by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Matthew 6:25-34
I. People spend a lot of anxious time over things that are really out of their control
A. A lot of teenagers worry about how tall they will be as an adult - Matthew 6:27
B. Older adults begin to worry whether gray hairs are appearing - Matthew 5:36
C. Even the things we think we can control because of talent or skill are not fully in our control - Ecclesiastes 9:11
D. And we may not know when we might be caught up in some disaster or war - Ecclesiastes 9:12
E. We can make plans, but ultimately we must acknowledge our limitations - James 4:13-15
F. “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” [Yiddish Proverb]
II. We cannot control events around us, but there are things we can control
A. Enjoy what we have - Ecclesiastes 9:7
1. Imagine taking a vacation where you rush in and rush out of everything you came to see.
a. You’ll see a lot, but it won’t be that enjoyable of a vacation
2. We are traveling through this world - I Peter 2:11-12
a. And yet, how many of us take time to enjoy our temporary stay?
3. Take time to enjoy the blessings God has given to you - Matthew 6:31-33
4. When we place God first, then God sees to our needs.
a. We have no need to worry
b. We have no need to hurry
5. Take time to enjoy the gifts God has granted us - I Timothy 6:7-8
B. Make each moment special - Ecclesiastes 9:8
1. In the days before automatic washing machines, it was difficult to keep your clothes truly spotless.
a. Clothing itself was very expensive, so most people wore basically the same thing day in and day out
b. But, of course, for truly special occasions, a person would go out of their way to make sure everything was well washed.
2. Perfumes were mostly oil based, but the ingredients for a good perfume were costly.
a. Again, you didn’t necessarily wear perfumes every day, but for special occasions you wouldn’t mind the extra expense.
3. We have reason to celebrate - I Thessalonians 2:19-20
4. Dirty clothes, unwashed bodies, and unkempt hair are signs of depression
a. You are telling those around that you don’t care – about yourself or others
b. How tragic to fail to find joy in life because you were looking for something more instead of celebrating what you have.
C. Enjoy your marriage - Ecclesiastes 9:9
1. God stated that it was not good for man to be alone - Genesis 2:18
2. Our mates are gifts from God with whom to have someone to share the joys of life - Proverbs 18:22
3. Even though we select our spouse, it is amazing how many people believe that they are miserable with the person of their choice.
a. Marriage is your reward, not your punishment
b. We make ourselves miserable because we think it will be better if ...
D. Do your work well - Ecclesiastes 9:10
1. Starting from our days in school, we dread having to go.
a. There are other things we rather do.
b. Nothing particularly important, but just different from what we are required to do
c. And we carry that attitude over into our employment
2. Life is too short to be miserable, even while earning a living.
a. Take pleasure in what you are doing.
b. Work as for the Lord - Colossians 3:22-24
3. If we live long enough there will come a day when we would like to do some work, but our bodies won’t respond.
4. We need to take advantage of the opportunities we have when we are able - Ephesians 5:15-16
5. When we have opportunities to serve the Lord directly, we should eagerly give our all - I Corinthians 9:24-27
6. Ecclesiastes 12:1 - Don’t delay
III. It is actually our attitude toward what we have that we can control
A. You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to enjoy life as it comes.
B. Events will happen to us; things that are completely out of our control
C. But the attitude we have as we face those events, that we can control