Summary: Message from the Sermon on the Mount on Dealing with Anxiety
Text: Matthew 6:24-34
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (don’t be anxious) 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 (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)? 26 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 (of much value)? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (dressed) like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek (are worried about):) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:24-34 AV)
Rev. Vance Harver once said, “Worry, like a rocking chair, will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere”.
I know that we covered these verses last week but I felt that I put more empasis on working and earning and not allowing God to provide than worry. I believe this passage is mainly about anxiety.
What Jesus is not saying.
Vs. 25 “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor what yet for your body, what ye shall put on.”
He is not saying, “Don’t worry every thing will turn out alright”. Well this is not true because many times from our perspective things just don’t turn out right. He is not saying that when we get into trouble God will step in a correct our follies. No many times he will help us to work through, invariably making us deal with the consequences. He is also not saying that those who trust in the Lord will never endure injury or persecution. Actually he goes on later to tell us that this is one of the prerequisites to becoming a Christian we must be willing to endure persecution and suffering for the gospel. He is not saying that we should ignore food that it is not anything to be bothered with. Nor is he saying that we should not work and let God provide. No he tells in the disciples prayer to Pray for our food and we know what kind of respect is given to the one who does not work. Lastly, he is not telling us that the lilies of the field live happily ever after. No we know that they will die. As all life here on earth will also.
What Jesus is saying
No matter what you face in life if you have me then you can deal with it. So don’t worry about what is going to happen.
Quote “Empty men have been overwhelmed with anxiety; trusting men have been confident.”
Story: Maybe you have heard the story of a man who was walking down a dusty road, staggering under the weight of a very heavy bundle. A kind farmer overtook him and picked him up in his wagon. The traveler was very grateful but kept his bundle on his shoulder. “Put your bundle down in the wagon,” the farmer said. “Oh, no,” the man replied, “I could not do that. It is enough for your horse to have to haul me without having to haul the bundle also.”
Many people have laughed at this old story and the silliness of the traveler. But isn’t anxiety about the future which goes beyond a trustful thoughtfulness the same thing? We can sow and we can reap and we can gather into barns, but the effectiveness of any one of those things depends on what the Father does.