Summary: Part 3 of 3 in the series "A Declaration of Dependence." Learn how to live a worry resistant life through dependence upon God.
WORRY RESISTENT LIVING
Series: A Declaration of Dependence
July 18, 2004
There is a deadly disease that is running rampant in our society today. Every year millions are infected and hundreds of thousands die from its deadly symptoms. No, it is not AIDS or the West Nile virus. It is a disease that causes blood vessels to constrict and hearts to shutdown. It results in the lining of the stomach being eaten away and cause intense pain in the brain. No, it is not anthrax or some other chemical or biological weapon. It is the disease of stress and anxiety.
The fact is, the Mayo Clinic claims 80-85% of their total caseload is due directly to worry and anxiety. Many experts say that coping with stress is the #1 health priority of our day.
One leading physician has stated that, in his opinion, 70% of all medical patients could cure themselves if only they got rid of their worries and fears. We know that medical science has closely tied worry to heart trouble, blood pressure problems, ulcers, thyroid malfunction, migraine headaches, and a host of stomach disorders, amongst others. For example 25 million Americans have high blood pressure due to stress and anxiety; 1 million more develop high blood pressure each year; 8 million have stomach ulcers; and every week 112 million people take medication for stress related symptoms. (Craig Simonian – SermonCental)
Clearly we are a nation of worriers and it is literally killing us. With all of these stress related disorders can you imagine what a toll that is taking on the health insurance industry and therefore on our economy. This disease is literally destroying us. It is destroying us financially. It is destroying us physically. It is destroying us mentally and emotionally. It is even destroying many people spiritually.
This is why we need so desperately to hear and heed Jesus teaching found in today’s passage – Matthew 6:25-34. Jesus central message in this passage is this: “Do not worry.” He says:
25Therefore 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?
31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.
Three times in those three verses Jesus commands us: “Do not worry.” Go back and find those three times and circle those words – “Do not worry.” Then I want you to circle the things that we are commanded to not worry about. In verse 25 circle the words “life” and “body.” Then in verse 31 circle the words “eat,” “drink,” and “wear.” Finally in verse 34 circle the word “tomorrow.” And what is tomorrow? It is the future. He is telling us not to worry about the future. Jesus tells us not to worry about our lives or our bodies or what we will eat or drink or wear or about the future. Basically he is telling us not to worry about anything. Why? Because worry doesn’t work. That is the fundamental problem with all our worrying. Worry doesn’t work. Look at verse 27:
27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Worry doesn’t work! Will all of your worrying add even an hour to your life? No! In fact the opposite is true. Worrying will actually subtract not only hours, but also years from your life. Worrying can make you sick and even kill you as we have already seen. So worrying doesn’t work because instead of adding to your life it subtracts from your life.
Not only can worrying kill you but it also has the power to greatly hinder your life while you are still living. For example, during the building of the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay, construction fell badly behind schedule because several workers had accidentally fallen from the scaffolding to their deaths.
Engineers and administrators could find no solution to the costly delays. Finally, someone suggested a gigantic net be hung under the bridge to catch any who fell. Finally in spite of the enormous cost, the engineers opted for the net. After it was installed, progress was hardly interrupted. A worker or two fell, but the net saved their lives. The net allowed them to move on in their work with out fear and worry. (Erik Estep – SermonCentral) Stress and worry are like debilitating diseases that leave you disabled and dysfunctional. So again, worry doesn’t work because instead of adding to your life it subtracts from your life.
Another problem with worry is that we often worry too much about the wrong things. 40% of all things that we worry about never come to pass.