Living in the goodness of God
Worry—feeling uneasy or troubled—is a reality today. It’s human nature to be concerned about the bad situations in our world and in our personal lives, but if we’re not careful, worry will go beyond what is reasonable. Like a rocking chair, worry is always in motion, but it never gets you anywhere. So why do we struggle with it? Worry can keep you from finding peace and lasting happiness.
Something To Talk About:
God says, “I don’t want you worrying about anything.” Why? Why does God not want me worrying about anything? Well, in the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us five reasons why you should never, never, ever, ever worry about anything.
- Worry is unreasonable: Why is worry unreasonable? For one, we typically worry about the wrong thing. If you’re really going to worry, and God says you shouldn’t, but if you were going to worry, worry about stuff that’s going to matter in ten years or 100 years or 1,000 years or for eternity. Don’t worry about stuff that’s not going to matter tomorrow. Secondly, we worry about something we can’t change. Either way, if you can change it, change it. If you can’t change it, why worry about it? We think by worrying about something, we’re actually controlling them. You’re not. Thirdly, worrying often makes mountains out of molehills. When you worry, it gets bigger. If you keep thinking about it, pretty soon you make it much bigger than it is. Worry is unreasonable.
- Worry is unnatural: We’re the only creature in the entire universe that worries. Cows don’t worry. Cats don’t worry. Dogs don’t worry. Just humans do. We weren’t born worriers. We learned how to do it. Jesus says in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Birds don’t do anything except “birdy” things. They tweet. They fly around. But they don’t sow or reap. Yet God still feeds them. If God feeds the birds, he’ll feed you. Why worry? Worry is unnatural.
- Jesus said worry is unhelpful: Jesus says, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:27) Worry cannot change anything. In fact, the only thing worry can change is you, and it can make you miserable. That’s what it does. It won’t change that person you’re worried about. It will only change you, make you more miserable. Now, follow me on the logic of this. Worry cannot change anything in your past. It’s already done. Your past is past so why are you worried about it? Worry cannot control your future no matter how much you think you can, you’re not controlling it by worrying about it. The only thing that worry changes is you. It makes you miserable. Do you want to be healthier? Stop worrying. You’ve got to learn to trust God. Worry is unhelpful, it is unnatural, it is unreasonable.
- Worry is unnecessary: Jesus says, “And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matthew 6:30) He says there’s no need to worry because God has promised to take care of you. The Lord is your shepherd. He feeds, He leads, and He meets needs. He says there’s no need to worry because your Heavenly Father will take care of you. You have value. Look at the cross. Jesus died for you on the cross. That shows how much value you have to God. You’re not junk. You’re not worthless. No, no. You’re valuable to God because you’re His child. God will meet your needs. He created you. He saved you. He put his Spirit in you when you placed your trust in Jesus. If He’s going to carry you to heaven, he’ll carry everything else while you’re here on earth. He’s saying worry is unnecessary.
- Worry is unbelief: God has promised to take care of all your needs. What’s not included in everything? Nothing. Everything you need is because of what Jesus has done for us. When you worry, every time you worry, you’re acting like an atheist. You’re acting like there is no God, there are no promises in the Scripture. I’m just out here on my own. Worry is practical unbelief. Listen, I don’t really believe God will help me out of this mess. When we start defending ourselves and we start taking matters into our own hands and we assume that we have to figure it all out rather than trusting, that’s called playing God. Philippians 4:19 says, “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need” (MSG). What’s not included in everything? Nothing. God knows about your physical needs, your social needs, your career needs, your family needs, even your sexual needs. There is nothing you could ask God for that he does not already know that you need.
- What were some of your silliest worries you had as a child growing up?
- Are you prone to be a “worry wart?” On the scale from “not a care in the world” to “anxious 24/7,” where do you naturally tend to fall? How have current events affected that number?
- If worry is irrational and unhelpful, what are some spiritual disciplines we might undertake to minimize worry in our lives? Name one or two practices you already exercise that would help in this process?
- In Matthew 6 25-27, Jesus tells the listeners “not” to worry about our lives? Why does he use the illustration of birds and flowers to drive home this point?
- Worry cannot change the past or control the future. It only makes us miserable today. Why do we spend so much time worrying about things? Since worrying is a learned behavior, how do you believe it can be unlearned?
- Summarize the benefits of relying on God for everything?
- What things do can we do to experience God’s peace instead of worrying?
- Where’s the balance between being content and yet trying to better your situation or solve certain problems?
- How does your life change if you stop worrying?
- What can you do this week to reduce the level of worry?
Take one thing home with you:
Anytime you worry, it reveals a particular area of your life where you have not given God first place. Any area of your life where God is not in control is going to be a source of insecurity and worry. The answer is to give God access to every part of our life. He already knows what’s in there. In fact, God knows your needs better than you do. You’ve got needs you don’t even know you’ve got. “These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:32-33) When you make Jesus Christ number one in every area of your life, it simplifies your priorities and gives you a lot less to worry about.