I come from a long line of worrywarts. According to Webster’s online dictionary, a worrywart is someone who worries too much! They are “hand-wringers” and they run their fingers through their hair. And I know that I am not alone.
Medical doctors estimate that more than 25% of their patients are what they consider the “worried well.” Doctors spend a great deal of time examining people who are not sick. They are only worried about being sick!
What do people worry about? They worry about:
- losing their job
- getting cancer
- dying in a plane crash
- their children
- running out of money
The list is endless – people worry!
I heard one doctor on television talk about people who count calories. He said because they worried so much about calorie intake their body produced extra amounts of cortisol which produces belly fat. The bottom line is this, their worry made their diets counterproductive. Their calorie count went down, and at the same time their waist line went up.
I heard that one mother worried so much about her children that…each time they coughed she was sure it was bronchitis…each time they had a headache she was sure it was a brain tumor…each time she caught them in a lie she was sure they were going into politics!
In a sermon on worry and anxiety written by Dr. Larry Moyer, he shared a humorous story – but it makes a good point. Moyer said, “A certain man, one of his co-workers noticed that he was as worried as a centipede with athlete’s foot! So he asked, ‘What are you worried about?’ The man answered, ‘A few years ago I went home one day and my wife was whistling ‘tea for two.’ Shortly thereafter we had twins.” He went on to say, “The next year I went home and she was watching the Three Musketeers on television. Shortly thereafter we had triplets.” Finally he said, “Last night I went home and she was reading THE BIRTH OF A NATION!”
But God has a “cure for our cares”, and it’s found right here in the Great Sermon on the Mount!
The Information from the Lord (vv. 25-30)
Information Concerning Our Cares (v. 25)
Don’t worry about anything,
The word “worry” here means “a distracting care”. It is the same word that is used in Philippians 4:6. So what we have in Scripture is this – a care is something that is so distracting that the care is all that we think about.
Allow me to illustrate – the Bible is not telling you and me that we should not care about certain things. For example, the Bible is not telling you and me that we should not care about our finances. However, the Bible is telling you and me not to be so concerned about our finances that it becomes the only thing that we think about.
The Bible is not telling us that we are not to be concerned about our jobs – the Bible is telling us not to be consumed with our jobs. We are not to be so consumed that our jobs are the only things that we think about.
A good biblical definition of the word “care” is a distracting concern resulting in assuming responsibility that is not yours.
As Christians we are to stay focused on the Kingdom of God. As we stay focused on the Kingdom of God, we have an assurance, the assurance that our Father in heaven is going to stay focused on the needs of our lives.
To worry when God tells me not to is not just a weakness, it’s wickedness!
So, when God says, “Don’t worry.” It not only means if you are not worrying don’t start, but it also means if you are currently worrying you are to stop it – NOW!
But we try to justify our worrying. Someone said, “Don’t tell me worry doesn’t work.” They went on to say, “Everything I worry about doesn’t happen.”
Information Concerning Our God (vv. 26-30)
Be Informed By The Fowls (v. 26)
The argument goes like this…if God takes care of birds and you are more valuable than birds then it stands to reason that God will take care of you (the believer)! Life is more than what you have been worrying about. Notice what Jesus asks, “Isn’t life more?” (v. 25). The answer is, of course life is more than what I have worried about.
Obey God and leave the consequences to Him
Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt. There may have been as many as 3 million of them. To feed a group this size would have required approximately 1500 tons of food per day. It would have taken around 11 million gallons of water per day. They were in the wilderness for 40 years yet, God provided food and water. God provided rest for a group of people whose population would have been only 1 million short of the state of Kentucky.
Moses’ responsibility was that of obedience. God’s responsibility was to take care of them. Today it’s in the record books, God took care of His own.
As a Christian, your responsibility is Kingdom citizenship, His responsibility is to take care of you!
There was a certain worrywart in the community. Everyone knew that he would worry and fret about everything. One day he looked so relaxed. He was so happy. His friend said, “Boy, you look different today.” He said, “You look like you don’t have a care in the world.” He responded, “I don’t have a care in the world.” His friend inquired, “You don’t have a care? You don’t have a worry?” He said, “Not a care! Not a worry!” He said, “I hired myself a professional worrier. He does all my worrying and caring for me.” His friend asked, “How much does that cost you?” He said, “$1000.00 a week.” His friend then exclaimed, “A $1000.00 a week – you don’t have that kind of money!” He said, “Yes, I know, but that’s not my worry! That’s not my care!”
Be Informed By The Flowers (vv. 28-30)
God takes care of his own!
The argument goes as follows…even King Solomon was not dressed as glorious as the lilies of the field yet the lilies were here today and gone tomorrow (they would cut them to be used to make a hot fire to bake bread). If God dressed the temporal of His creation so beautifully, then would He not dress beautifully the eternal (crown) of His creation?
Notice, “For idolaters eagerly seek all these things.” (vv. 31-32) What things? Material things. But who are the idolaters? The Expanded Bible translates this verse as follows,
“The people who do not know God [Gentiles, pagans; unbelievers] keep trying to get”
They run after the material things of this life.
Church – trust God! He knows…
- how much hamburger patties will cost this summer
- what the price of gas will be
- the annual rate of inflation
- about the cost of health care
Know that, if I were non-believing, I’d be worried! These promises do not apply to you. Likewise, if I were a believer, and out of the will of God – not seeking His things first, I would be worried.
But if I am a believer…trying to do the right thing, doing the best I can, showing others that I care…I don’t need to worry!
An ocean liner once was caught in a turbulent storm. As the passengers put on life jackets and checked the cabins, they found a little girl playing alone on one of the beds. They said to her, “honey, this is a terrible storm, aren’t you afraid?” She responded and said, “No, my father is the captain and he knows where I am!”
Listen church – God knows where Pikeville is. He knows where you are. He knows how much money you have in your bank account. He knows where you will be 5 years from now.
Christian – God has not called you to live your life on the same level as the unbelieving. He is calling us to live on a higher plane. There should be a higher level of existence for the believer.
The Invitation Of The Lord (vv. 31-34)
The Invitation Not To Be Reactive (vv. 31-32)
If you are going to worry, worry about…
- having a consistent prayer life
- spending more time in the Word
- treating others the way you want to be treated
- sharing the gospel with your neighbor
If you will concern yourself with His business, then He will concern Himself with your business.
The Invitation To Be Proactive (vv. 33-34)
If He is where He needs to be in your life, everything else in your life will be where it ought to be!
For too many people, Jesus is nothing. For Saturday Night Live, Jesus is nothing. They try to make Him a joke…but my Bible says “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9)
For some people, Jesus is something…BUT for a few, Jesus is everything!!
“Put God first…God in turn will honor the priority.”
Look at the verse again, “Seek first the kingdom of God” (v. 33). If we put God first, He does not promise “75% of these things will be added to you,” but instead He says all of these things (your needs) will be added to you!
Look at verse 34, “therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” We should live life one day at a time. You will conquer worry tomorrow the same way you conquered worry today – by seeking Jesus first.
God says He is the cure for your cares!
A widow raised 18 children, six biological and 12 adopted. When asked how she remained so calm with her busy schedule, she said, “Oh, I’m in partnership.” When asked, “What kind of partnership?” She answered, “One day, a long time ago, I said, “Lord, I’ll do the work and you do the worrying.” She said, “I haven’t had a worry since.” Do you know what she found? She found God’s cure for cares. The Bible says, “Casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).