Why Are You Anxious?
It was 1999, and I was a junior in high school and people were losing their minds. It was the dreaded Y2K. The turning over of the years from 1999 to 2000 was supposed to cause the computers to shut down and thereby turn our world into mass chaos. It was on the news, in conversations, and built up to be a huge problem. As the New year approached there were preparations being made, backups being put in place, and dollars being spent. I remember being gathered with friends on that New Year’s Eve. We were worried the electric would go out (that was supposed to happen, too). The countdown started, the ball dropped and then it happened: nothing! Nothing happened! Time continued to move forward, and the world continued to spin, and all the worry helped in no way to make any of that happen.
Nothing is the result of our worries and anxiousness in this life, and Jesus wants us to be free from it. He addresses it in the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount. We will pick it up in Matthew 6:25. The first word we see is “therefore.” "Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life." Let us pay close attention when we come to these connecting words. It is connecting what was said previously with what is being said presently. In the previous verse Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and money." I think one way of helping this click in our minds is to understand it this way: since we only serve God and since he is God, we have no need to be anxious. Jesus is going to spend the next eight verses explaining why we have no need to worry, and the reason can be summed up in this one statement: God is our Father. As our Father he will provide for us what is best for us. Worry is simply the sin of not trusting in the promises of God. It is a sin that grows where faith is withering.
Before we go forward in this text we need to understand a bit of the context from its original audience. Jesus had just addressed the wealthy and told them not to store up riches on earth . We see from the text that the wealthy stored their wealth in the necessities of life. They would amass more food, more clothing and more crops. These things provided them with a false security and a security that was meant to be found in God. Jesus is addressing the same necessities, but is doing it now in relation to the poor. He says for those of you that don’t have food, and clothing and income, don’t be anxious about it. He gives a couple of reasons to explain why. Therefore, I tell you do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Now, everyone who has ever lived knows we have to have food and drink and clothing to survive, but Jesus suggests there is more to this life than just the physical. What he is wanting his disciples to see, and us to see, is that our hearts should be inclined to heavenly thinking not worldly thinking. A perfect example of this is in 2 Corinthians 4:18, "As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." Living a worry free life is about living a life of faith. It’s about believing this world is temporary, and our eternity is what matters. The “more” Jesus is talking about in this verse is himself. The gospel frees us from a life of worry and anxiousness because it frees us from ourselves. If we are the ones in charge we have much need to worry. Grace says NO! It's Jesus that makes us a child of the Creator. It's Jesus who reconciles us to God and enables us to sit in his lap as a child and not stand before him as a criminal. It's Jesus who makes the life we live here only pale in comparison to the life we will live in eternity. The kryptonite to our worry is not trying harder, it's trusting more. A favorite line to one of my favorites songs is “Stop fighting a fight that has already been won." Jesus is telling us to lay down our worries and rest in his FINISHED WORK. God Bless!