hold services as usual and to leave the trouble in God’s hands. They followed his advice. The dean went to the church and rang the bells to announce the service. The French soldiers heard the church bells ring and concluded that the Austrian army had come to rescue the town. They broke camp, and before the bells had ceased ringing, vanished.
3. An average person’s anxiety is focused on :
40% -- things that will never happen 30% -- things about the past that can’t be changed 12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress 8% -- about real problems that will be faced
Proposition: Jesus tells us not to worry, but to trust God.
Transition: Jesus tells us...
I. Don’t Worry Because God is in Control (25-30)
A. Don’t Worry About Life
1. Jesus says, "Take no thought for your life..."
a. Take no thought: to have an anxious concern, based on apprehension about possible danger or misfortune —Louw & Nida: NT Greek-English Lexicon
b. This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.
c. All anxiety is provoked by worrying about material and temporal things.
d. Why worry about something you can’t change anyway.
2. Worry immobilizes us, but trust in God moves us to action.
3. Jesus is not suggesting that a man not prepare for life—that he be lazy, shiftless, and thoughtless with a no-care attitude.
4. However, he is saying that we should not be so concerned with this life that it parilizes us with fear.
5. Lk. 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
6. We worry so much about things that are temporary.
a. Our bodies are only temporary. They will last only a short time.
b. 2 Cor. 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
c. Illustration: I saw a t-shirt once that said, "I eat right; I exercise regularly; and I’m going to die anyway!"
B. Don’t Worry About Needs
1. Jesus also says not to worry about "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?"
2. Food, drink, and clothes are less important than the life and body that they supply.
a. Because God sustains our lives and gives us our bodies, we can trust him to provide the food and clothing he knows we need.
b. We work for our money to supply food and clothing, but we must always remember that these ultimately come from God’s hands.
c. When the need arises, we need not worry, for we know that our God will supply.
3. Phil. 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
4. Jesus then uses an illustration from nature: "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
a. The birds need food, and the heavenly Father knows it. They are dependent upon God’s daily provision because they cannot plant or harvest or put food in barns.
b. They work--they hunt for it and then bring it back to their families--but they don’t worry.
c. If God cares for the birds, making sure that the natural order of his creation supplies food for them, how much more will he care for a hungry human being?
5. People are far more valuable to him than the birds. Jesus was teaching total dependence upon God as opposed to humanity’s self-sufficiency.
a. All that we have ultimately comes from God’s hand.
b. Jesus was not prohibiting his followers from sowing, reaping, and gathering food (that is, working for it); but he was prohibiting worrying about having enough food.
c. Jesus is teaching that he loves and he will not leave us or forsake us.