Sermons from St Faith's
Not to Worry!
Jackie Parry, February 23rd, 2014
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what
you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will
wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body
more important than clothes?”
Worry! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a worrier. I worry
about work, money, health, preaching. I especially worry about
those I love and care for, especially my family, just as any loving
parent worries for their family as they go their own way in the
world. Worrying is not unique to me, but is something which we
all endure at some point in our lives, in fact it is very much part
of human nature to worry about things, and being a Christian doesn’t
exclude us from this.
But really, what’s the use of worrying? It doesn’t help; it
burdens and stops us from thinking straight. It makes us
irrational and irritable. When we think rationally about it,
we realise that worrying about a situation, or a person, doesn’t
help at all, because it may stop rational thinking and action.
But there is a difference between worry and genuine concern: worry
immobilises, but concern moves you into action.
In our gospel reading this morning, Jesus tells of the importance of
not worrying, of having faith and trusting in God. Because of the
ill effects of worry, Jesus tells us not to worry about those needs
which God promises to supply, because worry can damage our health,
cause the object of our worry to consume our thoughts, disrupt our
productivity, negatively affect the way we treat others, and reduce
our ability to trust in God. Jesus asks us to seek first His
kingdom and His righteousness means to turn to God first for help,
to fill our thoughts with His desires, and to serve and obey Him in
I recall on one occasion that I was very worried about something,
and really in quite a panic about it. I was nervous and
irritable, and I couldn’t think of anything but this worry. And
then, in a more rational moment, I decided to pray about it. I
recall saying to God, you know, I really can’t deal with this
anymore, and I need you to help me, so I’m going to lay these
worries at the cross and trust in you, and pray that you will calm
me and guide me.
Almost instantaneously, I felt calmer, as though the burden had been
lifted from my shoulders. I felt lighter, relaxed and in
control. I had put my faith in God, and he heard my prayer, answered
me and helped me to deal with the situation.
We need to have faith and trust in him. There is a difference
between worry and genuine concern: worry immobilises, but concern
moves people into action. Planning for tomorrow is time well spent,
but worrying about tomorrow is time wasted, and sometimes it’s
difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking
ahead about goals, steps and schedules, and trusting in Gods
guidance. When done well, planning can help to alleviate
worry. Worries, by contrast, are consumed by fear and people
can find it difficult to trust in God, letting their plans interfere
with their relationship with Him.
Worrying causes people to be fearful, and fear is a terrible
thing. We lose confidence, hope, belief in others and more
especially, in God and in ourselves. We not only lose the
ability to act, to do positive things, but we are unable “to be
Christian disciples for God”. Fear enslaves us. We shouldn’t
let worries about tomorrow, affect our relationship with God today.
I’ve read that if you did a count in the bible, you’d find that the
command not to be afraid occurs three hundred and sixty five times –
one for each day of the year and it’s interesting to note that the
biblical message, is keen to rid us of worry and fear. St John
assures us that the answer is found in love: “Perfect love casts out
fear”. And God’s love is perfect!
Our faith is the only answer to fear. As a way of living,
faith links us into that Power greater than ourselves: into our
feelings, our mortality, our limited visions and horizons. It
links us into a community of hope in discipleship, of tangible signs
of Gods’ presence, of companionship on the road. It also gives
us an opportunity of developing a personal spirituality, an inner
life, and a stable life amidst the transient and sometimes hostile
environments we inhabit.
Faith allows us to face such feelings head-on, to acknowledge their
existence, and to let them go. e
Here are 7 reasons for not worrying:
1. The same God who created the world and all living creatures, can
be trusted with the details of your life.
2. Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today.
3. Worrying is more harmful than helpful
4. God does not ignore those who depend on him.
5. Worry shows a lack of faith in, and understanding of, God.
6. There are real challenges in the world which God wants us to
pursue, and worrying keeps us from them.
7. Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry.
So, what is the answer? Well, Faith is the answer. Jesus
says that even when we have faith the size of a mustard seed, it
will still enable us to move mountains! And it’s only when we
begin to get that perspective in our lives that anxiety will cease
and the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding will keep
our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God. Because God
is faithful and his faithfulness endures for ever and he will never
let us down.
Jesus said, “Do not be anxious about your life…your heavenly Father
knows that you need [all these things]. But seek first his kingdom
and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
God is faithful and his faithfulness endures for ever.
May we all learn to rest in the faithfulness of God and, in the
words of St Julian of Norwich, “and all shall be well”.
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