Summary: We cannot follow Christ faithfully if we continue to live in a state of worry
Winning against Worry
Matthew 6:25-34, 11:28-30
Series: Winning the Battle with Anxiety
May 12, 2013
Have you ever dealt with dense fog? Fog causes problems with visibility, it creates problems with maneuverability and it slows everything down. A massive patch of fog that covers 7 city blocks at 100 feet deep contains very little water. In fact, that much fog contains less than one glass of water. There is actually more water in this bottle than in that massive patch of fog. Fog is made of millions of droplets of water spread out over a large area but in reality there is little to it.
Worry works a lot like fog. Worry multiplies our concerns. It tends to make our problems and our cares multiplied. Worry magnifies our concerns. It spreads out our perspective over a large area and makes things seem larger than they actually are. Worry keeps us from effectively maneuvering the roads of life. Worry slows our lives down with cares and concerns. Worry clouds our outlook.
Statistics show that only 8% of the things that we worry about are things that we actually have to deal with. This means that only 8 of every 100 things that you worry about are things that you have to face. We worry about far more things than we ever have to deal with. We live in a state of worry, instead of a state of faith. When we worry we disrupt our ability to trust God.
What do you worry about? How many of you have lost sleep this past week over one of these issues?
• Family Problems
• Issues of faith
• Failures from the past
• Guilt and shame over sin
• Health issues
Worry does nothing for us. It does nothing to help us cope with the troubles of the day. It does nothing to give us greater strength to face life’s challenges. It does nothing to assist us in overcoming the trials of life. Worry does absolutely nothing!
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? 26 Look 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? 27 Who 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. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If 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? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Worry flows from a lack of trust
Jesus makes it clear and He makes it plain – do not worry. These words are not some advice or a suggestion, they are a command. Worry is a state of mind where a person is overwhelmed by cares and concerns. Worry happens when we place our focus on the wrong things for too long.
Our English word worry is actually rooted in a German term that means to choke or to strangle. Worry will literally choke the quality of life that you have.
The Greek word for worry means to be anxious, to be troubled with care or to be agitated.
Jesus says, “Do not worry,” three separate times in this passage. He is giving them emphasis for a reason. Why does Jesus so concerned about worry? Worry is not only an emotional issue, it is also a spiritual issue.
The Greek word for worry also means to seek one’s own interests or to be absorbed with one’s own affairs. The central issue of worry is really the central barrier to discipleship, selfishness. Jesus is striking at the heart of the issue of worry and showing the true heart of discipleship. It is absolutely impossible for you to follow Jesus and do your own thing.
Worry is not the root of the problem; the root grows out of a lack of trust in God. Worry is removing our trust in God. There is a fundamental problem with worry that many of us might miss. Worry will erode our ability to trust God.