Faithlife Sermons

7 Reasons Not To Worry

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Christmas is over – we have almost survived another year.

All the stresses of the holiday season are behind us and now…all we have to worry about is what to expect in the new year.

Psychologists tell us that one of the greatest stresses a person endures is the unknown future.

Let me ask you a question – and I want an honest answer:

How many of us can say that we have no worries?

If we’re honest with ourselves, all of us worry too much – some more than others – but all of us worry too much.

Jesus tells a parable about 4 types of soils and the soil’s effect on seed that falls on it – it’s called the Parable of the Sower.

I want to look at the last two soil conditions he mentions in this parable:

Luke 8:14

14 “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

If you’ve read this parable, you know that Jesus goes on to explain that the “soil” is a person’s life and the “seed” is the Word of God.

Look at what He is saying: worries about things, about the pleasures of this life, will choke off the effects of the Word of God in your life. He literally says that worry “brings no fruit to maturity.”

The rich young ruler whom, Jesus loved, is a good example:

There must have been much that was really beautiful and true in that young man, or Jesus never had singled him out as one whom he especially loved. In fact, in his own eyes, he was pretty much perfect.

And yet, in his case, the thorns of riches and luxury had so entwined themselves around his life that, as far as we know, it never brought fruit to perfection.

Ananias and Sapphire, are another example we can look at.

They had given up much for the Jesus’ sake,

- associated themselves with a hated and persecuted sect,

- sacrificed a large portion of their property to help the poor of the flock,

- and yet in the end, they decided they needed what they had dedicated to God more than He did.

In contrast to the person in verse 14:

Luke 8:15

“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

Notice the focus on fruit and the contrast in these two verses.

Worry destroys growth and stunts maturity.

So, if this is the case, we have to ask ourselves 2 questions:

• why do we worry

• what can I do to stop worrying

today I want to look at 7 reasons not to worry:

1. The Same God Who Created Life in You Can Be Trusted With the Details of Your Life.

Matthew 6:25

25 “For this reason …

For what reason? To find out the answer to that question let’s go back and read the preceding section to put this into context.

Matthew 6:19–24

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Did you see what He said? “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

In the Scriptures, your “heart” is :

The seat and center of human life.

(I) The seat of the desires, feelings, affections, passions, and impulses,

So, whatever has the attention of your feelings, affections, passions, impulses, desires – Jesus says “this is your treasure.”

It doesn’t have to be money or wealth – just whatever is the object of your affections, etc.

In other words, what do you spend the majority of your time pursuing?

Now, in verse 24 Jesus summarizes what He has just been talking about:

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

In fact, I think it safe to say, “” You cannot serve God and anything else”

So, let me back up to verse 24 and 24 and 25 together:

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

WOW!! What a question to ask someone who has grown up in the United States – “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

The obvious answer to that questions is: Of course it is – life is more than food and the body more than clothing.

The God who created this body and gave it life is the same God who promises to take care of us:

We spend so much time worrying about these things – don’t we!

For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe…

2. Worrying About the Future, Hampers Your Efforts for Today.

26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

Again, the answer is: “of course we are”

Jesus repeats this truth 4 chapters later:

Matthew 10:29–31 (NAS)

29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31 “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

So, worrying about future events:

- What will I wear – eat

- Where will I live

- How much money in my 401K

- Etc…

Worrying about future events, in Jesus’ way of thinking, is fruitless.

And yet we spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about such things.

Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway.

3. Worrying is More Harmful Than Helpful

27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

Jesus always has a way of just hitting the nail right on the head doesn’t He?

In other words, worrying about things doesn’t add anything to our life

In fact, doctors tell us all the time about the damaging effects of worry on our bodies. “The greater the stress, the more prolonged, the more severe, the more likely you are to become ill,”

Doctors tell us: “Chronic emotional stress can affect virtually every organ system in negative ways,”

So, Jesus tells us that worry won’t add a single hour to our lives.

And doctors tell us that worry will, in fact, take time off our lives.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.

A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work

4. God Does Not Ignore Those Who Depend On Him.

28 “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,

29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

30 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

First it was the birds of the air and now the lilies of the fields.

In fact, I think it would be safe to say that God cares equally for all of His creation.

There is not one think in all of creation that God overlooks or does not care for.

The planets and solar systems are all kept in perfect order by God

The times, the seasons – all kept in perfect order.

Everything in all of creation is kept in perfect order by God.

The point Jesus is making here is that, not only are we kept by God but that we – human beings – are of much more worth than anything else in all of creation.

I have no worries that the planets will spin out of orbit…

I have no worries that the oceans will leave their appointed place.

I have no worries that God will somehow overlook – or forget to care about – anything in all of creation.

So Jesus ask the question – “Then why do you worry about such trivial things as:

- What will I wear

- Wheat will I eat

- Where will I live”

Are we not worth much more than any of these other things?

That question leads into the next point:

5. Worry Shows a Lack of Faith In, and Understanding of, God.

31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’

32 “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Let me take all the middle stuff out of these two verses:

“Do not worry then, your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

In fact, not only does He know I need these things, the Bible tells me that “He is able to supply all my needs.”

Are you one to worry about these things? It would be good for you to sit down with someone who actually has to live by faith that God will provide their daily needs.

It would be good, next time a missionary comes to this church, to make an appointment with them and spend some time listening to how God provides for their needs.

Do we really not have enough? We have houses, closets, storage buildings, attics full of stuff and yet we continue to worry.

Here is the truth:

“Do not worry then, your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

6. There are real challenges God wants us to pursue, and worrying keeps us from them.

33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

OK, here is the prescription against worry.

Your asking yourself, “OK, I know all this but how do I stop worrying.”

Jesus gives us the answer ““But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

What are the real challenges Jesus wants us to pursue?

Do I really need to get specific here?

Let me just say this: do you want to finally be through with worry? Do you want to see victory in this area of your life?

- Get more involved in God’s work

- Read your Bible every day

- Pray more

- Give more

- Go work one day a week at the food pantry or benevolence center…

- Support one of these Compassion International children.

- Begin corresponding with a missionary family and helping in their support.

You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time

““But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.

7. Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

There are two days in the week about which and upon which I never worry... Yesterday and Tomorrow.

It is true that 99% of what we worry about never comes to pass.

Some of your hurts you have cured,

And the sharpest you still have survived,

But what torments of grief you endured

From the evil which never arrived.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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