STOP BEING ANXIOUS
Jerry A Collins
v What is the remedy for worry from Jesus point of view?
v Why is worry such a bad thing for us?
v What should we do instead of worry?”
We all know what worry is and what worry does. It is a common preoccupation. We worry about at least six basic issues. 1. We worry about being rejected by someone. The pain, humiliation and isolation associated with it. 2. We worry about poverty. Things like feeding the family, paying the bills. 3. We worry about violence. Being attacked, vulnerable, and protection. 4. We worry about lonliness. Noone left to care for me or lose of significance. 5. We worry about older age. What is I cannot take care of myself, medical needs. 6. We worry about death. The unknown beyond the grave. You have your list of worries and you may think they are legitimate. Who wants to be rejected for instance? But then, Jesus has another perspective on this issue of worry. It is given here in the sermon on the mount.
1. DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR LIFE FOR GOD KNOWS YOUR NEED
Meaning: Life is psuche Here it includes all of a person’s being—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. First, He talks about food and clothes, your body and life but then about worry. Worry occurs six times in these verses. It means to be anxious, to be in trouble, or to take thought of or take care for. It is used in Phil 4:6 ‘be anxious fort nothing’. 1 Cur used in a positive sense of believers caring for one another. In Luke 10:41, Christ uses it of Martha who is worried about fixing food. So, do not trouble yourself about your life. Second, the idea is to stop doing what is already done. It is the opposite of contentment in God. So stop worrying will you?
Illustrations : Here are three illustrations about the basics worries of life: (1) Eating—look at the birds vs 26. Birds are diligent and persistent in foraging for food for themselves, their mates, their young. They do not stockpile food nor do they hoard it. They are examples for us since they do not worry about where their next meal will come from. Jesus pictures how we should view our kitchen table. Stop your worrying he says. (2) Longevity of life—not in our control vs 27. The most healthy people can die young. Exercise, health can improve productivity and quality of life—but it will never force God into extending our life’s span. ‘You can worry yourself death but not to life. So stop worrying about your life span. Obviously, we are not in control of it no matter how careful we may be about it. (3) Clothing—look at the lilies vs 28-30. The wild flowers grow in such a way that their splendor is greater than even Solomon’s. It is God who arrays them in the fields and then places them in the furnace or oven. God has built into His creation the means by which all things are cared for. The birds forage and are filled. Life carries on only until the moment ordained for it’s ending. Lillies grow daily and then perish through a natural process. Questions: First question is one of priority Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Vs 25. We are worried because we confuse our priorities. Our bodies can become our obsession—it’s nourishment and it’s covering. Our society manipulates this need and encourages worry about it. We might pamper it, decorate it, slender it, protect it, train it and serve and satisfy it. Since we believe we live because of our bodies, we will live for them. But our bodies are not the source of
anything. For all of life is from God. Second question is one of worth Are you not worth more then they? Vs 26. We rearrange the price tags on necessities of life and we lose perspective on what is really valuable. As God meets the needs of birds which have no spirit, because of our value with spirit, He pays attention to us and our needs. Third question is one of provision Will He not provide for you O men of little faith vs 30? Of course He will! Anxiety about all of this reveals little faith. Little faith is the disease of discipleship. It is not ‘no faith’ but ‘little faith’. From our perspective, there are many reasons for us to be worried. But from God’s perspective He is aware of all of our needs and supplies for them every day. So we must stop our worrying.
God Knows: We must not be anxious about our needs because (1) That is what unbelievers do vs 31. They have no hope in God so they must put it in this life. They have no heavenly Father to care for their needs so they must do so themselves. They have no God to live for so their hope in themselves and others breeds suspicion and doubt. Rather or instead of that (2) make your concern the things God is concerned about vs 32. All of our need will be supplied in God’s time. Application: If you believe you brought about you prosperity of you suffering, you will worry about tomorrow. So we can conclude that God knows all our needs and God supplies all our needs. But God also decides what those needs are. We want to define our own needs. Is God meeting your need if your boss is unfair? Is God supplying my need when I am sick or rejected? We mite think we suffer because of sin or mistakes and we do both but your situation is God meeting your needs. When asking what did I do to cause my suffering you put yourself in charge of it. When you do that you become anxious. The same true with any kind of prosperity in your life. If you put yourself in charge you will be anxious for tomorrow. The good news is God meets your needs. The bad news is He also defines those needs (James -16). You may not like the needs God is meeting. Jesus says don’t be anxious about that. Don’t have little faith and assume you can take charge of it.
2. SEEK GOD’S CONCERNS AND HE WILL SEEK YOURS 33-34
The Kingdom: First, our job is to do whatever we can to move in the
direction of the
Application: 1. When
we seek God’s kingdom first, the rest of life comes into perspective. When we
first seek worldly things, both their value and the