You Don't Have to Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)

As I read that passage did you notice the same phrase repeated 3 times? Look at verse 25, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious…” Now go down to verse 31, “Therefore do not be anxious…” Now all the way down to verse 34, “Therefore do not be anxious…”

In verse 25 he is talk about life, ...do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, not about your body, what you will put on.” Verse 31 is similar, Therefore do not be anxious saying ‘what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear.” And verse 34 says, ...do not be anxious about tomorrow…”

Jesus does not want us to be anxious and He even commands that we not be anxious. He says, “Do not” be anxious. This is not a suggestion but is given as a command!

Now, before we get to far into this passage, I want us to be sure we understand this word, “anxious”.

What does it mean to be anxious? To be anxious is to worry…The Greek word means “to divide, rip or tear apart.” The word describes the effects of worry; that is what worry does to us.

Anxious for Nothing – John MacArthur “We allow our daily concerns to turn into worry and therefore sin when our thoughts become focused on changing the future instead of doing our best to handle our present circumstances. Such thoughts are unproductive. They end up controlling us…and cause us to neglect other responsibilities and relationships.

“Worry itself is concern over the future. Worry is concern about something that one can do nothing about, and he cannot even be sure about. That is why it tears apart. One who worries looks off into the future. But the future is not here yet. There is nothing to lay a hand on; there is nothing that can be done. The worrier cannot control it; he does not even know what it will look like. No one but God knows its true shape. First, he imagines that matters will be this way, then (he thinks), they might be that way. Because he cannot know, he allows it to tear him apart. According to the Bible, worry is concern over the unknown and uncontrollable future that tears one apart.”

None of us know the future and when we try to live in the future then we may experience anxiety or worry.

It goes something like this, We have a bad day at work and as a result of that bad day we begin to imagine that we will be fired. Thinking we will be fired will cause us that tearing apart feeling, fear perhaps, uneasiness. All because we imagine we will be fired. This is living in the unknown future as if we know what the future will be.

Or maybe one of our parents died of heart disease and you feel a pain in your chest and you begin to believe that you too are about to die of heart disease. uneasiness sets in and again this is living in the unknown future as if we know the future.

Or maybe as a believer you look at your circumstances and think you cannot continue in your uncontrollable circumstances. You think it is too much, life is too hard. What is this? It is unbelief. It is not believe that what God has said is so. God says that He will go with us through life, the He will comfort us in life and lead us all the way to heaven.

But for time we don’t think right, we are not thinking about God’s promises we are not centered on believing Him and are instead getting carried away by our own fears.

Jesus says, do not be anxious, do not be anxious, do not be anxious. Three times he says this simple phrase.

Now I do want to point out that there is a difference in worry and deep care and concern over things. We an have deep care and concern about people and even our responsibilities and not fall into sinful worry. Let me give you some examples of this.

2 Corinthians 11:28

28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:28)

Philippians 2:20

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. (Philippians 2:20)

When Paul speaks of Timothy as having a genuine concern for them this is a phrase that is similar to being anxious. But what is the difference? Well, Timothy’s concern drives Him to serve Christ as he ministers to them. He is not sinfully anxious in a paralyzing way but is concerned and acts on that concern by ministering Christ to them.

Sinful anger is often paralyzing, it is what keeps us from our God-given responsibilities rather than driving us to please the Lord by following His commands and trusting Him with the future.

This is different that sinful worry. Again, worry is an over anxious concern regarding the future and things that keep us from fulfilling our current responsibilities, it is this kind of worry that Jesus addresses in Matthew 6.

Now I made a statement a few moments ago that sinful worry is unbelief, it is not believing things that God has declared about Himself. I say this because of verse 30. Look down at verse 30 with me.

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Worry is a result of little faith. Or you could say the worry is the fruit of remaining unbelief and doubt in a Christian.

If we truly know God and believe Him sinful worry will begin to fade.

It is truth about God and our belief in that truth that will begin to dissolve sinful worry in our lives.

So what can we know about God that will help us in our passage this morning.

Well first, God cares for us. Do you believe that God genuinely cares for you? Is He distant or is a near, is He uninterested in your life or does He care? If He cares and we believe He cares then our living our thinking will be affected.

Look at verses 25-30

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Jesus doesn’t just say, don’t worry but He illustrates for us why we should not worry by pointing out His work in other parts of creation. He mentions the birds. Birds don’t plant gardens, birds don’t build barns, birds don’t but crops in barns and yet somehow they survive. How do they survive? Is it just luck, no, God provides for them. And are we not of more value then are they? The birds are a fascinating part of God’s creation. But, birds are not created in the image of God like we are. Jesus says we are of more value than the birds.

He goes on with another illustration and that is the lilies of the field. The grass of the field does not clothe itself. The grasses, the weeds the lilies do nothing to provide beauty in the fields and yet the fields in full bloom is beautiful. In fact, Jesus says even the riches man in the world could not dress as fine. And again, Jesus says, the grass is a lessor creation that are we. Will not God clothe us? Is He not capable of clothing us? Of course He is. God cares and God is able to care for us. That is Jesus point.

I love to read the Psalms. I love the ones that speak of God’s power to create and to sustain and even control His creation. I love reading of how He commands the seas to obey Him and He lights the sky and He brings the harvest or He withholds the harvest. He sends rain or He withholds the rain. He make the sun to shine. He has all power in His hand and he can move heaven and earth to care for us in just the right way, the way that is best for us. That does not mean we will have all of our selfish desires fulfilled, it does not mean He has to give us what we want, nor does it mean we will have more than our neighbor, It does mean that he cares and He will do what is absolutely best for us. He cares for us.

Now, not only does God care for us but He knows exactly what we need. You know I may care about you but I may not really know what you need most. If I see you hurting , I may think, I know what you need, you need me to come over to your house and sit all day with you. I may think that when what would be best for you is some alone time. I may have good intentions but not really, because I don’t know what is in your minds, not really know what is best for you. In fact, you may not even know what is best for you.

But with God, He alone is omniscient. What does that mean? It means He knows everything. And everything includes knowing exactly what is absolutely best for you and for me.

Look at verses 31 and 32

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

It is not mystery to God as to what you need. This is so comforting during times that seem uncertain and confusing. God is not confused. God has never been confused. Sometimes we don’t even know what to pray for, but God knows what we need.

Aren’t you glad that he knows you intimately?

Have you ever faced a really hard time and in it you think, well this is not best for me? Probably all the time right. But then sometime later you look back and think, you know, that was really good for me! God really did grow me through that hard time?

Another thing that helps us to not be anxious is to simply focus on God’s promises. Look at verse 33:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

When we are seeking God’s kingdom first what are we doing? We are believing that His ways are best, we are believing Him. If we are going after Him living for Him then we are convinced that He is who He says He is and we are on board with His ways, His plans. We are loving Him and living our lives for Him. This only happens we we are living by faith in His words. Either we are living for His kingdom convinced in HIs superior ways or we are living for our kingdom rejecting His ways, The first way leads to peace and the second leads to sinful worry.

We are called to live by faith, believe God trust God.

Now look at verse 34.

Jesus sums up this passage with the word therefore.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Jesus is saying, don’t live in tomorrow. Don’t try to live in the future, it is not here yet and we don’t know what it will be. We are here today. Be faithful in today. Live life faithfully today. there is plenty to do today. This is such a relief really. Just handle what is happening now in a way that is pleasing to God. This is a guard against anxiety. Be faithful today!

How can you glorify God right now? Do that!

That is a question we can always ask ourselves. How can I glorify God right now? What can I do now in obedience to Him? How can I serve and love my God and my neighbor right now?

Such a great passage to right our thinking when we are anxious.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34(