Summary: As Christians we are meant to live by faith not fear. Worry is a product of fear and a lack of faith
Winning Over Worry
October 16, 2005
Someone tells about a woman who for many years couldn’t sleep at night because she worried that her home would be burglarized. One night her husband heard a noise in the house, so he went downstairs to investigate. When he got there, he found a burglar. The husband said to the burglar, "Come upstairs and meet my wife. She has been waiting 10 years to meet you."
This story is of course rediculous, but it does illustrate the fact that few of things that we worry about come to pass
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
If you add those percentage up they will total 100% and out of all the things that most people worry about only 8% are actually problems that have to be dealt with. In other words, 8 out of 100 worries that you have are genuine in nature. We are far more likely to live out of fear rather than faith.
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!
This morning I want to look at what Jesus has to say about worry and find a model for us to live a life of faith instead of fear. If you have your Bibles with you open them to Matthew 6:25-31
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.
I. Worry comes from a lack of faith
The words of Jesus still ring true today - do not worry
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.
Growing up my grandmother had one of those old open drum washing machines that you could actually see washing the clothes. My cousin saw that I was watching the washing machine run and dared me to put my hand in during the cycle. I wish I could tell you that I was smart enough not to do that but then there would be no story to tell. I stuck my hand into the washing machine and took a bit of a beating. This is exactly what worry does to us spiritually. It beats us up and leaves us worse for wear.
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.