We’re gonna talk about worry and anxiety. Worry is also a problem that’s incurring inside of us, in our soul, and the Bible teaches that there is a worry which is sin. In Philippians 4 verse six, we are commanded, “Be anxious for nothing.” So, if you are anxious, at least there’s a kind of anxiety which is a sinful anxiety. Likewise, Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Probably those come from the two passages I would use most in helping someone with worry, which is Matthew chapter six verses 25 to the end, and Philippians 4, you could really start in verses four and go through verse nine. When Jesus is talking to His disciples about worry, how we should not worry ultimately because God, Who is our Father, cares for us, He says in verse 30, “For if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, you of little faith?”
The implication there is, the real cause of worry, ultimately, is unbelief. They were not trusting in God. Oftentimes, the person who worries is desiring something in God’s place. They’re wanting their health. I had a person who was terrified of getting cancer, she doesn’t even have cancer, but she’s terrified of getting cancer. There are different issues going on. You could argue with her, well, statistically, it’s unlikely, you don’t have a lot of cancer in your family, you’re still fairly young. But can I tell her from the Bible, she’s not gonna get cancer? No, I can’t. Can I tell her she’s gonna live to see her children grown and married and grandchildren? No, I can’t make those promises. What can I tell her? I can tell her that God, Who is sovereign, has His plan, which is perfect for your life, and no matter what happens, whether He gives you cancer or not, that you can trust Him to do what is best, including taking care of your family. Some people, it’s financial security. They’re worried they’re gonna lose their house, they’re worried they can’t pay the bills.
And worry can become very life-dominating. That’s where all these things are together. A person who’s worried can get angry, when they’re threatened, they can become depressed. Worry can affect you physically. Laura talks about this, how when someone is really stressed on the inside, and they’re worried about a relationship, they’re worried about circumstances in their life, it’s going to affect you somehow, organically. Lack of sleep, tension in your stomach, digestive problems. Stress, worry, fear, all are related. And there are ways that we deal with worry sinfully when something concerns us.
One is by trying to control that which is beyond our control, in a sinful way. Manipulating people, manipulating circumstances. Okay, well I’m worried I’m gonna lose my job, so I’m gonna undermine my competitor in the layoff so that he’ll be the one to go. And some people deal with worry and stress by escaping. I will go to the bar and have a few beers and that will make me feel better, or using drugs, or for some people, their drug of choice is shopping. And I feel all stressed, so I’ll go to the mall and I’ll buy some new clothes, or I’ll go on the Internet and I’ll buy a gadget. And they feel better temporarily, but it, of course, makes things worse. While the Bible says that we shouldn’t worry, the Bible doesn’t say that we shouldn’t at all think about the future. Back to my beloved verse in Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead to advantage and everyone who is hasty comes to poverty.” Jesus says in Matthew 6, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for every day has enough trouble of its own.” And the point being, today, you shouldn’t be just one of these laid-back, I’m not worried at all, I’m not concerned at all, people. Use the energy God gives you to solve the problems of today instead of wasting your energy worrying about things you can’t do anything about tomorrow. So, it’s not that we should be utterly unconcerned. It’s valid to make plans, to have life insurance or health insurance, to prepare for possibilities in the future. But we have to leave the outcome to God. Proverbs 16:9: “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” He’s not saying it’s wrong for the man to plan his way and his mind, He’s just saying, no matter what you plan, God may have a different plan, you’d better be ready to accept that. Key passages, you might actually have outlines in your notes from when I’ve preached these passages.