Here's Don Green with some encouragement in the face of anxiety. God is your Heavenly Father. He is in control of every aspect of your life.
Everything that you consider good, everything that you consider bad is all in His good and omnipotent and gracious, loving, faithful, merciful hand. If you've been struggling with anxiety and you're looking for some biblical answers, you've come to the right place. This is the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Don teaches God's people God's word. I'm Bill Wright, and we're currently in a study of Matthew Chapter 6, looking at Jesus Christ's prescriptions for anxiety. Last time, Don showed you why trusting God is the first step and how our Lord has magnificent attributes that should make that trust easy to give. We'll move further into Matthew 6 today, so grab your Bible as we join Don now for Part 2 of a message titled, Why Should You Trust God? Watch how Jesus connects His command against anxiety to the blessed character of your Heavenly Father. The character of God is tied to your victory over anxiety. These references in this passage on anxiety are brief, but they are the heart of Jesus's argument, the heart of His teaching.
This is really cool. Look at verse 26 of Matthew Chapter 6. Jesus says, Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not worth much more than they? Verse 32, The Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. He's tying all of His teaching and summarizing it all up in the fact that you have a relationship with your Heavenly Father that destroys any need or any justification for anxiety. And in verse 33, He alludes to the character of God with what is known as a divine passive. Verse 33, He says, Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Who is it that's going to be adding these things to you? It's your Heavenly Father. And so throughout this entire passage, the spine, the structure, the thing that upholds everything that Jesus teaches, and what we're going to look at in more detail now, is the blessed character of God who is your Heavenly Father. Now listen, and what we're going to look at here more closely in these six verses I read earlier. Jesus is going to be teaching and drawing out and pointing out that God is sovereign over all of His creation. He so controls even minor events that birds eat and flowers grow as a direct result of what His hand provides. He reigns over all. But beloved, this is the most important point of this message, what I'm about to say right now.
If you don't get anything else, get this. When Jesus commands you not to be anxious, His argument is not just that God is sovereign over His creation. That is part of His argument, but that is not the full extent of it. The fullness of His argument is only understood when you realize that Jesus is saying to you that the God who is sovereign over all of creation is your Heavenly Father. So His powerful providence, His powerful sovereignty is directly connected to your relationship of intimacy with Him. Beloved, God's sovereignty in your life is not an impersonal force. God is intentionally and consciously good toward you in a way that is consistent with all of the attributes that Jesus has taught you about Him being your Heavenly Father in the Sermon on the Mount. He is intentionally good toward you. He exercises His sovereignty to your benefit.
As your Father, God lovingly protects and provides for you. He knows your need. You may think that He doesn't as the trial continues to go on and gets deeper and the water's rising up to your chin. You may think that something has escaped His attention because of the burden on your heart.
But beloved, your feelings are absolutely deceiving you at that point, and you have to recognize that for the self-deception that it is. God is your Heavenly Father. He is in control of every aspect of your life.
Everything that you consider good, everything that you consider bad is all in His good and omnipotent and gracious, loving, faithful, merciful hand, directing it to the end for which He appointed your entire life. Therefore, this is the bridge between theory and application. This is the bridge between theology and your application in your own personal life.
This therefore is the bridge. Therefore, you can rest assured that He will take care of you in every matter of life. Beloved, that kind of trust is not an elusive goal. It is not an attainment that only a few select people reach in the Christian life.
That kind of trust where you rest in the sovereign Heavenly Father to do all things that concern you, to take care of every aspect of your life, that kind of trust is not only attainable, it is a required part of your Christian life. This is not optional. And I get animated about that to shake you out of your slumber for your own benefit. If you live life in that anxious, troubled spirit, beloved, you are missing the point. And I want God to free you up from that so that you could live in the kind of tranquility that Jesus calls you to in this passage. I'm not upset with you. I'm just trying to let you see that this is necessary.
It is required. It is a blessed opportunity that Jesus calls you to. Hebrews 11 verse 6 says, listen to this carefully. Hebrews 11 verse 6 says, Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. As you go through your life, as you seek God in prayer, uppermost in your thoughts should not be, boy, I wonder how this is going to go out. Oh man, I hope this helps.
Maybe it will, maybe it won't. If that's your approach in prayer, get up, get off of your knees, and do some thinking before you go back to prayer. Because you're thinking what has to be uppermost in your mind, what has to be motivating you, according to this verse that I just read, is that God rewards those who seek Him. That you are going to find a favorable audience with the High King of Heaven when you go to Him. And that all of your life as you seek Him, and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, is going to be met in one way or another with His gracious abundant reward upon you for honoring Him in that way. So beloved, for you as a Christian, you have got to take the totality of your life.
This is absolutely comprehensive. All that remains ahead in your days here on earth, every little niggling problem, for some of you the major trials that are legitimately heavy on your mind, you have to take all of that, all of that anxiety, and put them into the context of the blessed character of your Heavenly Father. You must trust this blessed God for every aspect of your unseen and uncertain future. You must trust Him every time anxiety wells up in your heart. Beloved, you cannot, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you cannot let your life crumble into cries of desperation, cries of despair. No, out with your discouragement, out with your doubt, out with it all! Because the blessed character of God leaves no room for anything but trust and peace in your heart.
It drives out anxiety like light drives out darkness. Your Heavenly Father, your holy, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, loving, wise, merciful, and good Father is with you. He sent Christ to save you.
It can only come out well for you in the end. That is the only possible conclusion if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. The blessed character of God guarantees it and therefore requires your trust. So relax, trust Him. Secondly, as you overcome anxiety, consider this second point. The body of your life reinforces your trust.
The body of your life reinforces your trust. Look at verse 25. Jesus says, Do not be worried about your life as to what you will eat or what you will drink, nor for your body as to what you will put on.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Jesus, here in verse 25, is making a particular kind of argument. He's arguing from what's called, he's making an argument from the greater to the lesser in order to prove the certainty of God's care for you as a believer in Christ.
The idea is this, if the greater thing is true, if the bigger thing is true, then the lesser thing must also be true. Think about it this way, if I promised my son that I was going to take him to a baseball game, a Major League Baseball game, included in that greater promise would be the lesser promise that I would provide the transportation to get there. I say, Daniel, I'm taking you to a ball game. We're going to a ball game.
That would include the fact that I'm going to get him there, not just the ball game himself. Without the lesser thing, the greater thing would be meaningless. Now, as Jesus commands you not to worry, he in this verse gives you a compelling reason to show that you have no legitimate cause for anxiety. He says, listen, God gave you life. God gave you a body. That's the greater gift.
Now follow this. If God gave you a life and a body, don't you think that he will give you what is necessary to sustain that life and body for every day that he's ordained for your life here on earth? It's absolutely unanswerable.
That has to be the case. It would be absurd from a God who does not deal in absurdities. It would be absurd for God to set you up with life and a body and then say, I'm not taking care of anything else. That's ridiculous. No.
No. If God has given you life, he is going to give you what is necessary to sustain it. And so what Jesus is doing here is he's putting obvious truth before your mind, letting you logically work this out so that you can be free from an unhealthy obsession and a sinful obsession with the daily needs of your life. Beloved, look to the future with confidence. God gave you life and he will give you what you need to sustain it. So relax.
Trust him. And if you are a Christian and your days come to an end and God says it's time for your life to be over, that's the best part. Because then he welcomes you into his palace of heaven. Then you enter into the fullness of your salvation. You cannot lose. You cannot lose. While you have this life here, God will sustain it and when it's over, he welcomes you into something better.
Third point. The birds of the air reinforce your trust. The birds of the air reinforce your trust. Jesus here is going to reinforce his command to trust God, his commandment against anxiety with an illustration that is so simple that even a child can understand it. Look at verse 26. He says, Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. This is so simple. This is absolutely humbling to somebody who has a great intellect, someone with a great mind who thinks they've got to figure everything out.
Jesus gives an illustration that shows the certainty of God's care that a three-year-old can understand. He's saying, look, just take a minute to look at a bird. That bird doesn't plant. It doesn't harvest. It doesn't store up for tomorrow.
It doesn't have a 401k plan. Okay, Jesus, I added that last part just to kind of expand. And yet, without fail, these birds that in one sense are utterly defenseless, without fail, the one whom you call as a Christian, the one you call heavenly Father, feeds those insignificant birds. Now Jesus is arguing from the lesser to the greater. He says if the smaller thing is true, the greater thing must be true. And he says if God does the lesser thing of taking care of birds, will he not certainly take care of his own children, the ones that he chose before the foundation of the world to be a joint heir with Christ? This is unanswerable. Your anxiety simply cannot stand up at all to Jesus' teaching here.
They have to go. Notice how the argument presupposes the sovereignty of God. He comprehensively cares for all aspects of his creation so that even an unknown bird in an unknown location comes under his watchful care, provision, and concern. I saw one estimate that said that there are about 100 billion birds on the earth at any given time. It seems like 10% of those birds know where to find my car at any given time.
But that's beside the point. 100 billion birds need to eat several times a day. The Bible says that a sovereign God, who is your heavenly Father, is wise and powerful and active, and he himself provides what they need to eat. Some birds get their food from people at the beach.
God uses different means. Some birds eat roadkill on the highway. Some birds eat from the feeder in your backyard. In each of those means, and 10 billion like them, God is using those means to feed those birds. They're under his care. He is sovereign, so much so that he can feed 100 billion birds and not have it distract his attention from you.
Wow! Now, what Jesus is saying is when you see a bird eat, you should be strengthened in your faith, because if your heavenly Father will feed that little creature, and that sparrow won't fall to the ground apart from his hand, certainly he will care for you. Look at verse 26 again.
Look at the end of it with me. He says, Are you not worth much more than they? If he takes care of the insignificant creature, he's going to take care of you.
There's no other way to come out on this. To say anything different, to feed your anxiety, to tolerate your anxiety, is to engage in an absolute absurdity. You have to deal with yourself firmly on this issue for the sake of the health of your soul. Your anxiety directly contradicts what Jesus says here.
It directly contradicts the certainty of God's care. And not only that, your anxiety is utterly irrational. If you say that you are a Christian, and you believe in the God of this Bible, and you believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, then you have dealt the death blow to anxiety in your life. Common birds disprove your fears every single day. Every single moment of every single day. Beloved, I say this in great love for you.
The best thing that some of you could do would be to go outside and spend 10 minutes in your backyard, or spend 10 minutes in a park, and just watch birds eat. And see in that the sovereign providential care of God for such an insignificant creature. And then say, if I'm one of His children, how much more is He going to do for me? In verse 27, he says, And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Some translations will say, who of you by being worried can add a cubit to your height?
A cubit is a term of measurement, about a foot and a half. Probably what Jesus is saying here is that you don't have the ability to add one hour to your life when the time of death comes. When your time is up, you can't extend it. When death comes knocking, you have to open the door, so to speak. Death will come in whether you want it to or not. And so it's fruitless for you to worry about provision for this life, because you can't extend it anyway. God has ordained the days that you have, and when those come to an end, your worrying isn't going to stretch it out any longer.
So it's useless and fruitless to worry about it. Jesus' point here is not one of fatalism. It is one of calling you to relax and to trust your Heavenly Father.
Point number four, the blossoms of the field reinforce your trust. Look at verses 28 and 29. Jesus says, and why are you worried about clothing?
Observe how the lilies of the field grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. He's pointing to another aspect of God's providential care over his creation.
It's another lesser to a greater argument. These wildflowers that grow up for a day, that wilt, and then are just gathered up and thrown into the furnace to be burned. Those wildflowers, God gives a beauty that exceeds anything that Solomon knew in his own personal wardrobe at the height of his reign. The gorgeousness of the flowers, Jesus says, shows that your anxiety is unnecessary. God's sovereign care is so extensive that he makes even them to be beautiful.
Now, he says, if God clothes temporary plants with splendor, if he'll do that for a plant, don't you think he'll take care of you as one of his children? This is unanswerable. Only the high fist of rebellion, shaken in the face of such a good and gracious God, could respond to this argument. And that would be irrational. You as a believer in Christ, you who say you trust the living God, your heart has to bow before this truth and say, Yes, Lord, I have no reason to be anxious, none whatsoever. End of story.
Take it to the logical conclusion. Now look at what Jesus says in verse 30, and with this we'll close. Verse 30, But if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more clothe you? Look at his closing line. You of little faith.
Ouch! For those of us that take a certain manner of unspoken pride in our spiritual lives, and yet have anxiety in it, ouch! Because what Jesus just said here exposes your soul. Beloved, I say this in love, you have to believe me, and if you don't believe me, believe that Jesus Christ the Son of God is speaking to you in love. If you are anxious, Beloved, if you deal with anxiety and struggle with anxiety in your life, understand this, your problem is not with your circumstances. Your circumstances have nothing to do with the reason that you are anxious. Your problem is little faith.
You are anxious because you do not know and trust God like you should, in spite of everything that is so obvious right in front of your face every day of your life. Here's what you need to see, Beloved. God saved you. He will keep you. Period.
No qualification. Therefore, the things of this life need not and should not oppress you. Anxiety is an indefensible absurdity in light of your relationship to your Heavenly Father and His demonstrable care over all of His creation. Relax. Trust Him. We hope you've been blessed by Don Green's teaching today on The Truth Pulpit. He's titled it, Why Should You Trust God? and it's part of a larger series called Escaping the Anxiety Trap.
We'll tell you how to get a free download in just a moment, but first, here again is Don with some closing thoughts. You know, after hearing these words from Jesus, isn't it funny that simple things in nature like birds and flowers could teach us about trusting God? Let that encourage you. It's not that complicated to have lasting peace in your soul. It all starts with the knowledge that God rules over all and that He is a good God. When you've turned from sin and received Jesus Christ as your Redeemer to reconcile you to that God, our Heavenly Father promises to care for you and to keep you.
As they say in other areas, you can take that to the bank. He's a God to be trusted. He never disappoints those who put their faith in Christ. It's my prayer today that that would be true of you, that you would know Christ and the peace that He gives. Thanks, Don. And friend, please do visit us at TheTruthPulpit.com to get your complimentary download of any of Don's messages this week. And if you live near Cincinnati or your travels might take you there, you're always welcome at Truth Community Church to hear Don Green's teaching in person. Directions and service times are at TheTruthPulpit.com. Well, that's all the time we have for today. I'm Bill Wright inviting you to join us again next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
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