Sermon

The Cure for Anxiety (Matthew 6:25-34)

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God hasn’t told you that you have nothing to worry about; He told you that you shouldn’t worry about anything (John 14:1). Let me explain. There are a lot of things in this world that you can worry about. You can worry about your job, family, marriage, taxes, etc. Nowhere in the Bible does God promise you a life free from the temptation to worry. God knows that this present life contains many difficulties (John 16:33). While there are a lot of things you can worry about, there is nothing you should worry about. The testimony of Scripture is that we should not worry about anything because God loves us. He provides for and cares for us so perfectly, that we have no reason to worry.

What is worry? I heard it put this way recently: “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change.” We are told in Philippians 4:6 that we should resist the temptation to worry by converting our worries to prayer. Prayer, in contrast to worry, is a conversation you have with God about the things He can change. There is a cure for worry! It’s found in Matthew 6:25-34. The cure for worry and anxiety is to remember that: 1) Your Life has Value and 2) Your Life has Purpose.

Your Life Has Value

Jesus said, “Don’t worry about your life.” In verse 26, Jesus uses an illustration to make His point: “Look at the birds of the sky: they don’t sow or reap or gather in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” In verse 28, He uses another illustration: “Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these.” These two illustrations show us the love and care God gives to birds and flowers. This is an argument from the lesser to the greater because Jesus says, “aren’t you worth more than they?” (26) and “If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith?” (30). If God cares for the birds and grass (the lesser) how much more shall He care for you (the greater). It is in verse 28 that Jesus makes the connection between worry and faith. He says that those who worry about these things are “of little faith” and those who trust are demonstrating great faith.

In verses 29-30, Jesus instructs His followers: “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Jesus is not condoning or calling for laziness but is calling His followers to stop worrying about what they need and start trusting/believing that God will provide what they need. In verse 31, Jesus tells His followers to demonstrate their faith and “seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” In John 14:1, Jesus told His disciples, “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.” Life is more than food and your body is more than clothing. Consider the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. God provides for them and meets their needs. You are far more valuable than they are…so how much more will He provide for you.

Your Life Has Purpose

Your life is not only valuable, your life has purpose. You are created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). When you became a Christian, you were:

  • Given the right to be called a child of God (John 1:12),
  • Adopted (Eph 1:5),
  • United with the Lord (1 Cor 6:17),
  • A member of the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27),
  • Chosen and Special (1 Peter 2:9), and a
  • Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19)

Your identity is in Christ. You were to love Him and enjoy Him forever. Your life is more than just eating and drinking, but for righteousness (Rom 14:17). You were designed for a purpose far greater than to enjoy momentary pleasures. What does this mean? It means you don’t have to worry about having enough money, what you will eat, or what you will wear. You don’t have to hoard. God knows what you need even before you ask (6:8). Rather than worry about your life, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Rather than greedily consuming all you have with little to give and less to save; give generously, save wisely, and live appropriately. We began our “Biblical Perspective of Possessions” series by saying:

It is one thing for you to own possessions, but possessions should not own you. When that happens, they’re no longer possessions; they’re idols. We must repent of and fight against a lifestyle of self-indulgence which is contrary to the Gospel. Self-indulgence breeds a hard heart towards God and others.

At the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He says these words: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock” (Matt 7:24). The cure for anxiety is Christ. When you surrender yourself and all you have to Him, He will protect you, comfort you, and guide you. He will free you from your burdens (Matt 11:28-30) and give you joy and peace. Do you trust Him with everything? Do you trust Him with your money and possessions? Do you give generously? Do you save wisely? Do you live appropriately?