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110-23-2005 s

MESSAGE: Fighting for Faith; Battling the Unbelief of Worry


TEXT: Luke 12:22-34
Introduction
A. The concern of faith working through love vs the worry/anxiety/fear of unbelief.

1. God’s Word commends concern for others rooted in a love that comes from God.

Philippians 2:20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be
concerned for your welfare.

2 Corinthians 11:28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on
me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is
led into sin without my intense concern?

2. Yet God’s Word also commands us not to worry or be anxious.

a. be anxious for nothing

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and


supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

b. a visual impression of Jesus’s desire to dispel worry/anxiety/fear in Luke 12

Luke 12:4 ... do not be afraid of those who kill the body ...

Luke 12:7 ... Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Luke 12:11 ... do not worry about how or what you are to speak ...

Luke 12:22 ... do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat ...

Luke 12:25 "... which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span?

Luke 12:26 ... why do you worry about other matters?

Luke 12:29 "And do not seek what you will eat ... and do not keep worrying.

Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock,

3. The love rooted concern God commends is not to be confused with the worry and anxiety God
condemns, because such worry is rooted in unbelief. We worry because ...

a. We don’t believe God exists, or if He exists ...


b. We don’t believe He is in control, or if He is in control ...
c. We don’t believe He is wise in His control, or if He is wise in His control ...
d. We don’t believe His intentions toward us are kind and loving, or if He is kind
e. We don’t believe His intentions to be our treasure are more satisfying than our treasure on
earth.
B. Worry, rooted in unbelief, is common to our fallen world. There are many things over which the human race
worries:

1. Natural disasters
2. Wars, terrorist attacks
3. Crime, government oppression, loss of liberty
4. Inflation, higher prices, shortages of essential goods
5. Career, job security, advancement, retirement, schooling, scholarships
6. Health, disease, injury, accidents, aging
7. Relationships, loved ones, success for self or family members
8. Popularity, fashion, acceptance, praise of others
9. Basis necessities - food, shelter, health care

C. Reasons to trust the Lord and not worry.

I. 12:4 God, Who is in control over all things, determines the destiny of all
things.
Luke 12:4 "I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after
that have no more that they can do. 5 "But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who,
after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!

II. 12:6-7 We are remembered and valued by God.


Luke 12:6 "Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten
before God. 7 "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are
more valuable than many sparrows.

III. 12:11-12 God is our Helper.


Luke 12:11 "When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the
authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you
are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."

A. The risen Christ has sent us His Holy Spirit, our Helper, to enable us to accomplish His will.

John 15:26 "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of
truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

John 16:7 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away,
the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

B. God is our helper who keeps/supports/braces our souls.

Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.

IV. 12:22-23 Life is more than bodily maintenance and pleasure.


Luke 12:22 And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about
your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23 "For life is
more than food, and the body more than clothing.

A. Worry indicates we are missing the point of what life is really all about.
B. Cf. the rich fool in Luke 12:15-21

Luke 12:15 Then He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of
greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."

V. 12:24 God maintains creatures less valuable to Him than we are.


Luke 12:24 "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom
nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!

1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

VI. 12:25-26 Worry accomplishes nothing positive.


Luke 12:25 "And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span? 26 "If
then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?

VII. 12:27-28 Worry is the antithesis of faith.


Luke 12:27 "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not
even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28 "But if God so clothes
the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how
much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!

A. Jesus contrasts worry to faith (12:28).

B. The late Reformed scholar, B. B. Warfield, states in Faith & Life (pp. 44,45) ...

The Bible describes (formal atheism) as open folly: “The fool has said in his heart there is no
God.” But even when the lip and the mind behind the lip are true to right reason and confess that
there is a God who rules the world and to whom we are responsible in our every thought and
word and deed, there is often a practical atheism that lives as if there were no God.

Is it true that we can trust the eternal welfare of our souls to God, and cannot trust to Him the
temporal welfare of our bodies? Is it true that He has provided salvation for us at the tremendous
cost of the death of His Son, and will not provide food for us to eat and clothes for us to wear at
the cost of the directive word that He speaks and it is done? Is it true that we can stand by the
bedside of our dying friend and send him forth into eternity in good confidence in God, and cannot
send that same friend forth into the world with any confidence that God will keep him there? O,
the practical atheism of many of our earthly cares and earthly anxieties!

VIII. 12:29-30 Worry is the way by which the world of unbelievers lives.
Luke 12:29 "And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep
worrying. 30 "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father
knows that you need these things.

IX. 12:30-31 God, Who is our Father, and Who is immeasurably better than
the best earthly fathers, knows and supplies the needs of His children
who seek Him first.
Luke 12:30 "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father
knows that you need these things. 31 "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be
added to you.

Matthew 7:11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much
more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

X. 12:32-34 God’s intentions toward us are rich and kind in Christ Jesus.
Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the
kingdom.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He
not also with Him freely give us all things?

1 Corinthians 3:21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul
or Apollos or Cephas or
the world or life or death
or things present or
things to come; all
things belong to you, 23
and you belong to
Christ; and Christ
belongs to God.

XI. God’s reward of Himself, of Christ, is far more satisfying than any
earthly treasure.

Luke 12:33 "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts
which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no
thief comes near nor moth destroys.

XII. 12:34 We will inherit the destiny of what our heart treasures - Christ or
the world.
Luke 12:34 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love
of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the
eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is
passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

A. The worry of unbelief yields a life unfruitful to God that fails to inherit the kingdom of God.

Matthew 13:22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who
hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it
becomes unfruitful.

Matthew 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and
given to a people, producing the fruit of it.

Cf. John Piper, 9/25/1988


Stop for a moment and think how many different sinful actions and attitudes come from
anxiety. Anxiety about finances can give rise to coveting and greed and hoarding and
stealing. Anxiety about succeeding at some task can make you irritable and abrupt and
surly. Anxiety about relationships can make you withdrawn and indifferent and uncaring
about other people. Anxiety about how someone will respond to you can make you cover
over the truth and lie about things. So if anxiety could be conquered a lot of sins would be
overcome.

B. Those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ bears fruit to God.

Jeremiah 17:7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. 8 "For
he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear
when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of
Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him
who was raised from the dead, in order that we might
bear fruit for God.

Application: Wielding the Word of Faith Against the Worry of Unbelief


A. When I have brought anxiety upon myself because of my sin.

Psalm 38:18 For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.

Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and
forsakes them will find compassion.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If
we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. (Let the
offer of forgiveness through repentance and faith in Christ be a good word to you.)

B. Am I am tempted to worry when ...

a. ... I feel overwhelmed?

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will
never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations
delight my soul.

b. ... I feel powerless to accomplish what is asked of me?

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for
power is perfected in weakness." ....

Isaiah 41:10 'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I
am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you
with My righteous right hand.'
c. ... I am facing opponents?

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is
against us?

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?

d. ... I face injury, disease, deterioration of health?

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is
decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light
affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

e. ... I face important decisions about the future?

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will
counsel you with My eye upon you.

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of
the treacherous will destroy them.

f. ... I face obstacles to my meeting my deadlines?

Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His
sovereignty rules over all.

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

g. ... I face getting old?

Isaiah 46:4 Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years
I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear
you and I will deliver you.

Psalm 92:14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very
green,

h. ... I face being left alone.

Psalm 94:14 For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His
inheritance.

Matthew 28:20 ... lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

i. ... I don’t know if I’ll have enough money to survive?

Luke 12:29 "And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not
keep worrying. 30 "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but
your Father knows that you need these things. 31 "But seek His kingdom, and these
things will be added to you.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and


supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the
peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus.

j. ... I worry that my faith might fail?

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good
work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

John 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one
will snatch them out of My hand.

k. ... I face the challenges of a new job, school, social environment?

Psalm 18:29 For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a
wall.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

l. ... I fear my efforts will fail to be useful and productive?

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable,


always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in
the Lord.

Conclusion
Isaiah 26:3 "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. 4
"Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
Food for Reflection: 10/23/2005
1. What kinds of things do you worry over (or are tempted to worry over)? In each of these instances of anxiety,
what are the various things we are not believing about God?

2. Why do you think Christians fail to see their worry/anxiety as an expression of an unbelieving heart?

3. What kinds of sins spring from worry/anxiety?

4. What things do you do that might tempt family members, youth group or church members, coworkers, classmates, etc. to
worry?

5. How can we fight for faith and battle the unbelief of worry/anxiety? How can we help others to do so?

6. Test your battle readiness: Do I know my Bible well enough to quote verses which will enable me daily to battle
the unbelief of worry/anxiety when ...

a. ... I feel overwhelmed?


b. ... I feel powerless to accomplish what is asked of me?
c. ... I am facing opponents?
d. ... I face injury, disease, deterioration of health?
e. ... I face important decisions about the future?
f. ... I face obstacles to my meeting my deadlines?
g. ... I face getting old?
h. ... I face being left alone.
i. ... I don’t know if I’ll have enough money to survive?
j. ... I worry that my faith might fail?
k. ... I face the challenges of a new job, school, social environment?
l. ... I fear my efforts will fail to be useful and productive?
Food for Thot:: the late Reformed scholar, B. B. Warfield, states in Faith & Life (pp. 44,45) ...

The Bible describes (formal atheism) as open folly: “The fool has said in his heart there is no
God.” But even when the lip and the mind behind the lip are true to right reason and confess that
there is a God who rules the world and to whom we are responsible in our every thought and
word and deed, there is often a practical atheism that lives as if there were no God.

Is it true that we can trust the eternal welfare of our souls to God, and cannot trust to Him the
temporal welfare of our bodies? Is it true that He has provided salvation for us at the tremendous
cost of the death of His Son, and will not provide food for us to eat and clothes for us to wear at
the cost of the directive word that He speaks and it is done? Is it true that we can stand by the
bedside of our dying friend and send him forth into eternity in good confidence in God, and cannot
send that same friend forth into the world with any confidence that God will keep him there? O,
the practical atheism of many of our earthly cares and earthly anxieties!

Fighter Verse:

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the
righteous to be shaken.