You’re Fired from Trying to Control the Future

We can’t control the future, so what do we do?  I think the most common response is to worry. 

Good thing for us, that Jesus has much to say about worry!

Two Reasons Not to Worry:

 1.      Worry Won’t Control the Future (God Does) 

“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?  Matthew 6:25 (NIV)

Worry doesn’t put food on the table.  Worry doesn’t put clothes on your back.  Worry doesn’t make sense, it makes problems.  

A study on worry revealed…

 40% of our worries never come to pass.
30 % are related to past decisions that cannot be changed
12 % involve other people’s perceptions of us, most of which we exaggerate.
10% relate to health.  The truth is your health only gets worse when you worry!
ONLY 8% of our worry is legitimate.  Or something we can actually change. 

To worry about something you can’t change is useless.  To worry about something you can change is useless.  Either way you shouldn’t worry.  If you can change it, change it.  If you can’t, don’t worry about it.

Worry is stewing without doing.  Worrying cannot change the past.  Worrying cannot control the future.  All worrying does is make me miserable today.  It ruins my life.  It saps the strength that I need for today’s problems.  Corrie Ten Boom a holocaust survivor said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

 2.  Worry Won’t Meet My Needs.  

 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matt. 6:26 (NIV) 
 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.   If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Matt. 6:28 & 30 (NIV)

 Now, Jesus gives us two lessons from nature.  First He talks about bird watching, “God takes care of birds, aren’t you a lot more valuable than birds?  And then He moves to a botany lesson.  He says, “Look at the flowers, how God took the time to make so exquisitely a flower that’s so beautiful and colorful not even going to last a week.”

Worry is not natural.  You weren’t born worrying.  It’s something you learn.  That’s good because if it’s something you learned, it’s something that can be unlearned.   Worry doesn’t meet my needs, God does.

It’s like the lady walking down the road with a heavy back pack.  A car came along and picked her up. About three miles down the road the driver said, “Why don’t you take off your back pack and put it on the floor?  I know it’s a heavy load.”  She said, “Oh, no!  It’s enough for you to carry me.  I’ll carry my own load!”  

That’s the way we treat God.

Two Ways to Reduce Worry:

1.     Get to Know God Better

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  Matthew 6:31-32 (NIV)

God knows your needs.  Don’t act like a pagan. What’s a pagan?  A pagan is somebody who doesn’t know or believe in God. Don’t worry like somebody who doesn’t believe.   

He says non believers have a right to worry.  They ought to.  They’re trying to make it through the world on their own effort.  I’d worry too!   If you are a believer, get to know God better, read the bible, pray, get together with other believers in a Growth Group for support.  

As a believer we don’t have to worry because we trust a heavenly Father who promises to take care of us.   I love the phrase, “Your Father knows you need them.”  Yet how often do we act like God is totally unaware of our needs.

I love the story of Arturo Toscanini, the great conductor, was sitting at his podium before a concert one evening. As the orchestra warmed up just minutes before the performance, a bassoon player approached him in a fearful panic. “Maestro, I am very sorry, but my instrument has suffered an accident, and the E-flat will not sound. I am afraid I will not be able to play tonight.”

Upon hearing this news, Toscanini went silent and closed his eyes. The bassoon player cowered in fear of his fury. The great conductor put his hands to his head and continued in silence, adding to the poor bassoon player’s agony.

At last Toscanini looked up and said quietly, “Do not worry, E-flat does not appear in your music tonight.” Toscanini had played through the entire concert in his mind, reviewing every note the bassoon player would have to play. With his intimate knowledge of the music, the conductor was able to reassure the bassoon player that everything would be all right.

God knows the future, trust Him with it.

2. Trust God for Things I Can’t Control.

Much of life is beyond our control and I think God allows this so we can learn to trust him.  

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)

When I was a child, whenever I had a need, I would go to my father, I would ask him for money for scout camping trips, baseball, football, soccer, church youth events all the activities I was involved in, he would give me the money.   When I got older he said, “Get a job,” but as a child I didn’t worry about where the money was coming from.  I asked him for the money and he supplied.  God says, “I’m your heavenly Father. And you don’t have to worry.  I will take care of your needs, trust Me.” 

Worry and trust are opposites.  They cannot live together in a home.  When worry comes in the front door, trust goes out the back door.  Worry will live in your home until you invite trust to come back in the front door.  They cannot live in your mind together.  Fill your mind with trust — trust God in every area — and worry departs.

Have you ever read your insurance policy?  Its great night-time reading if you want to fall asleep fast! Whenever I get an insurance policy, I read through quickly what it covers.  Niki knows the medical policies I know the auto and home.   Once I know what it covers, I don’t worry about what’s covered.  I know it’s going to be taken care of. 

The Bible is God’s policy to us.  He says, “This is what I’m committing Myself to regarding your life, your family, your finances, your health, your past, your present, your future.”  When you know it’s covered in your policy, you can relax.  He’ll make good on it. 

What’s got you worried?  The economy?  Your job?  A personal problem?  Your marriage?  Health?  A problem with friends?  A problem at work? 

Jesus Christ has made it possible for you to live without worry. Put your life in His hands and trust Him on a day by day, moment by moment basis.  You can live without worry. Put your trust in Christ.

Darrell

For more on the series, “You’re Fired!”  Go to www.ridgefellowship.com

Darrell

About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander & Jarrell, TX
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