Don’t Be Anxious
During this time people tend to worry more than usual. People have to get their Christmas shopping done. People worry about their traveling and the lines they will have to deal with at the stores and on the road. There are some people very anxious to the point of desperation as they wait to see what will happen to our country with the new president elected.
According to research here are some things that cause anxiety in people:
– Threat (personal safety, relationship with others)
– Fear (fear of failure or success, rejecting, sickness, loneliness, death, the unknown, etc.)
– Unmet needs (survival, physical, security)
Some of you here today may be experiencing anxiety right now because of a situation or circumstance you are living. Jesus has a message for you today; Jesus wants to remind you how you can get rid of anxiety and worries in life.
Jesus addressed anxiety or worries in life during the so called “Sermon on the mount” (Matthew 5-7). Matthew 5 tells us that when Jesus saw the crowds, he went on a mountainside. His disciples came to him and he began to teach them saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit…..
In chapter 6 we read Jesus’ teaching about giving to the needy, praying, fasting and the danger of making money your master. Then in verses 25-34 Jesus addressed anxiety.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life. (Don’t worry about your life)
-what you will eat or drink and what you will put on.
There’s more to life than food and clothing. Life’s meaning doesn’t depend on what you eat or what you wear. Anxiety or worry doesn’t prolong your life (v.27) and which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? It’s been proven that anxiety can truly shorten your longevity in life.
Jesus is giving us reason why we should not worry or be anxious.
You have a heavenly Father. You should not worry because of who your heavenly Father is.
God is addressed as our Father in the model prayer. Our Father in heaven (v.9)
Consider the greatness of our heavenly Father:
a) He feeds the birds (26)
You are more valuable to God than birds. Early fathers sometimes value their jobs more their kids, or value their pets more than their kids. You are more valuable than animals to God. You are more special to him than the rest of his creation.
b) He clothes the grass of the field (28-30) God clothes the grass you see in the field and he will also clothe you.
To worry or be anxious in life is to lack faith. (30) O you of little faith.
– being anxious is showing lack of faith. Lack of trust in God as your heavenly Father. In other words, you worry or become anxious because you don’t trust God.
Gary Collins (Christian Counseling)
“Worry and anxiety comes when we turn from God, shift the burdens of life on ourselves and assume, at least by our attitudes and actions, that we alone are responsible for handling problems. Instead of acknowledging God’s sovereignty and power, or seeking his kingdom and righteousness first. Many of us slip into sinful self-reliance and preoccupation with our own life pressures.”
Sometimes we don’t trust God with our basic needs, with our relationships, finances, marriages. When we become anxious because of those things, then at that moment we shift focus and stop trusting him.
c) Your heavenly Father knows your needs (v.32)
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Our Heavenly Father takes care of the birds and clothes the grass in the field. He will take care of you, his child, his special creation. Show others that you truly trust God by not worrying or being anxious in life.
Instead of being anxious Jesus tells us to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness first. Jesus is challenging his followers to examine their priority in life. Sometimes we claim to have God at the top of our priorities, but when we look at our values, our commitments, our money, time, how much of it is dedicated to God’s kingdom? We are to seek the things of God as a priority over the things of the world. God challenged his people in the Old Testament to test him on matter of placing him first. Those whose priority is God’s kingdom are provided for. Toby Mac :Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world that fight for our love and our passions. As our eyes are open wide and on you, grant us the privilege of your worldview and may your kingdom be what wakes us up and what lays us down.”
As a follower of Jesus if you struggle with anxiety in life, listen to Jesus’ word. Don’t worry about your life, but trust the one who knows your needs. When you are anxious, you are not trusting God to take care of you. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have its own troubles. Don’t worry about your life, but become a kingdom person and he will take care of you. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Do you want to get rid of anxiety and worries in life? Become a kingdom person. All your worries will disappear when you seek the kingdom of God. All your worries will begin to surface when you pursue the kingdom of this world.