Stewardship of Worry

Johnny Kjaer November 24, 2019 Matthew 6:25-34
Outline

4 Key Principles of Stewardship

God owns everything, you own nothing.

God entrusts you with everything you have.

You can either increase or diminish what God has given you—He wants you to increase it.

God can call you into account at any time—it may be today.

Worry, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common struggles we all experience, so we are not alone (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Worry – literally means a divided mind

Fear – a powerful and habitual focus on a perceived danger or loss that prevents us from properly loving God and others

1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Psalm 55:4-6 - My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.

· The common solutions provided by mankind for worry are not enough

Medicine (biological problem)

Positive thinking (mindset problem)

Avoid stressful situations (circumstance problem)

· Worry, fear, and anxiety are connected to what we value or what concerns us

We are commanded and encouraged to fear God (Proverbs 3:7)

Proverbs 1:7- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 3:7 - Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

· God expects us to show appropriate concern (Jonah 4:10-11; Matthew 23:37-38)

Jonah 4:10-11 - But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

· We are forbidden to fear, worry, and be anxious (Joshua 1:9)

Matthew 6:25 - For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life…

Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything…

Luke 1:30 - The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.”

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

3 responses to Christ’s word that will help us better steward our concerns

Matthew 6:25 - …do not be worried about your life…

Matthew 6:27 - And who of you by being worried…

Matthew 6:28 - And why are you worried about clothing?

Matthew 6:31 - Do not worry then…

Matthew 6:34 - So do not worry about tomorrow…

I. Avoid the Consequences of Worry

A. Your worry does nothing

Matthew 6:27 - And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

B. Your worry adds tomorrow’s concerns and makes a crisis today

Matthew 6:34 - So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

II. Trust God Because He Is More Concerned About You Than You Are

A. Remember what God gives you that is greater than your current concern

Matthew 6:25 - For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 6:24 - No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Hebrews 13:5-6 - Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

B. Look at how God provides for creation less valuable and capable than you

Matthew 6:26 - Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

C. Observe how God cares for momentary things and you are made for eternal purposes

Matthew 6:28-30 - And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But 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!

D. Believe in the power and character of God that He knows and cares for you

Matthew 6:31-32 - Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

III. Focus on God’s Concerns by Following Christ’s Word

A. Live for God first and He gives you all you need

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Philippians 4:20 - And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

B. Pray your concerns to God, because He cares for you

1. If you don’t pray, God opposes you for being proud

1 Peter 5:6-7 - Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

2. If you do pray, God promises you His peace

Philippians 4:6-7 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

C. Seek to love others instead of fearing what you might lose

1 John 4:10-11, 18-19 - In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.

I’m curious this morning how many of you are like me and struggle with fear and worry at times in your life. Now you do not have to raise your hand because I don’t want you to have to worry about what others might think of you if you do raise your hand.

The reality is that from a young age we master fear and worry.

A baby fears that when they are set down they will never be picked up again.

A toddler fears that when they are dropped off somewhere and mom or dad walk away they will not come back to pick them up.

A child fears that the second the light goes out in their bedroom that things under their bed will come to life.

A teen fears that others may not love or accept them.

A college student fears they won’t be able to find a job when they finish with school.

Then as adults fear takes on a whole list of things:

  • Job
    • Did I do my job right?
    • Am I going to get fired?
    • Did I turn in that report on Friday?
    • Is this intern trying to take my job?
  • Finances
    • How am I going to buy Christmas gifts this year?
    • How am I going to ever retire?
    • How will my kids pay for college?
    • Can we afford new tires?
    • Now that I have my finances budgeted, what if I lose the envelopes with all my money in them?
  • Spouse
    • Do they really love me?
    • How could I ever do life without them?
    • Are they happy with me?
    • Are they healthy?
    • Is there a spouse for me?
  • Children
    • Will they grow up to love the Lord?
    • Is anyone hurting them?
    • Am I ruining them?
    • Will they ever learn how to ___________?
  • Health
    • Is this heart burn or a heart attack?
    • A simple piece of advice I have learned. Never google your symptoms at 3 am.
  • You are not the only person battling this temptation to worry or fear.
  • God is always faithful
  • God will provide a way of escape
  • God will make a way for you to be able to endure the temptation.
  • Your worry cannot change what God has ordained in your life.
  • Your worry cannot change the fact that eternity is waiting for all of us.
  • Your worry cannot change the outcome of your circumstances
  • How well does your seat cushion actually float?
  • What happens if you cannot get your life vest to inflate, etc?
  • Can a plane even withstand the impact with the ocean?
  • Can pilots make the plane glide for a long time?
  • By the way… the plane made it there and back with no problems
  • But I wonder how many minutes or hours I lost googling things like the probability of dying in a plane crash versus dying from a shark bite in your bathtub.
  • Where will my food come from? Will I eat well?
  • What will I wear? Will my clothing be acceptable?
  • How much will I have saved up? Can I ever achieve the 6 month stock pile of income saved for the unexpected?
  • Can I stay so healthy I avoid all disease and sickness?
  • If God gave you life is He not able to provide for you?
  • If God gave you a need for clothing is He not able to provide clothing for you?
  • If God allows you to face a trial will He also not promise to be with you in the midst of it?
  • Have you noticed that animals around you seem to eat even though you do not feed them?
  • In my back yard I have 3 bird feeders that far too often sit empty because the birds eat all of the food quicker than I can refill them.
    • And somehow even on the days I do not feed the birds they still manage to eat.
    • Why?
      • Because God is so sovereign over the universe that even the minute details of the feeding of a tiny sparrow falls under His control.
  • How much more important are you who is created in His image than the simple bird?
    • You see as we observe nature we learn about the character of God.
  • Do not be worried because God cares even for the animals around you and they are not as significant as you are.
  • We have woods and fields surrounding our property
  • I am always amazed at the variety of wildflowers that grow there.
  • I didn’t plant them
  • The farmers surrounding me didn’t plant them.
  • They just grew there and they add beauty to the landscape.
  • In fact these verses argue that even King Solomon with all his money, materials, and tailors was unable to be clothed more beautifully than these flowers.
  • These flowers did nothing to be beautiful.
  • They didn’t even work out to be more beautiful.
  • They just exist because made them to exist.
  • They are just beautifully blossoming for a temporary time frame because God caused them to exist.
  • If he cares so much for the flower, will He not care for you even more.
  • The root of worry is founded in unbelief.
  • Do you trust the God who can clothe an entire field to care for you?
  • They ought to look different because I understand who God is, because I know the goodness of God, I know God cares for me, and I am living for goals that eternal and not simply temporal.
  • This comes by storing up treasures in heaven.
  • Not investing in the fleeting satisfactions and possessions of earth.
  • Sharing the Gospel with the lost.
  • Raising your children in the Word of the Lord.
  • Living with eternity in the forefront of your mind.
  • This means to live in submission to will of God.
  • Or simply meaning to live a life that is committed to living according to revealed will of God as given to us in the Word of God.
    • A life that pursues purity over pleasure
    • A life seeks holiness over happiness
    • A life that is set apart from the world.
  • Humbly prayed trusting that God knows what is best for you.
  • Humbly prayed trusting that God will be with you no matter what may come.
  • Humbly rested knowing that God can give you peace that surpasses all comprehension.

This morning we are continuing our series on biblical stewardship Growing by Following Christ’s Word from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. This morning, Jesus is wanting us to grow by following His word in the area of worry. We are talking about the Stewardship of Worry.

Background for Worry

  • ­Worry, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common struggles we all experience, so we are not alone (1 Cor. 10:13).

In order to better understand what worry or fear is let’s define these words.

Worry – literally means a divided mind

In Scripture this word is translated as worry, anxious, anxiety or care.

In other words, we are so concerned about something that our minds are divided. We are unsettled in our thinking about it. We are conflicted on what to even think about it.

Fear – a powerful and habitual focus on a perceived danger or loss that prevents us from properly loving God and others

Before we get to far I want you to notice that there are several different reasons that people have fear or worry. Some of these fears and worries come from legitimate times of hardship.

It is in these moments or opportunities that our worship is often revealed. Is our hope in Christ or in something else.

And while we may struggle to focus on the goodness of God in the middle of these hardships we can trust fully in the promises of God. Like any other temptation that tries to lead us away from our solid anchor in the promises of God.

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)

This passage reminds us of these helpful truths.

However, this a real struggle that we see many different people in the Bible struggle with.

Psalm 55:4-6, “My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.”

If you are here and struggle with worry remember the Bible is full of examples of people who struggled with worry and in the end God worked in their life.

So what are the common ways people try to deal with worry and fear?

  • The common solutions provided by mankind for worry are not enough.
    • Medicine (biological problem)

Fear/Worry/Anxiety does have an impact and effect on our physical bodies, but biology is not always the cause or source of the fear.

Labeling us with what we know we fear is not that helpful for fighting fear.

Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders or Claustrophobia— fear of tight spaces

“Phobias – Fear of ____________”

You may know what it is that you fear, but how do you overcome that fear.

    • Positive thinking (mindset problem)

In other words, you need to adjust the way that you think about life.

You just need to focus more on being happy and less on being scared.

No matter how many happy thoughts you may try to think in order to get through these times of worry and fear, it will fall short if there is no anchor into the truths of God’s Word.

    • Avoid stressful situations (circumstance problem)

In other words you need to avoid the circumstances that cause you to fear or worry.

This doesn’t work in the long term because even though you avoid going to the doctor for the diagnosis you still have the physical ailments to work through.

Instead we need to realize that our …

  • Worry, fear, and anxiety are connected to what we value or what concerns us.
    • We are commanded and encouraged to fear God (Prov. 3:7)

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 3:7 “Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

It is expected that we should have reverential fear of the Lord.

An understanding of how much greater God is than what we can ever fully comprehend leads us to live a life motivated to

So the fear of the Lord is a good thing because it keeps us anchored on what really matters.

    • God expects us to show appropriate concern (Jonah 4:10-11; Matt. 23:37-38)

“But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” Jonah 4:10-11 NIV

There are appropriate things that we ought to be concerned or worried over. Jonah was distraught and upset because the plant he was seeking shelter under had died. God was pointing out to him that he did not even have anything to do with the plant and he was concerned with it dying. God was desiring Jonah to have some concern over the lost 120,000 people in the city of Ninevah.

We ought to be concerned about the condition of our world that is lost and without the Gospel. We ought to be concerned about those in our city who have needs that we could meet. We ought to be concerned about how to share the glorious Gospel of Christ with our neighbors.

    • We are forbidden to fear, worry, and be anxious (Josh. 1:9; Luke 1:30; John 14:27)

This sinful expression of concern is when we do not trust God with our concerns (unbelief), and value our concerns more than God’s concerns. When we do this, we sin by worry/anxiety/fear because we are not handling our concerns in a way that please God. We are over-concerned regarding our present problems and the future so much that it keeps us from living in a way that pleases God.

Matthew 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life…”

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything…”

Luke 1:30 “The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

With all of these thoughts in mind…

Please open your bibles to ­Matthew 6:25-34. That is located on page _______ in the back section of the New Testament in the bible under the chair in front of you. This morning we are wanting to grow to become better stewards of worry.

Read Matthew 6:25-24.

Matthew 6:25–34 (NASB95)

The Cure for Anxiety

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to 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, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,

29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

30 “But 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!

31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’

32 “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

There are 3 responses to Christ’s word that will help us better steward our concerns.

Pray!

You may have noticed as we were reading our passage that there are a lot of refences to not worrying. In order to better understand these admonitions let’s peek quickly at some of the verses we talked about last week with Pastor Folden.

Matthew 6:19–24 (NASB95)

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

So we were reminded last week not to build our hope on the things of this earth: What is in your storehouse. Where is your focus in life? Who is your master?

As we build off of those thought in these verses today we can quickly recognize how easy it is to lose our proper focus.

If my treasure is laid up here on earth…

If my focus in on the wrong place…

If I am following the wrong master…

Then it is natural to worry about the things of this life in a way that leads us away from trusting in God.

Did you notice how many times in these few short verses we were reminded not to worry?

do not be worried about your life…” (v.25)

“And who of you by being worried…” (v.27)

“And why are you worried about clothing?” (v.28)

“Do not worry then…” (v.31)

“So do not worry about tomorrow…” (v.34)

I. Avoid the consequences of worry (v.27, 34)

A. Your worry does nothing.

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (v.27)

What good does it do to worry about things? Is anything changed because you are worried about it?

Christ asks the question can you add more time to your life because you worried about the length of your life?

What good is done by lying in bed restless as you look up the symptoms that you are experiencing or even worry about the diagnosis you were recently given?

B. Your worry adds tomorrow’s concerns and makes a crisis today.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (v.34)

One of the issues with worry is that we think about what may come in the future with a fear of things that are outside of our control.

In this passage we are reminded that if we are worried about tomorrow we are simply compounding our lives by adding unnecessary burdens the problems we have to deal with today already.

4 year ago in June I prepared for an airplane flight to Albania with 20 teens and youth leaders. One of the issues I had to work through in my worrisome mind was the thought of flying in an airplane.

The longest flight I had been on to this point was a short flight from Nashville, TN to Kansas City, Mo.

And so for a few days before we left I wrestled with the thoughts of being suspended in the air in a giant pop can over the ocean. I know I probably annoyed my world traveler wife with ridiculous questions about air travel.

What was I doing? I was taking a hypothetical situation and allowing the worry over it affect my today.

Your worry only affects your today by making you anxious about the unknown things of tomorrow.

Now that we have seen the consequences of worry let’s look at the reason we ought to trust in God instead of worrying in our own thoughts.

II. Trust God because he is ­more concerned about you than you are (v.25-26, 28-32).

A. Remember what God gives you that is greater than your current concern.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (v.25)

This verse builds of the text from verse 24.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

You cannot serve the things of this world as being the supreme issues of life to worry about.

Instead this verse reminds that there are even bigger issues of life.

Hebrews 13:5–6 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.

What will man do to me?”

By the way just a quick side note. This does not mean you should not be diligent to work for food, clothing and to be a wise steward of your funds.

This verse is reminding us though that in the midst of hardships God is our helper that will never leave or forsake us.

God cares for you more than you recognize in the midst of anxious worry.

Just look at the examples of creation.

B. Look at how God provides for creation less valuable and capable than you.

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (v.26)

Notice how nature is provided for.

C. Observe how God cares for momentary things and you are made for eternal purposes.

“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But 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!” (v.28-30)

Few things are as beautiful as a field of wildflowers.

These verses end by Jesus saying the worrier is of little faith.

D. Believe in the power and character of God that he knows and cares for you.

Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (v.31-32)

These verses are here to remind us that God the creator of you knows the things that you need and will provide those things for you.

As a follower of Christ my life should look different to those around me when it comes to the concerns of life.

III. Focus on God’s concerns by following Christ’s word (v.33).

A. Live for God first and he gives you all you need.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (v.33)

Instead of a life of worry about the things of this world live your life for the kingdom and righteousness of God.

How do I live seeking first the kingdom of God?

How do I live seeking first the righteousness of God?

As we pursue those things that really matter like His kingdom and His righteousness we will be provided for.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:20

B. Pray your concerns to God, because he cares for you.

i) If you don’t pray, God opposes you for being proud.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

Prayer requires our humility to depend on God to meet the needs and provide the strength for the things we are praying about.

Pride causes us to believe that we can meet our own needs and do not need to pray.

Our prayer life indicates where our worship really lies, either in your own strength or humbly in Christ.

ii) If you do pray, God promises you his peace.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

By praying and humbly taking your requests to God you allow the peace that only God can give to you to guard your heart and mind.

Instead of googling your symptoms at 3 am what if you…

Pray instead of worrying!

C. Seek to love others instead of fearing what you might lose.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another […] There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:10-11, 18-19

Instead of focusing inwardly on what your concerns are, turn your attention to loving and caring for others. Focus on loving others like God has loved us. Point others to the love that casts out fear by demonstrating the love of God.

Johnny Kjaer

Roles

Pastor of Student Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.A. - Church Ministries, Maranatha Baptist University
M. DIV. - Faith Bible Seminary
D.Min. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (in progress)

Johnny is married to Tori. They have 3 children Leif, Tryggve, and Kjirsti. He has been a part of the youth ministry at Faith since his internship began in 2010. He has been in the position of Pastor of Student Ministries since 2013. Johnny is an ACBC certified counselor. He also serves the church by directing the Lafayette Living Nativity and the Lafayette Passion Play.

Read Johnny Kjaer's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Kjaer to Faith Church.