Summary: This series aims to narrow the gap between scriptural instruction and our day-to-day challenges.
How to Reverse Your Worry
Tuff Stuff Series - #5
Gages Lake Bible Church
Sunday PM, September 6th, 2009
Pastor Daniel Darling
Each of us has worries we live with, things that concern us or keep us awake at night.
A hotel manager in Raleigh reports that a guest woke up everyone in the hotel screaming, "It's in the phone book! It's in the phone book!" The manager got the house detective and they let themselves into the man's room, where they found him in the midst of a nightmare. "I was having a horrible dream," the man explained when awakened. "I dreamed the income-tax people wanted to send me a big refund, but they'd lost my address!"
That’s really something to worry about, isn’t it?
Our typical approach to worry is this:
1) Either we worry a lot and tell a lot of people that this is our one issue. People tell us to stop worrying, but we try hard to stop worrying, but we end up worrying about worrying.
2) Or we have the “don’t worry, be happy” mentality and we go the other extreme. We don’t act responsibly. We aren’t sensitive to sin. And we kind of live the laissez faire lifestyle.
I don’t think either approaches are good and healthy. So tonight, we’re going to tackle worry and learn some ways to put it in our rearview mirror.
1) Worries often begin with legitimate concerns. I want to go right to the heart of worry here. Often we think, especially about others, they have nothing to worry about.
Or we think about ourselves, wow, look at me, why am I worried? But worry often begins with legitimate concerns.
I would like you to turn to possibly the classic Scripture passage on worry:
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:25-34 (KJV)
Now there is a lot packed into these words of Jesus here, but I want you to notice something you may have not noticed before. Take a look at verse 32. Jesus said, “You’re Heavenly Father” knows you have need of these things.
In other words, Jesus is speaking to legitimate concerns here. Jesus isn’t talking about useless worry or things that are frivolous. These are legitimate concerns.
And He’s not necessarily saying, “Be irresponsible; don’t care about your life.” No, because we should be concerned about these things.
The mortgage company needs to be paid.
Our children need to be safe.
There are dangers in the world.
Three powerful thoughts emerge from Jesus’ words:
1) Worry is a lack of faith. Jesus said that obsessing about our deepest needs is a lack of faith. Why? Because to not worry is to trust. And that trust is not based on anything but the genuine goodness of our Heavenly Father.
The Heavenly Father cares for His Creation with such care, the birds of the air, so why wouldn’t He care for you and me, who are the crown of Creation, made in His image?
You see, worry makes us feel as if we’re in control. We want to feel we’re in control and take credit when it goes well.
When a Chicago policeman started to ticket a double-parked car, a man hurried up and explained that he always double-parks when he visits his dentist. He likes to have something to worry about to keep his mind off the pain.