The Creator's Solution to Worry
May 25th, 2008
Matthew Chapter 6 records Jesus as saying:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes."
A couple of hundred years ago, Napoleon's armies were sweeping across Europe. One day 18,000 French troops appeared before a small town in Austria that had little means of defending itself.
Not knowing what to do, the town council decided to meet. They felt that before such overwhelming odds, surrender was the only answer.
It was then that the old dean of the Church reminded everyone that it was Easter! He begged them to hold Church services as usual and to leave the trouble in God's hands.
Thankfully, they were willing to follow his advice. The old dean went into the Church building and rang the bells to announce the service.
The French soldiers heard the bells. Immediately they concluded that the Austrian army had come to rescue the town. They broke camp. Before the bells had ceased ringing, the army had vanished!
Being about the Creator's business pays!
"Seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matt. 6:33)
The old Church dean gave good advice! It's good advice to us today as well. We live in a time when there are lots of things that can be objects of anxiety. Bad health, rising living costs, shaky incomes, disturbing human relationships, all these and many more can cause loss of sleep at night.
What's the Creator's solution to worry?
I Peter 5:7 answers the question plainly:
"Cast all your anxiety upon Him for He cares for you."
Please note that this is not just a "suggestion" from God. It's a command. Your Father in Heaven commands us to get rid of all our anxieties and give them all to Him.
Bishop Quayle tells about staying awake worrying until he heard the Lord say:
"Quayle, go to bed; I'll sit up for the rest of the night."
Someone else once said:
"Every evening I turn worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway."
In Matthew 6, Jesus gives us 4 reasons why we don't need to be full of anxious concern. Our reading today began with the word "Therefore…." When you see the word "therefore," go back and see what went before it.
The previous verses spoke about not hoarding for ourselves treasures on Earth where we can lose them to thief, rot, or misguided government decisions. Jesus concluded the thought with the famous statement:
"You cannot serve both God and Money [that is, anything that money can buy]" (Matt. 6:24).
And, it's here in the next verse that we find the word "Therefore."
"THEREFORE I tell you, do not worry about your life, etc."
(Ironically, just as I wrote these words, I got a call from my daughter saying that my niece's daughter was at that very moment experiencing a medical emergency at the hospital! She shortly went into a coma.)
So it may not be our own life that we are worried about. It may well be that of a loved one. In any case, God's words still stand true. His command not to worry still stands true. Why is it true? This leads us to the first reason.
Reason #1: Worry is unreasonable.
Jesus' reason is given by illustrating the Creator's divine means of supplying the needs of His creation. Look, Jesus said, how God supplies the needs of the birds of the air, yet they need not sow or reap or store up food in barns as we do.
Obviously, Jesus isn't saying that we are to stop sowing and reaping and storing up in barns. The emphasis is on the Creator's ability to supply our needs. After all, we are the crown of God's Creation. Since He so cares even for the birds, how much more does He care for us!
And then there are the other needs of life besides food. Where do we live? What do we wear? And so it is with all of our needs.
I'll let you in on a little secret. God often supplies our needs, answers our prayers, through the actions of other people!
After all, He compares the Church to His Body with Himself being the Head. We as His people act on His behalf. We act as His hands and feet. Not that He needs us, but He has chosen to use us as His representatives to do His Work on Earth.
Reason #2: Worrying is unproductive.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life."
Worrying is like spinning your wheels. It gets you nowhere fast and actually inflicts harm. Did you ever see a car spin its wheels and the resulting clouds of burning rubber? It's a good way to quickly wear out your tires!
In the same way, worrying will probably shorten your life. (Did you notice, Jesus said worrying couldn't ADD a single hour, but He didn't say it couldn't SHORTEN your lifespan!)
Reason #3: Worrying is so unnecessary!
I like to put our relationship to our Heavenly Father in the context of our human relationships. The human family – Father, Mother, and children are patterned after the Heavenly one. God is our Father. The Church is the mother of us all (Gal. 4:26). We are God's children though baptism.
What would you think if your children always worried about their food, clothing, etc.? Now I realize that there are instances where parents, often due to factors beyond their control, wonder where the next meal is coming from.
But, in most cases, parents provide for their children's basic needs. And we have the richest Father in all the universe! The One who created and names all the stars! The point is that we have an all-powerful Heavenly Father. Psalm 145:15 says:
"The eyes of all Creation look to you, and you [God] give them their food at the proper times."
Someone once said that worry is atheism in action. An atheist is one who doesn't believe God exists. When we worry, we are saying:
"There isn't a God who will help me with my financial problems, health problems, marriage problems, etc. I've got to take matters into my own hands."
Reason #4: Worrying is UnChristian.
Remember Jesus' statement?
"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat? Or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them."
It's a sad reality that surveys often find little difference between Christian families and non-Christian ones! This happens when we forget to let our light shine. Christianity becomes a ritual, something for Sunday morning once in awhile!
The Bible speaks of Christianity as a "Way" of life! In the Book of Acts the early NT Church was often described as following "THE WAY" (Acts 9:2; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22).
The Creator saves us solely through the works of Jesus. But, this saving effort is to set us on a whole new way of life. Ephesians 2 tells us:
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves [God even supplies us with the faith!], it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
In closing, Jesus told us what to do as well as what He told us not to do. We are to stop worrying and realize that He will take care of us. But, He also told us something to do:
"But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
Is God first in your life? Is He first when tragedy strikes? Do you remember that you are his precious child and that He cares for you?
The Creator of the entire universe was willing to come and be born of a Virgin. Can you imagine that? And why did the Creator of Heaven and Earth become a human being?
In His human form, this Creator/Man could suffer death. Jesus so loved us that He was willing to be beaten and die a horrible death on the cross so we can be forgiven all we have done against God's laws. He has made us citizens of His Heavenly Kingdom to live forever in peace and joy with Him and all the saints.
So, when trouble comes, look to and trust in your Heavenly Father. Know of His concern, His power, His love for you. Seek His Kingdom first.
If you do, then you will know the Creator's solution to worrying.
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