Easter Sunday: Worry Warts
Today we are talking about being anxious and troubled.
We see it with Martha, when Jesus says to her, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful or anxious, and art troubled about many things."
Even in todays Gospel reading we see the potential for being anxious and troubled when we read, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great.”
So my question to you is, How does God help you with the problem of being anxious and troubled? We will be looking at a number of Scriptures this morning.
Paul writes to the Church in Philippi, “Be nothing solicitous” or “Be careful for nothing” or “Do not be anxious about anything” in other words, Do not worry about anything.
According to what we used to call old wives’ tales, picking up a frog or a toad could give you “warts.” That’s “fake news”: Those bumps on frogs and toads aren’t really “warts” at all, and real “warts” are caused by a virus. (Still, exercise caution, since some frogs and toads are poisonous to touch—or lick.) Some people still “worry” that picking one up will give them “warts.” They are just “worrywarts.” A “worrywart” is not just someone who worries; it’s someone who worries needlessly, often without justifiable reasons.
A Story is told of one man who decided to hire someone to do all his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to do so for a salary of $200,000 a year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his new boss was, “Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?” To which the man responded, “That’s your worry, not mine!”
As nice as it would be to pay someone to do all your worrying for you, worry is not something you can just pass on to somebody else. You can’t outsource worry, but with God’s help you can overcome it. So how does God help you with the problem of worry?
I. The problem of worry
First, we need to understand why worrying is such a problem. In Psalm 139:23-24 the psalmist tells God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
That word for thought, in Hebrews, implies cares, worries, or “try me, and know my anxious thoughts”. In the book of Ecclesiastes 11:10 it is sometimes translated, to “banish anxiety from your heart.”
In other words, God recognizes that our worrying is a problem, and he wants you and me to be worry free. So why is worrying such a problem?
A. Worry robs us of our joy
First of all, worrying is a problem because it robs us of our joy. We read in Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.” God wants to fill you with his joy and peace as you trust in him, but worry robs you of your joy.
It has been said that: “Today is the tomorrow that you were worried about yesterday. And often our worries about tomorrow rob us of the joys and blessings God wants us to experience today.” Or as another person wisely observed: “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Worry robs us of our joy.
B. Worry makes us unfruitful
Secondly, worry makes us unfruitful. Jesus told the parable about the seed that was sown among the thorns which grew up and choked the plants. Later when his disciples asked him the meaning of the parable, he said: “And he that received the seed among thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world ,(worries of this life), and the deceitfulness of riches choketh up the word, and he becometh fruitless.” (Matthew 13:22) God wants to use you to serve him and other people, but worry can get a stranglehold on your life and make you unfruitful for the kingdom of God.
That’s why Jesus warned us in Luke 21:34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation (carousing), drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” The day Jesus was talking about is the day of his return. God has put us to work in his kingdom, and we are to be fruitful servants. But if you allow yourself to be weighed down with the anxieties of life, you will not be fruitful for God, and that day will catch you unawares.
C. Worry doesn’t accomplish anything
A third reason why worrying is such a problem is because it does not accomplish anything. Psalm 127:2 says this: “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” It’s the picture of the person who is so worried about the basics of life that he spends his whole day working and his whole night worrying. Do know the most common time people report that they worry? The most common time for worrying is between 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. It’s when the lights go out, activity ceases, you’re lying in bed, all those worries come flooding into your mind, and you just can’t seem to turn it off. God says all that worrying is in vain. It doesn’t accomplish anything. He wants to take those worries away and give you sleep.
Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Take something you’re worried about right now, whatever it is. If it’s something you can change, there is no need to worry. Start working on changing it. If it’s something you can’t change, there is no use to worry. Because worry is not going to change it either. Jesus said in Matthew 6:27: “Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature? ” The answer is, “No one!” Why? Because worrying doesn’t accomplish anything.
D. Worry shows a lack of trust in God
And then the final reason why worrying is a problem is because it shows a lack of trust in God. Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” You can’t trust God and worry at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive.
And this is where we discover that worry is not simply a problem in our lives but can actually be a sin. Worry indicates a lack of faith, and as Romans 14:23 says, “For all that is not of faith is sin.” When you trust God, you don’t need to worry about worrying. Worry shows a lack of trust in God.
Worry will rob you of your joy. Worry will make you unfruitful. Worry doesn’t accomplish anything. And worry shows a lack of trust in God. There is a better way. Jesus came to help you with your problems. And he will help you with this problem of worry.