Faith Over Fear | Don’t Worry, Trust Jesus | Matthew 6:25-34
Topic: Gospel Passage: Matthew 6:25–6:34
Christopher Rich – March 22, 2020
Faith Over Fear
PART I | Don’t Worry, Trust Jesus | Matthew 6:25-34
Introduction | What are we worried about?
Good Morning Welcome to Damascus Road where we are Saved by Jesus Work, Changed by Jesus’ Grace, and Living on Jesus’s Mission. Today we are beginning a new series during this season of Global pandemic and local lockdowns called Faith Over Fear where we are going to pursue where true peace can be found in the midst of panic.
What are we worried about? I mean the list is pretty long at this point, right? Your individual health, the fabric of society, the state of the economy. We are very fearful people, especially at the front end of this season where all we are used to relying on for routine and stability has been uprooted or restricted. I am talking to everyone. We have fears about how we are going to provide for ourselves or others. Fears of loneliness, fears of what others think of us, fears of not living up to others expectations or our own, fear of loss possessions/job/relationships, fear of the unknown. These fears and concerns are driving and dominating how we live our lives. Fear seems to be the biggest motivator over our decisions and disposition. What is your fear? Why do we fear? We fear things we cannot control or easily predict. We play around with “What if?”. We fear because we recognize the world we live in is dangerous, bad things do happen, and everything is NOT awesome all the time. We say we hope for the best and prepare for the worst, but really, we act with little hope and nearly everything we do is under the shadow of fear.
We fear because we have put our faith in certain things, people, systems, relationships, places, even ourselves, and when they fail us (or we fail ourselves) we are left unsettled, uncertain, and unanchored. So we’re now a boat tossing around in a storm where we are grabbing for anything to hold onto that seems secure and we forget we have a choice so we grab onto fear, anxiety, worry, or something less than secure to place our faith in. We forget what is true and right and good and instead try to rest on what is false. We believe lies like there is no God or this is all there is. Sometimes even our belief is met with seeing or experiencing silence from God or spiritual dryness. We want comfort but we are instead confronted with world events or personal circumstance which are too overwhelming to process and which we are powerless to change. Why does hope appear to be absent when it is most needed? How do we find hope and courage in broken world when God is not seen, heard, or felt? We need faith in what is true.
1: God is Good, Mighty, Loving, Wise, and is in control. He is not surprised by any of this, and He is not overwhelmed. He is active in world events and is engaged in your individual story.
2: We (you) are known and loved by God in Christ Jesus. He knows your circumstances, and has not forgotten His promises, so we have a hope that is imperishable, that cannot be contained or restricted.
3: This is a challenging chapter, and while we do not know how long it is, we know it’s not the last chapter. The Story ends very well with Jesus return and reign making all things new with no sin, sickness, darkness, disease, or death. Our forever future is better than our present pain.
God is the creator and owner of all that exists, for those who trust in Jesus, God adopts as His children and we call Him “Father”. We said last week He is an UNSEEN GOD, but He is not an absent or inactive God. To quote my good friend, “God is not a social distancer” He is near and present. Despite knowing God is a good dad we can regularly fall into disbelief as we look at the problems in the world, or pain or lack in our own lives and begin to worry about what the future holds for us. Today we will look at Jesus’ teaching on anxiousness. Let us let Jesus be our pastor, let Him be the preacher, let the Holy Spirit be the Comforter, and He answers our anxiety with what is true about God the Father and how He is for us each day.
PART I | What is life? |Matthew 6:25-26
Matthew 6:25-26 | “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?
Jesus has begun His public ministry and has drawn a large crowd to hear his preaching of the gospel of repentance meaning turning from sin to the kingdom of God. People are gathered on a hill and Jesus preaches to them this great comprehensive sermon about how we’re blessed, how to see marriage, engage with our anger, loving our enemies, how to pray, how to see money and wealth, in the middle of it he says
Don’t be Anxious. He doesn’t say, if you get anxious or when you get anxious. Jesus tells us to not be anxious because he knows we already are. Jesus preaches to anxious people. GOD KNOWS YOUR ANXIETY! You might be able to hide it from your spouse, or kids, or coworkers, but He knows your inner most thoughts and heart groanings. This is the state we are all in. He knows how our chest can tighten up or it can feel like walls are closing in, or the ground we’re standing can become shifting sand. Four times Jesus tells us to not be anxious, to not worry. Don’t worry about your life, don’t worry about your food, don’t worry about your clothes, don’t worry about tomorrow. Jesus is a good teacher because he uses repetition on points that are important. Jesus knows us, He knows we will continually find more and more things to be anxious about, so he covers anxiety both broad and deep. What are we doing when we are anxious? We are seeing the problems in the world in our lives as bigger than the God who made the world and gave us life. We are allowing the question “does God really love me?” to sink deeper in our hearts then what God says. Josh 1:5 I will not leave you or forsake you. And Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you In tough times, Jeremiah 29:11 | For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. We turn worry into worship when we remember what is true.
Life is more…. Many of us are consumed with making our ends meet or just keeping our heads above water financially. How do we survive. How much of our time and energy right now is spent concerned with these things? How much of our life is spent in merely maintaining our lives? Preparing, eating, cleaning up after meals. Laundry, wearing, and more laundry. We are all in maintenance mode right now. But our lives were meant for more than being merely maintained. Jesus reminds them God has intended for life to be more than mere survival. We are meant to be loved by God, love God, and love one another. We are made for communion and connection, and we remember that most when it’s taken away. But we can thrive while sheltered remembering what is true. God feeds birds… Open your window they might be chirping. God takes care of the birds, and they don’t DO ANYTHING to prepare day by day. They’re not squirls who hoard nust like TP. He’ll take care of you and me. Jesus isn’t anti-planning and only living for today, but he is saying consuming, wearying, all-encompassing worry about the future is wrong. Work today, and plan for tomorrow but don’t be anxious. Why? Because if God takes care of birds, we have assurance He cares for us. Because we are of more value to Him. You’re not an animal, you’re an image bearer of God.
PART II |Anxiety Doesn’t Produce, It Takes Away | Matthew 6:27-30
Matthew 6:27-30 | 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?
Why are we not to be Anxious? v27 Simple answer is Jesus tells us not to be anxious, and it would be great if that was enough. But when we are experience pressure and anxiousness in our lives, worrying about our distant or immediate futures, or when we have legitimate fears and concerns, and are already feeling like we are beginning to fail in some aspect of our lives; it can be less than encouraging to be told we are failing by worrying. Jesus tells us not to be anxious not so we’ll feel more burdened, but because he knows what our anxiousness produces in us and for us! It produces NOTHING!!! None of our worry or anxiousness ever feed us or clothed us. It will not add an hour to our life, in fact it actually wastes life you’ve been given. God has given us life as a gift to enjoy and to be productive, when we spend it being anxious we are not using our lives in the way God intended. More than being completely unproductive it is also incredibly exhausting. Anxiety doesn’t produce it takes Away our vitality.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie Ten Boom,
God is the creator and Author of our lives - Jesus gives us more than a command to not be anxious for our benefit, he goes further and explains why we don’t need to be. He says look at the world God created. He makes the birds of the air. Birds fly, they are active, they search and hunt and don’t wait for God to drop food in their mouths, they work if you will, but they don’t farm and plan, yet they’re provided for all the same. He makes the lilies of the field, who don’t give any concern of their appearance or “strive” at all (they are not active, they are plants) many of which will never be seen by human eyes, and He makes them beautiful to show He is the source of all beauty. Jesus reminds the crowd of a fundamental truth (and something we often need to be reminded of in the NW), we are more valuable to God than birds and flowers! He made us in His image, He has given us life and He will give more care and attention to sustaining our life then the lives of mindless birds or grass clippings. Hear this, God Cares about you! He is also “author” of our lives, He deciding when and how our lives begin and how our lives end. Have Faith!
PART III | | Matthew 6:31-34
Matthew 6:31-34 | 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.
Your Father knows, so seek (desire) Him - v32-33 God is intimately aware of everything in our lives. Jesus says, He cares about the details of our lives. Yes he knows all the hair on your head because he made you. He knows what you need to survive. He also knows every aspect of our lives we are worried about. While you are worrying about the things right in front of you, replaying things that have happened to you, or anxiously concerning yourself with what may or may not come, God is orchestrating a billion details in and around your/our lives that we don’t even think about. The point is not for you to find more things to worry about; but to know God is currently sustaining and providing for you right this moment in ways you are not even aware of and some we can’t even imagine. We don’t have to be consumed with worry like those who think they have been left alone in this world or don’t know there is a God who loves and provides for His children. Jesus tell us to give our worry to him. Matt 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
We are not to be distracted with the things in this world keeping us from understanding the most important things we need to be concerned with is not our survival in this world but our eternal approval in His kingdom. Our relationship with God and His kingdom is to be absolutely primary relationship above all others. Because of our sin our relationship with God is broken. Because of sin and brokenness our world is a place where it is easy to be anxious with worry. The Father knows the world and our relationships are broken, just like He knows we need to eat and need to be clothed. He cares about our bodies AND our souls. He doesn’t leave us alone to worry, He pursues with a purpose. He knows we need much more than just a good teacher, we need a great savior. God’s answer for our worry and anxiety is Jesus as our savior.
What about today, tomorrow, next month? Each day has enough to worry about! AMEN!? Jesus tells us each day is sufficient for its own trouble so we shouldn’t be concerned with tomorrow when we’re supposed to be dealing with today. Jesus doesn’t just tell us to suck it up and not worry so much. He’s not just a good teacher with some wisdom “don’t worry so much about…”. He is not a distant deity unconcerned with the problems we face. He knows how each day can have its own trouble so just trust and focus on today.
Many a questioning, Many a fear, Many a Doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment let down from Heaven, Time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King, Trust them with Jesus. Do the next thing.
Do it immediately, do it with prayer; Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His Hand Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe’ neath His Wing, Leave all resulting, Do the Next Thing. – Annonymous
What is the next thing for you? Is it to love you neighbor by asking how you can help them? Is it to slow down? Is it to read for your soul? Is it to remember what is true? It’s it to respond what is true for the first time?
There is a day we are to be concerned with. As surely as we are born there will be a day when we die. On that day we will be judged and found lacking “righteousness.” Hebrews 9:27 | And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, God knows we’re going to be lacking on that day and so he provides for it by sending Jesus to endure all we could ever be anxious about, including punishment for our sin, and come out victorious.
Jesus endured the greatest day of trouble for us so we can endure every of trouble with Him!
Jesus endured for us on the cross so we can endure now. He rose again so we could live now and forever.
We don’t have to worry about our past because Jesus paid for our past on the cross. We don’t have to worry about our present because Jesus says in the Holy Spirit, He is with us always to the end of the age. We don’t have to worry about what is to come because of the resurrection He has secured our future.
For today, tomorrow, and forever Don’t worry, Trust Jesus!
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March 29, 2020Faith Over Fear | Hope Forever | Isaiah 65:17-25