Let’s look at Paul’s life for encouragement on finding peace in the midst of suffering

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry 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? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:25-34).

IDEA: Some worry is legitimate. How we handle it may not be.

PURPOSE: To help listeners be aware of “legitimate” worries.

Is it ever legitimate for a Christian to worry? We may call it something else, but is it ever right to be “burdened” or “concerned”?

I. The apostle Paul often testified about burdens he carried for other Christians.

He was concerned about Christ-followers staying faithful to the gospel (2 Corinthians 11:23f), and it cost him dearly.

He was concerned about the churches and felt their pain.

He was concerned about a “thorn in the flesh” that God did not remove in order to keep him from being conceited.

He admits he was distressed and hurt until he thought he might die (2 Corinthians 1:31).

II. There is legitimate concern about our sin.

The Beatitudes call it “mourning” (Matthew 5:4).

We pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.”

Conclusion:

What is Jesus talking about when he tells us not to worry?