“Jesus’ Counsel on Not Worrying” Part 2
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.25-34 Part 2
Matthew 6. We’re in a study on worry in verses 25-34. Jesus gives five reasons not to worry and we went over three of them last time.
And we’ve seen how in our experience of anxiety why this study is so important today. Just to remind us…People today are more anxious today than ever!
In 2017, the Globe and Mail reported on a poll that determined that 41 per cent of Canadians are at high risk for what they called “mental-health issues.” Thirty-six per cent felt so stressed it affected their daily lives.
And according to a survey of 1,000 adults by American Psychiatric Association (APA), anxious feelings have increased over all age groups, but hands down the most anxious generation are the Millennials, those aged 20 to 37.
As various authors attempt to determine why they are so anxious, they invariably attribute it to situations, events, or things…like, lower employment rates, large student loan debts, and are less likely to own a home than previous generations at the same age.
But is that really the “cause” of why they are so anxious. I wouldn’t be anxious if I had a job; I wouldn’t be worried if I didn’t have so much debt. I wouldn’t be troubled if I owned a home.
That’s like saying, “I wouldn’t have punched you in the face if you hadn’t said something I didn’t like.” Really, that’s the cause?
There has to be something greater at play than that! Certainly, there can be a young person, say Mary, who does not own a home and she isn’t anxious. What would be the cause of Mary for not being anxious?
The cause for anxiety is internal, not external! The cause of anxiety is in my heart, not what is happening in my life.
Clearly people are anxious because they failed to follow the One who made them. However, it is not sufficient just to tell people “just have more faith in God” or “Stop being so sad all the time” and “you need to give all that over to God.” People aren’t going to just suddenly have more faith in God.
It isn’t helpful simply to tell people… “Don’t you know that worry is a sin?” or “You need to pray it away.”
Anxious, worried people need to take Jesus’ counsel.
Matthew 6:25–34 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? 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? 27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 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! 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. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
We defined worry last time as that anxious concern about something possibly unfortunate. A worrier is anxiously concerned about the future.
TRANS: In what we just read, Jesus gives us 5 reasons not to worry. With each of Jesus’ reasons not to worry we’ve discovered why you do worry and have given help so that you do not worry and have anxiety. If you get worried you need to use Jesus’ words in your life.
You don’t want to leave here today thinking that worrying is ok, “I’m just used to it.” No, glorify God and put in hard work not to worry nor to be anxious! So let us recover the first 3 reasons why you shouldn’t worry.
The first reason not to worry is that your life is more than what you worry about.
Your Life is More Than What You Worry About (v.25)
Reason not to worry: Life is more than what you worry about (v.25)
End of verse 25 “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Yes!
Since we don’t worry about the big stuff like food and clothing, we need to put in there what we do worry about: health, finances, politics, whatever…Life is more than what we worry about. Our life in Christ is made up of more than what we worry about. Think Jesus’ glory, eternity, His rule and kingdom that we’re participating in.
TRANS: That tells us why we worry.
Why we worry: You worry because you believe that your life is all about what you’re worrying about. But that’s a lie.
In those moments, you’ve made what you are worrying about so big you think it’s your whole life, but it isn’t true.
So…take a step back and get the big picture… the counsel is that you
Counsel to stop worrying: Preach to yourself that you have put too high of a value on your worry and begin to value the biggest things in life! God, Christ, salvation, and you need to meditate on those things and have them ready to go in your heart during times of difficulty.
You say, “Well, I worry about people, that’s pretty big.” True, but God’s life in them, His plans for them, His salvation for them, is also. Let’s not worry about uncertainties but let us rest in the certainties of God.
TRANS: You worry because in those moments you are worrying, you think your life is made up of that thing you are worrying about. But your life is more than what you worry about, namely, your life is all about the gospel and the glory of God. So, repent of having put too high of a value on that thing you worry about and begin to value the big things. Second reason not to worry…God is good enough!
God is Good Enough to Clothe and Feed (vv.26, 28-30)
Reason not to worry: God is good enough (vv.26, 28-30)
If you would look at the birds of the air, you would know that God is good enough! He feeds them, and you are worth more than they!
Matthew 6:26 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?
ILL: I was talking with an older man just last night. He grew up Lutheran and he brought up the verse and he said, “Doesn’t the church teach that we are worth more than birds? I don’t believe that because I believe in evolution.” Well, Jesus said it! We’re made in God’s image, birds aren’t.
And if you took a look at the flowers, you would know that God is good enough. He clothes the grass with them! If he does that for the birds and the grass, will he do that for you?
See you can see in nature that God is good enough.
Why we worry: you do not know and trust God as you should. You of little faith!” God clothes and He feeds. He is good!
And that is why we worry! We worry because we don’t believe God is good enough. No matter what it is we worry about, we worry because we do not believe that God is good enough. That’s why he says after talking about how God clothed the grass, “you of little faith!” It’s a matter of what you believe, that’s why you worry. You do not believe that God is good enough when you are worrying.
He is good in your finances, your health…he works all things together for your eternal good, trust Him big time despite how you feel!
Counsel to stop worrying: Study His goodness
So study his goodness! Get your eyes off of your situation and get your eyes on to the goodness of God in your life …. that goodness that is in your life for all eternity! Even sufferings will open up a whole world of God’s glory to you; you know you’ll be generously rewarded for all eternity! Your toil for Him He’ll repay.
TRANS: We ended last time with … simply “worry isn’t helpful.”
Worrying doesn’t add to your life (v.27)
Matthew 6:27 27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”
Worry simply isn’t helpful!
Reason not to worry: It isn’t helpful
We saw how worry doesn’t add hours to your life, science shows that worry literally takes hours away from your life. Nor does worry actually solve any problems.
TRANS: Why do you worry then?
Why we worry: You are depending on yourself
You are trying to add to your life, but it’s not working
You worry because you are depending on yourself! When you worry, you are actually trying to “add an hour” to your life. Else, why would you worry? You think you must worry!
You think that to better your life in some way, you need to stew over this problem. Why else would you be worrying about it? “I need to fix this!” you say. The way your heart is when you worry, you think that you are actually improving your life, or you wouldn’t do it! But it doesn’t work that way! “Who by worrying can add to their life?” No one! You can’t add anything good to your life; only God can. Why? He’s in control, not you!
Counsel to stop worrying: God is in control
And that shows you it’s a control issue. God is good; He’s in control! And He’s good in His control of your life. Study His goodness, now study His control in nature and in His word.
TRANS: Now, that was all of what we discovered last time. There are two more points that Jesus makes: worry is a spiritual thermometer and God cares for tomorrow.
Worry is a spiritual thermometer: Lost people eagerly seek these things (v.32)
Matthew 6:31–32 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.
Reason not to worry: 4. Lost people eagerly seek these things (v.32)
What’s Jesus saying? Those outside of Christ worry! The Gentiles, or those who do not know Jesus, place too high a value on material things. And who can blame them? This world and its things and relationships is all they have.
My world, if I were a pagan, is just a few feet off the ground and a few kilometers from me. What I see is what I get. So of course, I’ll worry and fret. I need those things, so I eagerly seek them. That makes sense. I’m in control, I have to …. and I have to.… This is how lost people think!
Why we worry: 4. You’re acting like someone who’s lost: either you are or you’re not walking with Him. Worry is a thermometer. It tells you how pagan you are.
So worry is acting like a spiritual thermometer.
ILL: Last winter, our children were often sick. And they got many fevers.
“Honey, would you come here? Look at those puffy eyes, and that runny nose, that cough. Get the thermometer…” Sure enough, she’s got a fever!”
Hopefully that changes this year. But to check their temperature, we would use a thermometer.
If I were to use a thermometer in your life to determine your spiritual health, what thermometer would I use? Well, this passage, I’d try to gauge how worried you are.
With some of you … “Honey, would you come here? Look at those swollen spiritual eyes, and those troubling words that come out of her mouth, and that sleepless night. Grab the worried thermometer, yep, she’s…acting like a pagan.”
Do not worry, because the Gentiles, those without Christ, worry like that!
Worry is a spiritual thermometer. It tells you how pagan you are acting.
And sure enough, as we’ve already noted, anxiety levels in our society are ever-increasing as our society becomes more and more pagan.
Counsel to stop worrying: 4. Get saved or get right. Urgency of getting this right!
The counsel here is right in verse 32. “Your heavenly father knows” what you need.
If you are experiencing this or that providentially, it is what you need. Your Father knows what you need! If you are concerned that you will not have enough to eat, your Father in heaven knows what you need. What you actually need. You don’t need money, you need food and clothing and shelter. You don’t need that thing that you lost, you need to know that He knows!
God is good, our Father is in control, and our Father in heaven cares for you! Do you knooooow that? Deep down it does that move your spirit? You need to know him …that he knows what you need!
The question is: You are sooo anxious all the time, are you in a saving relationship with our Father in heaven? Pagans are known for their worry. Have you improved in your anxiety levels since coming to Christ? If it looks like a duck and quacks like duck…. Sometimes, it’s not a duck, sure. But if you are soo filled with anxiety, you really need to get your heart right with God! You need to repent and know God, know Him! That’s why you’re so anxious; because you lack that life changing knowledge of Him. You’re at least acting like a pagan.
And that’s why Jesus puts verse 33 after the spiritual thermometer.
Matthew 6:33 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Honey, look at those puffy spiritual eyes and those worrisome thoughts, and those distrustful words…. hmmm…What medicine should we give them?” You know what you need to heal your spiritual sickness? You need to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Yyou need God’s righteousness credited to your account! You need the righteousness of Christ, his perfect life lived for you…. You need his sinlessness and his complete perfection given to you.
Somebody who is filled with anxiety needs to stop being a pagan and to start being a Christian. Seek the Lord seek his face, revel in the knowledge of his goodness, His control, His care for you. He knows! See Christ there dying on the tree but see him raised from the dead and turn from your life turn to him and his life and rejoice in his goodness to you…. And in His righteousness that He gives you.
Seek His kingdom! Jesus says elsewhere in…
Matthew 13:45–46 45 “…, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
That’s what it is to seek the kingdom. Is Jesus that one pearl of great value to you? Does His eternal worth to you overwhelm all the other things that could possibly compete? Do you count everything else, no matter what things or person, or stuff, is everything else of lesser value to the point that you’d trade it in to get Him?
Somebody who has successfully sought God’s kingdom and who views the eternal Lord Jesus as being soo much greater than anything in this life, won’t be worrying about the things they’ve traded in to get Jesus!
ILL: Imagine that merchant seeking fine pearls and he finds that one pearl of great value … worth a quadrillion dollars and so he sells everything he has and buys that one pearl for a few thousand dollars… Imagine that guy worrying about all that he sold? Unless he’s changing his mind … “maybe I shouldn’t have sold everything!” That wouldn’t make any sense! He’d be rejoicing that he sold all that and bought the one pearl of great value!
A Christian has sold everything…it’d be ridiculous for him to worry about everything that he has sold, given up to Christ for His control.
Worry should tell you that you’re clinging to this world. “Christian, are you changing your mind? Is all this sold to gain Christ or not?” You should say, “I’m not going to worry about any of this, it was all sold so that I could gain my Saviour.”
TRANS: Worry is a spiritual thermometer. Lost people, who eagerly seek the things of this world, do it. And do you do it? This is grievously pagan! You need to understand that your heavenly father knows what you need and seek his kingdom and his righteousness.
Now, final point this morning…verse 34…God cares.
Each day has enough to attend to/God cares for tomorrow (v. 34)
Matthew 6:34 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Reason not to worry: 5. God cares (v. 34)
One witty lost person said, “there are two days in the week that I do not worry. Yesterday and tomorrow.” But we ought to include today! We are not worried today, either because, each day has enough to attend to. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Today what are you to do?
You need strength and wisdom to do today what you’re supposed to do. Worry will freeze you.
The quotable Charles Spurgeon said, “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” And that is what you need! You need strength to do today what you are to do. Each day has enough trouble, including today! Get to solving problems in it. Worrying about tomorrow will not accomplish what you need to do today.
Why we worry: 5. You fail to recognize that God provides daily (Matt. 6:11).
Now, Jesus pictures tomorrow as if it has some human characteristics. “Tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” As if tomorrow had that capability. What’s the point? Does tomorrow care for itself? No…
God is the one who cares for tomorrow. You know right well that tomorrow can’t care for anything! It doesn’t even exist and never will! But God does exist, He’s good, He’s in control, He knows, and now… He cares! Worry all relates back to your intimate experiential knowledge of God. Have you had personal experience of God’s care for you? He will care for tomorrow, isn’t that comforting!?
Counsel to stop worrying: Wait on Him to care for tomorrow.
So wait on the Lord, whom you know is good, in control, that he knows and that he cares. Wait on Him who will care for tomorrow. Just wait, He’ll do the caring. Also, take responsibility. “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” You need to do what you are supposed to do today and stop worrying about tomorrow; leave that to God because He cares.
Tell yourself these things, “Soul, stop worrying about it. Soul, God is good, He knows, cares, controls. I’ve sold all these things and I have Jesus now.”
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Matthew 6.25-34 Part 2
1. Preach to yourself that you have put too high of a value on that thing you worry about and begin to value the biggest things in life!
2. Study his goodness! Get your eyes off of your situation and get your eyes on to the goodness of God in your life and in your life for all eternity and all over the world!
3. Study his sovereignty in the world and in His word.
4. Stop acting like a pagan, seek perhaps for the first time, His kingdom and righteousness. Work at bearing the good fruit of peace to show that you are a Christian.
5. Wait on Him who cares for tomorrow. Just watch Him do the work.
ILL: Turn back to your old testaments to 2 Chron. 20 as we close. I want to share this exciting story. The Moabites come to wage war against King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Panic, talk about reason to worry! And so the people came together to seek help from the Lord, from every town in Judah they came to seek the Lord together.
2 Chronicles 20:5–12 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, 6 and he said, “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. 7 “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 “They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, 9 ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’ 10 “Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), 11 see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
And then the people are standing there before the Lord, the word of the Lord comes to a prophet and he says verse 15
2 Chronicles 20:15–17 15 and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 ‘Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 ‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.”
So they set out the next day. And Jehoshaphat trusts in the Lord to the point that he sends the helpless singers out in front of the army.
2 Chronicles 20:21 21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
2 Chronicles 20:22–25 22 When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including goods, garments and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were three days taking the spoil because there was so much.
They trusted the LORD and got the victory. Now, what will you do? Are you going to trust the LORD? Will you put your singers out in front and respond to Jesus’ teaching or will you go your own way, perhaps again? As a shepherd under the Great Shepherd, I can see the worry on many people’s countenance. Will you put the trust in necessary and see Him do a mighty work?
As we transition to the Lord’ Table, Let’s pray…PRAY for forgiveness.