This is an exposition of Matthew 6:25-34. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, September 21, 2014.
Are you a worrier? Are you one of those who can’t sleep at night because you know something awful is going to happen? Then when nothing awful happens, you worry about what could have happened if you hadn’t been worried about it? I know folks who get worried when they are not worried because it is just not like them not to worry! Worry has long been recognized as a major health threat in this country. As early as 1961 Time magazine published a cover story dealing with anxiety in American culture. The name of the article was Guilt and Anxiety. The article stated that a breakdown of faith in God in the 19th century and in reason during the 20th century coupled with the accelerated pace and high tension of modern living have produced intense anxiety in millions of Americans.
I read several years ago that, according to the American Medical Association, every other hospital bed was occupied by a mental patient. Keep that in mind the next time you are trying to get to sleep in a hospital! By mental patient they meant someone whose condition was due to mental or emotional stress. We know that stress is a leading cause of stomach disorders, headaches, heart problems and a host of other medical conditions. Worry has become an epidemic. And it is no wonder. Every time you pick up a newspaper or turn on the television set – you find more reason to be worried. If it is not the threat of terrorism, it’s the economy, if it’s not the economy – it’s ebola or some form of cancer. You don’t know what to eat because the data keeps contradicting itself. Violent crime is up; burglary is up, school shootings. You can’t go out in the sun but then you stay inside with indoor pollutants and mold – what do you do? You worry!
Your going to live longer but social security isn’t going to be there for you. New medicines are going to enable you to live a longer, healthier life but you want have any money left after you buy the medicine to enjoy yourself. Now that brings us to depression – which of course causes us to be pessimistic about the world around us – which increases our anxiety!
Someone has said that anxiety is “fear in search of a cause.” I think that is a pretty good description. The question is, “what is the solution?” What’s the answer? The answer of the day seems to be sedatives and psychiatry. Is that the best we can offer? I think not. For help in winning over worry let’s turn to the words of the Lord Jesus found in Matthew chapter 6.
Text: Matthew 6:25-34
We are dealing with the Sermon on the Mount.
The Christian Manifesto.
“This is life in my kingdom.”
“This is what I demand of you.”
Christ, our lawgiver, is establishing our code for living.
Key = Matthew 5:20,48
Character is essential for life in His kingdom.
Genuine righteousness produces genuine acts of righteousness.
The immediate context of our passage = how we are to relate to material possessions.
Now comes this word about dealing with/responding to worry.
Worry is going to come – that’s part of life in a fallen world.
But how am I to respond to it?
What is to be my reaction?
This is profound, get paper and pen ready.
This is our Lord’s response to worry, this is how you can defeat worry in your life.
Don’t do it!
Just say “no” to worry.
Our Lord tells us in this text there are some things you are never to worry about.
The issue here is “worry” or “anxiety” the KJV “take no thought” is unfortunate.
It implies that it is wrong to work and plan for the future.
That is certainly not the case for in other passage we are told to be diligent and prudent.
The issues is worrying or fretting about the future.
Some things you do not need to worry about – your life, the basic necessities, and the future.
This is an extraordinary passage.
These are the very things we worry most about – Jesus said – “Don’t ever worry about them.” How? Why?
Thesis: Whole-hearted trust in the sufficiency of God enables the believer to conquer worry.
Paul told the Romans that those who are in Christ are “more than conquerors.”
Does that include worry?
You must see this passage in light of the one immediately above it.
In the context of treasure in heaven verses treasure on earth.
In light of our serving our one true master, who is responsible for the care of his servants.
Note from our text 3 characteristics of worry-free believers.
- Worry-free believers rest in God’s gracious provision of their every need. (6:25-26, 27-32)
- The worry-free believer refuses to waste time and energy in useless pursuits. (6:27)
- Worry-free believers spend their lives in pursuit of eternal goals. (6:33-34)
Worry is inevitable.
It is the result of the fall – but you can over come it.
You over come it by whole-heartedly trusting in the sufficiency of God.
You must rest in the assurance of his provision of your every need.
You must refuse to waste time and energy in worthless pursuits.
And you must give yourself to the pursuit of eternal goals.