“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
This week I begin a series of three messages on the subject of worry. I can’t think of a more appropriate time to speak on this issue since there are so many in the congregation that have been affected by the economic downturn. It seems that each week we are getting new prayer requests for people that have lost jobs, and so the tension and anxiety levels are building until it appears there is nothing other to do than worry. The Lord knows how prone we are to this; it is a natural human trait. And here is the key—it is a natural trait, and what Christ came to do is to change our nature.
I don’t know how to put this any other way; I would like to be delicate, but our Lord is not delicate when He deals with this issue. Worry is sin because it grows from lack of faith. Worry impugns God’s character because it denies the veracity of God’s promises. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus is gentle enough to use logical arguments to impress upon us the foolishness of worry, but He does not stop short of calling worrywarts people of little faith.
Worry is not trivial because it has such great power to alter your personal peace and to destroy the effectiveness of your testimony. Worry invites the troubles of tomorrow to invade your world today, and if you are too powerless to take care of the present how will you ever influence the future? Most people will enter into sin because they derive some momentary personal pleasure from it even though they know it will have disastrous consequences later. Perhaps in the stupidity of our hearts we can rationalize sin for momentary pleasure; but worry is a sin that defies all rationalization. There is no pleasure in it today and there is none tomorrow. The almost eager propensity to worry defies any logical explanation.
As we will see in these next three weeks, Christians have been released from anxiety by a Father who truly loved us enough to send His own Son to die for our sins. As the apostle Paul said, a Father who would do this would not withhold any lesser gift. If Christ died to redeem you, would He then turn and abandon you? We may be so foolish, but let us never accuse God of such irrationality.
It is Jesus’ intent in His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount to destroy the personal demons that hinder our service to God. People with little faith do very little. This is why Jesus so carefully illustrates the rationale behind releasing your troubles into the care of God. Never forget that natural traits are always trumped by the supernatural God.
Pastor V. Mark Smith