Worry and Fear

Brent Aucoin June 25, 2017 Matthew 6:19-34, Phil 4:4-9
Outline

1) Understanding Worry

a. The root word comes from a Greek word that means “to divide or tear.” Worry can be described as a “divided mind” that rips/tears at our soul. It is a fearful preoccupation with perceived loss or harm that might come my way.

b. Worry is idolatry—fearing the loss of earthly pleasures and treasures.

Matthew 6:19, 24-25 - Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal…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. 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.

c. Worry is unbelief—failing to trust in the goodness of your Heavenly Father.

Matthew 6: 30-32 - 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! 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.

Worry is appropriate for spiritual orphans but not children of the King.

d. Worry is laziness—it’s like trying to go somewhere in a rocking chair but not as soothing! Worry will prevent you from directing your energy towards handling today’s issues and appropriately planning for tomorrow.

Matthew 6: 27, 34 - And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? ... So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

2) Solutions for Worry (Matthew 6)

a. Know that God desires his children to be characterized by singleness of mind, peace, a quiet soul, a stable disposition (John 14:27)

Matthew 6: 22 - The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

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.

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.

b. Seek God for your security and not the false security of earthly pleasures and treasures (Matthew 6:33)

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

c. Trust God in caring for you despite circumstances (Matthew 6:30-32)

Matthew 6:30-32 - 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! 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.

Isaiah 26:3 - The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.

d. Solve today’s problems today and appropriately plan for tomorrow (Matthew 6:27, 34)

Matthew 6:27, 34 - And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

e. Practical Steps—when you begin to feel the angst

i. Stop and think through (or write out) what is the circumstance that is disturbing your soul.

ii. Distinguish between worry and appropriate concern.

 

Useless Worry

  • Focus on “my loss”
  • Fear-based
  • Self-oriented
  • Inactive
  • Despair
  • Faithless (as indicated by prayerlessness, untrue thinking, and inaction)
  • Drains you and others

Biblical Need Meeting

  • Focus on a need
  • Love-based
  • Solution-oriented
  • Active
  • Hopeful
  • Faith (indicated by prayer, true thinking, and action)
  • Edifies you and others

 

iii. List mentally (or on paper) what earthly comfort, pleasure, treasure, or security you fear you might lose or not have.

iv. Contrast the earthly security you fear losing to God’s promised security you cannot lose to recognize your idolatry and confess it.

v. Identify how you are not believing God’s promises to care for you and confess your unbelief.

vi. Rehearse God’s promises to care for His children and walk with them through trials.

vii. Work to solve today’s problems and plan for tomorrow.

1. Pray for your concern

2. Set out to solve the concern biblically if it is within your control

3. Determine how to love the people involved in your concern biblically and do so

4. Make a plan for potential future concerns

viii. Repeat until you wrestle your noisy soul into a quiet soul.

3) The Basis for Supernatural Peace—The Promise of the presence of God with you always: Christ took your lack of peace (separation from God) so that you might have peace with God forever.

Philippians 4:4-9 - Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 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. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Acts 16:25-30 - But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Jesus Christ, willing, chose the lack of peace (separation from His Father) so that you and I could have peace—the promise of being with God forever.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Thank you for attending with us here at Faith on Father’s Day

Father’s I want to give you some parenting advice…

But in general don’t be a father who …

Mother’s let me give you a bit of advice if you leave your baby home with Dad please don’t be shocked when this happens…or this…or…

Fathers may your tribe increase if you are so engaged with your children that you build Life Size transformers in your back yard, or better yet you make the wheel chair of your handicapped son a Snow speeder, or you let your daughter do this to you.

Father’s for all that you do…

Fathers and males,  you know God uniquely designed you to be leaders in the home and society?

In these pictures, we have seen Fathers using some of their God given energies to lead their kids to enjoy life.

We know there are countless ways a Father can engage with their children other than these fun ways.

Fathers can engage spiritually in leading the family to speak learn God’s ways together

Fathers can engage emotionally with the family in hurting when the family hurts or rejoicing when the family rejoices

Fathers can engage financially in working hard to provide for their family

God made Men in general and fathers in particular to fulfill the role of a leader who engages with people to love and lead them.

Now, if I were to ask you what is one of the most significant dangers that paralyzes Fathers from leading and engaging…what would you say that was?

CEO’s have labeled this deficiency in employees as one of the greatest hindrances to productivity.

It may surprise you…. And it may not sound very significant to you…

Here it is….

The inability or unwillingness to make decisions

If you do not make decisions in life you cannot…

  • Make a Star Wars snow speeder out of your wheel chair bound son’s wheel chair.
  • You cannot dress up with as Elsa for your daughter
  • More significantly, you will not make decisions spiritually, financially, or even emotionally for and with your family.

Now there may be a myriad of reasons why you and I struggle in making decisions.

But on Father's day today, I want to talk about one.

Understanding and Handling Worry in Christ Alone

Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 6:19 on page 5 in the NT, the back section of the Bible in the chair in front of you.

We are currently in our summer series entitled

Handling Problems in Christ Alone

Which is a development of our Theme this year

In Christ Alone

Which we chose because 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 thesis to the door of the Wittenberg Church which started a movement known as the reformation.

The reformation brought clarity to God’s plan of Salvation by emphasizing that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as found in the scriptures alone to the Glory of God alone.

As we turn our attention to Matthew 6, let me remind you of the context.

Matthew 6 is in the section of the Bible known as the sermon on the Mount.

The sermon on the mount spans Matthew 5, 6, and 7 and was Jesus’ teaching on the kind of person that God wanted his people to be.

When Jesus starting teaching, He opening salvo, His first shot was “Here is the kind of person that God would be pleased with.”

The sermon on the mount is similar to what happened on another mountain…Mt. Sinai  when Moses went to get the LAW of God and then brought the Law of God to the people of Israel.

Both the Law in the OT, and the Sermon on the Mount in the NT speak to what God values in His people

      Here is how God’s people were designed to live

      Here is how God’s people find the most fulfillment in life

      Here is how God’s people live the most Blessed life

Let me say this…it is a high standard and the sermon on the mount is a perfection of God’s righteousness

And mere human has lived out the sermon on the mount even closely on their own.

Immediately after Matthew 5, 6, 7 Matthew details the ministry of Jesus where He embodies perfectly the righteousness of God and shows us He was the only one who lived out the sermon on the mount.

Now, notice that we are going to a passage in Matthew 6 that tells us what God wants his children to be like.

And notice that worry is not on the top 10 list.

But, let me ask you….is there a command against murder? (yes)

Is there a command against adultery (yes)

Is there a command against worry (Yes, in this passage 3).

Yet sometimes we do not believe that worry is just as much of a sin as murder and adultery.

Let’s read

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.

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.

In the time that we have left we are going to organize our thoughts around three points

  • Understanding Worry
  • Solutions for Worry
  • The Basis for a Supernatural Peace
    • The root word comes from a Greek word that means “to divide or tear.” Worry can be described as a “divided mind” that rips/tears at our soul. It is a fearful preoccupation with perceived loss or harm that might come my way.
    • Worry is idolatry—fearing the loss of earthly pleasures and treasures.
    • Worry is unbelief—failing to trust in the goodness of Your Heavenly Father.

1.     Understanding Worry

Did you know I am an expert at this topic?

Not because I have studied it so much but because I am beset by it!

God has given me more and more victory over it through my 48 years of life.

As I have become aware of my family history, I have discovered that my grandfather was a worrier, my mom struggles with this and guess what…I do as well.

So I know it!

Let’s illustrate what worry is so that we all get the picture.

I want you to put yourselves in the shoes of an expert worrier.

Some of you don’t have to imagine very hard

I am going to give you a scenario and then you let your mind go wild and tell me the progression of a worrier’s thoughts. Okay?

Scenario #1:  Imagine that you are a pastor and you just completed what you think is your best sermon ever. You nailed the text of Scripture, you nailed the theology, you nailed the sermon outline with three parallel point, nicely alliterated and even rhyming. And on Sunday you preach your heart out. Then on Sunday when you are greeting people after the sermon, nobody says a word about your sermon.

[Interact with audience]

If you are a worrier, what is thought number 1…

                                                                        Thought number 2….

                                                                        Thought number 3

Scenario #2: Imagine that you are a mom (here on Father’s day) and you son just got his license. He asks for the keys for the car and so he can go out tonight. You reluctantly give him the keys (with Father’s permission of course). Now he has a curfew of 10:00 and it is now 10:01.

[Interact with audience]

 If you are an expert worrier what is thought number 1….?

                                    Thought number 2…

                                    Thought number 3….

Our thoughts go there don’t they?

All we know is its 10:01 we don’t know that our child has been in an accident.

Or all we know in the first scenario is that nobody said a word? We don’t know that people did not like the sermon.

But our minds spin out of control?

Our minds go places and that divided mind….

Causes you angst…

Causes you tension

That tension over time released in your body without accomplishing anything can begin to harm your body with increased heart rate, ulcers, fatigues

Worriers whose mind race at night rob themselves of the spiritual discipline of rest and sleep.

Worriers whose mind are divided will never be able to lead in a job or families because they cannot make decisions….

It is like the mule who was standing between two haystacks but he starved to death because he couldn’t decide from which haystack to eat…What will happen if I eat from that one...What will happen if I eat from ….that one….

Why is worry so serious?

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

What do we worry about?

      Finances

      Relationships

      Earthly provisions

      Job promotion fathers

      How we look in front of others

     

Notice the contrast in this text, worry is connected with serving another master…the item/object you are worried about is your master….it becomes your Lord.

When something other than God is your Lord what is that called?  Idolatry….

And Matthew says for this reason, “DO NOT WORRY”

           

Worry is idolatry and not what God wants His children to be characterized by.

Also…

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.

When we worry what are we not believing about God?

  • God is Good {God if you were good, you would give me this or that…}
  • God is all knowing  {apparently God forgot I needed that promotion}
  • God Cares {we think God’s care is determined by how much my life on this earth works out the way I want it to}
    • Worry is laziness—it's like trying to go somewhere in a rocking chair but not as soothing! Worry will prevent you from directing your energy towards handling today’s issues and appropriately planning for tomorrow.

Worry is appropriate for spiritual orphans but not children of the King.

Worry is

27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? ...34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The easiest thing to do when we encounter a situation that we don’t like and begin to fear…is let your mind go wild…let it go wherever…

But it accomplishes nothing!!!

What does the activities that we have humorously illustrated do for you?

Do they magically make your son safe?

Do they magically make people like you?

No, they accomplish nothing!

Although worry cannot add anything to your life can worry take away anything from your life?

Yes….peace of mind, heath, relationships, the opportunity to lead because you will make a decision…when you are worrying your focus is on you…and therefore it takes away the greatest blessing of your life…the opportunity to love others….

Worry is the fruit of a divided chaotic mind that has spiritual roots in idolatry, unbelief, and laziness.

Fathers…leading your home spiritually are you worried that you won’t know what you should and you will look bad?

Fathers are you worried that your wife my ridicule your efforts and you will feel bad…

Fathers at work, are you not productive, because you fear new projects or circumstances that might change what you are comfortable with…therefore you say no and become marginalized?

Men, in your church service, are you fearing taking the next step because you might fail in looking silly…teaching VBS…or really engaging…

Why do I do this….?

2.     Solutions for Worry (Matt 6)

Okay, let’s think about worry logically…

If worry is a divided, chaotic, troubled mind…what is the opposite of a worrisome mind?

A single focused mind, a steadfast mind, a mind and soul at peace.

If worry is laziness…what is the opposite of laziness?  Hard work

If worry is unbelief…what is the opposite of unbelief? Belief

If worry is Idolatry—having a lord of earthly pleasures and treasures—what is the opposite…Seeking God first…

  • Know that God desires his children to be characterized by singleness of mind, peace, a quiet soul, a stable disposition (John 14:27)

(Comment as you read the Scripture)

Matt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.”

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.

Phil 4:6-7Be 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.

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

Matt 6:30–32“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

Isaiah 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.

Matt 6:27, 34 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?.. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

[Reference Resource for the Men here today]

Now, I would like to close with one last help to you today.

The title of the message has been Handling Worry in Christ Alone.

I would like to conclude with explaining how the “Christ alone” part revolutionizes worry and gives us peace…

3. The Basis for Supernatural Peace—The Promise of the presence of God with you always. Christ took your lack of peace (separation from God) so that you might have peace with God forever.

The other passage of scripture that is commonly reference in regard to worry is Phil 4

Please turn there also with me. Phil 4 is on page 156 in the NT, in the back section of the Bible in the chair in front of you.

As you turn to that passage, let me again set the context for you.

The apostle Paul is instructing the Philippians on their worry.

The Philippian church was facing several challenges and in the midst of those challenges, they were tempted to worry and fear and become immobilized as a church…

Here is what Paul writes to them…

Phil 4:4–9 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 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.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Now, I want you to lock to for a moment two things

  • the basis for Paul’s exhortation not to worry…He says, let your gentle spirit be known to all men…the Lord is near…the Lord is with you…
  • And secondly, Paul says, Philippians, you have heard and seen this in me….

The Philippians had seen Paul in the midst of difficulty have a quiet soul, a calm disposition and rejoicing always.

Now, I can prove this, but I suspect at least, Paul had in mind the events surrounding the Philippian church beginning.

If you remember, In Acts 16, the apostle Paul came to the city of Philippi and began preaching the Gospel.

The first convert was a Lady named Lydia, a seller of purple dye.

She was the first charter member of the Philippian Church

Next Paul, cast out a demon of a little slave girl who was owned by a master making money off of her.

The slave girl was the second charter member of the Philippian church.

When Paul cast out a demon, the master lost his source of income and he set the city in an uproar.

Paul and his traveling companion Silas, were beaten and thrown in jail.

Do you remember what Paul and Silas were doing in Jail at midnight?

Acts 16:25 “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Notice the demeanor of Paul and Silas…gentle spirit…rejoicing always…why? They knew the presence of the Lord was with them.

Their worry-free quiet soul in the midst of terrible circumstances enabled them to accomplish the mission and the Philippian jailer was converted because of the way Paul and Silas were worry free….

Talk about being effective….

That is the kind of Peace that Paul says…the Peace that surpasses understanding.

That is the kind of Peace that Christ promised in John 14:27…Peace I leave with you not as the world gives peace….

What is the basis of that kind of peace.

Now, this is the last logic you have to follow me on today.

Compare Paul and Silas in Jail and Christ on the Cross.

Paul and Silas in Jail were singing praises because they knew God was with them.

On the cross was Christ singing praises?

No, he did cry out in a song…but it was a song of lament from the Psalms…MY GOD MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME..

AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME CHRIST, AS HE WAS BEARING YOUR AND MY SINS, EXPERIENCED FOR THE FIRST TIME THE LACK OF THE FATHER’S PRESCENCE.

HE WAS IN ANGUSIH NOT SIMPLY FROM THE NAILS IN HIS HANDS AND FEET AND THE THORS ON HIS BROW BUT BECAUSE HIS FATHER WAS NOT PRESENT WITH HIM AS HIS BORE SIN.

HE BECAME SIN FOR US AND HIS HOLY FATHER TURNED HIS FACE AWAY.

Jesus Christ willing chose the lack of peace (separation from His Father) so that you and I could have peace—the promise of being with God forever.

[Gospel appeal]

Fathers how is worry and fear hindering you from being the kind of husband, father, servant at the church, employee that God is calling you to be.

Fathers how is worry and fear hindering you from making the decisions to engage with family, church, work and boldly carry out the mission of our God with single focus.

Your handling of worry, may even lead someone to Christ, because you display a quiet soul, the peace that surpasses understanding and those around you say “what must I do to be saved?”

 

Brent Aucoin

M.S. - Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Central Baptist Seminary
Th.M. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D. - Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Brent Aucoin and his wife, Janet, came on staff in July of 1998.  Pastor Aucoin serves as overseer of Faith Seminary and Soul Care Ministries at Faith Church.

View Pastor Aucoin's Salvation Testmony Video