Greatest Sermon in History Part 17
Don't Worry, Trust Jesus
by Greg Hanson
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
June 6, 2004
Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT)
Play “Don’t Worry, Trust Jesus” from One Way
Street, Righteous Pop Music, Vol. 3 (http://www2.mailordercentral.com/oneway)
Don’t Worry, Trust Jesus. It’s a nice thought, a funny song, but is it
realistic? I mean, we all have all kinds of pressures day in and day
out. How could we possibly not worry? Well, this morning we’re going to
talk about that. We’re going to look at why we worry and how we can
Before we get to that, though, let me give you the “Top Ten Signs You
Worry Too Much.”
Top Ten Signs You Worry
10. You have to replace your carpet annually
due to excessive pacing.
9. Antacid tablets have become your sole source of nutrition.
8. You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that
you have said it before.
7. You’re still stockpiling food in case that Y2K bug ever hits.
6. Your cell phone bill consists solely of calls made “just checking
5. You made three trips home this morning making sure you turned the
3. You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that
you have said it before.
2. Your dreams of what could be are replaced by fears of what might be.
1. You’re stressed out that I skipped #4.
Truth is, we all have a tendency to worry.
So let me ask you, what are some things that can cause you to worry?
What are the symptoms of excessive worrying?
(uneasiness, anxiety, inability to relax, tension headaches,
sleeplessness, heart palpitations, feelings of tightness in chest,
belching, nausea, diarrhoea)
Worry is something that we all deal with at some time or other. What is
it? Generally speaking…
Worry: an uneasiness about an
uncertain future event; a fear of the coming consequences of a past
The type of worry Jesus was talking about in
the passage we looked at earlier goes beyond planning for the future
and having justified concerns, such as worrying about your kids playing
in the middle of the road. That kind of worry or concern is good. The
kind of worry He was talking about is the type of worry that can
paralyze and seize control of your life. It’s the type of worry that
consumes you and renders you powerless.
“Normal sensible concern is an important attribute of the mature
person. But worry frustrates one’s best functioning.”
~ Norman Vincent Peale
I read one place that the Greek word translated as worry literally
means “to be drawn in different directions.” So the type of worry Jesus
was talking about is the kind of worry that tears us apart. In English,
the word literally means “to strangle” or “to choke.” And it’s
intimately connected to stress.
Now, when you say the word “worry” it actually sounds pretty harmless.
But worry is the cause of many problems. 43% of all adults suffer
health problems due to worry and stress. 75-90% of all visits to
primary care physicians are worry or stress-related complaints or
disorders. Plus, worry has been linked to all the leading causes of
death including heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, accidents,
and suicide. Over a million people in North America are absent from
work on any given day because of stress related complaints. 15% of us
spend half of our waking hours worrying. And for the record, studies
show that women worry more than men.
The main problem with worry is that it’s useless. It makes no positive
difference. Usually, the things we worry about are fantasy, anyway.
“Worry is the advance interest you pay on troubles that seldom come.”
~ Barbara Johnson
“I’ve dealt with many crises in my life, but few will ever happen.”
~ Mark Twain
Earl Nightingale has made these observations about the things we worry
and get all stressed out about...
Of the Things We Worry
40% will never happen.
30% concern the past which cannot be changed.
12% deal with criticism and petty problems.
10% is related to health which worsens with worry.
8% are real, legitimate concerns.
92% of the things we worry about are
pointless. They’re not going to happen or there’s nothing we can do
about them. But we do have that 8%. There are things that cause us to
worry that aren’t totally unfounded. How do we handle that? In your
notes… five tips for overcoming worry.
for Overcoming Worry:
1. Accept that not everything will
go your way.
Whether you waste your time worrying or not,
stuff happens. That’s just a fact of life. In the passage Chris read
for us earlier…
Matthew 6:34 (NLT)
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Jesus didn’t say we wouldn’t have trouble, He said we would! But in the
face of that trouble, He tells us to relax… He’s got it all under
control. He’ll provide for our most basic of needs, so there’s no point
in worrying about them. And many of the things we tend to worry about
coming down the road may or may not happen, and there’s nothing we can
do about it. So don’t get all pre-occupied and fret over tomorrow.
There are enough things that are a reality in the present that need our
Job 5:7 (NLT)
People are born for trouble as predictably
as sparks fly upward from a fire.
Troubles are a part of life. Not even followers of God are exempt. But
there’s no point in stressing yourself out over it. Not everything’s
going to go your way, and that’s okay. Sure, you can be disappointed,
but don’t be surprised. Hopefully, things do go your way, but there’s
no guarantee of that. You can’t go through life worrying about every
little thing. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. I often say, “Life
isn’t always fun but it’s always interesting.” Just deal with problems
as they arise and move on. Worrying about all the conceivable
possibilities does no good for anyone.
2. Focus on the Positive.
Focus on the Positive. Don’t get distracted
by the negative.
One of the popular extreme sports that I will never try is Tree-skiing.
I’m talking about skiing down a mountain between trees trying to avoid
running into one of them. You watch it and you’ve got to wonder, “How
do they avoid hitting all those trees?” Well, Kim Reichhelm who is a
world champion Tree-skiier tells us how she does it. She says…
“Don’t stare at what you don’t want to hit.”
~ Extreme-skiing world champion Kim Reichhelm on Tree-skiing
Makes sense. If you’re skiing through trees, don’t focus on the trees.
If you do, you’ll hit them. Instead, focus on the spaces between the
trees and aim for them.
I have a problem on the eighth hole at Vista Bay Golf Course. Right in
front of the tee, there’s a water hazard. Now, I know I can hit the
ball over it. I can drive it that far. But more times than not, my ball
lands right in the middle of the lake. Why? Because I tend to focus on
the obstacle. I worry about not hitting my ball in the water and that’s
exactly what I end up doing. Sometimes we cause the very thing we’re
worrying about to happen because we focus on it!
So focus on the positive, not the negative. In the NIV, Jesus said…
Matthew 6:31, 33 (NIV)
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we
eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’… But seek
first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be
given to you as well.
Put Him first… seek His will above everything else, and all those other
things we tend to worry about will fall into place.
3. Keep Life in Perspective.
This is supposedly a letter that a freshman
girl (freshgirl?) wrote to her mother. Maybe you’ve heard it before…
Since I have been away to college now for one full semester, I think
it’s time that I bring you up to date on what is going on. Shortly
after I arrived at college I got bored with dormitory life and stole
$20 out of my roommate’s purse. With that money I rented a Honda bike
and crashed it into a telephone pole a few blocks from college. I broke
my leg, but was rescued by the young doctor who lives upstairs in the
apartment house on the corner. He took me in and nursed me back to
health, set my leg, and thanks to him I’m up and around again. We
wanted to let you know that we’re going to get married as soon as
possible, but we’re having some problems on the blood tests because
there’s some disease that keeps showing up. We do hope, however, that
we will be married before the baby arrives and will be home soon after
to live with you and dad. I know that you will love the baby as much as
you have me, even though it will be of a different religion. But please
try to understand. The reason we are having to come home to stay is
that my doctor friend has flunked out of medical school because of all
the attention that he has had to give my condition.
Really mom, I didn’t steal $20 out of my roommate’s purse, or rent a
Honda bike, or hit a telephone pole or break my leg. I did not meet a
young doctor of a different religion nor are we gong to get married.
There is no disease or test or baby to worry about. And I won’t be home
to live with you and dad and he won’t be either. I am getting a D in
Geometry and an F in Geology, however, and I wanted you to accept these
grades in their proper perspective.
Your Loving Daughter,
Sometimes you just need to get some perspective. The problems may not
be quite so big as they seem at first.
Jesus essentially told us the same thing: Keep life in perspective.
Matthew 6:25-27 (NLT)
“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday
life--whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life
consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t
need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly
Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.”
Notice how ineffective worrying is. “Can all your worried add a single
moment to your life?” Worrying accomplished nothing… at least nothing
positive. If anything, it complicates things and makes you lose
perspective. What you need to do is relax and understand that God cares
deeply for you.
“Worry is like a rocking chair. It will keep you busy but won’t get you
~ Vance Havner
Matthew 10:29-30 (NLT)
“Not even a sparrow, worth only half a
penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the
very hairs on your head are all numbered.”
Wow… a sparrow was only worth half a cent. Today, that means you could
buy 187 sparrows for the price of a litre of gas. They’re cheap, but
God cares for each and every sparrow. And He cares immeasurably more
for you and for me.
The Apostle Paul went through all kinds of things in his life that
could cause him worry and get him down. He had been arrested, he had
rocks thrown at him, he had death threats. But listen to the words he
wrote to the Philippian church:
Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)
Not that I was ever in need, for I have
learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know
how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the
secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach
or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help
of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
In spite of any problem or difficulty, he kept it in perspective. And
we need to do the same. Get some perspective. Know where your hope is
based. Know where your strength comes from. If it comes from God,
you’ve got nothing to worry about. He loves you, and will care for your
most basic of needs. So don’t worry ‘bout it.
4. Take One Day at a Time.
Don’t waste your time and energy getting all
stressed out over things that may never happen. There are enough things
to worry about today without worrying about things that may go wrong
tomorrow. We looked at this verse earlier…
Matthew 6:34 (NLT)
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
A young boy was driving a hayrack down the road when the wagon fell
over in front of a farmer’s house. The farmer heard the noise, came
out, saw the young boy crying. He noticed the wagon and wanted to make
the young boy feel better about what had happened. So he said, “Son,
don’t worry about this, we can fix it. Right now dinner’s ready. Why
don’t you come in and eat with us and then I’ll help you put the hay
back on the rack.” The boy said, “No, I can’t. My father is going to be
very angry with me.” The farmer said, “Now don’t worry, just come in
and have some lunch and you’ll feel better.” The boy said, “I’m just
afraid my father is going to be very angry with me.” But the farmer
took the young boy and they went inside to have dinner. Afterwards, as
they walked outside to the hayrack, the farmer said, “Now, son, don’t
you feel better after that great meal?” The boy said, “Yes but I just
know that my father will be very angry with me.” The farmer said, “I’m
sure he’ll be fine. Where is your father anyway?” The boy said, “He’s
under that wagon.”
~ from Michael McCartney
You know, we do need to address legitimate concerns without
procrastinating. If your father’s stuck under a wagon, help him out.
And the Bible does talk about making wise investments and preparing for
the future. But what we’re talking about this morning is being
controlled by worry and becoming preoccupied with the future, imagining
all kinds of problems that may or may not happen down the road. Don’t
create problems in your mind or focus on things that are out of your
Today marks the 60th anniversary of D-Day. This past week, there have
been ceremonies and festivities all over the world. D-Day was a pivotal
battle in the Second World War when the Allied forces landed at
Normandy in the greatest amphibious invasion in military history. The
planning for that battle took over a year! That was a reasonable and
necessary process for defeating the Nazis. But the planning was based
in reality, and the Generals who planned the attack had some control
over the situation. They planned for the future. But worrying about the
future is different. It paralyzes you, robs you of your ability to
properly prepare for the future, and eventually destroys you. You see
the difference? Between worrying about hypotheticals and things out of
your control and legitimately planning for the future?
Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch woman who suffered in one of the
concentration camps during the Second World War because she helped Jews
escape from the Nazis. You’d think that if anybody had cause to worry
day after day it would be someone in a concentration camp. But this is
what she said.
“Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its
~ Corrie Ten Boom
Take one day at a time. Let God worry about tomorrow, and you deal with
5. Trust that God is in control.
Matthew 6:28-30 (NLT)
“And why worry about your clothes? Look at
the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,
yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they
are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today
and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray
about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has
God promised that He would care for you. And He always keeps His
promises. So why would we ever doubt Him? When we worry, we are
essentially telling God that we don’t believe that He will fulfill His
promise to care for us. Our worrying tells Him that we don’t trust Him.
You know what I believe? I believe it’s ridiculous that we sometimes
get it in our heads that we can handle the pressures of life better
than the one who created life.
“Worry is, and always will be, a fatal disease of the heart—for its
beginning signals the end of faith.”
~ Tony Britt
“Worry is as wicked as swearing. Swearing is taking God’s name in vain,
worry is taking God’s promises in vain.”
~ John Maxwell
One more passage…
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)
“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees
planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of
drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing
Here’s your time to respond to the message
this morning. Would you close your eyes? Think about your life and the
degree to which worry controls you. If you find that you truly trust in
God… and worry has no significant place in your life… then thank God
for the freedom He has given you. If you find that you are constantly
worrying about one thing or another, then take this opportunity to pray
and ask God to help you overcome this bondage. Tell Him you trust Him.
And decide this morning to stop worrying needlessly about the future,
because you know that whatever comes down the road God is ultimately in
control and you can trust Him.